It's February. And for many, that means the annual celebration of lurve is nearly upon us. If you're looking for a card for that special someone, whether prospect, partner or bestie, we've pulled together some excellent suggestions from the very community we love to support. And that's independent artists and designers.
The following list contains everything from cute and charming to elegant and minimalist – all lovingly designed by creative freelancers or small businesses worldwide. There are even a few "anti-Valentines" options available for those of you who would prefer not to get involved. Plus the odd print or poster, as an alternative romantic idea.
These are hand-drawn, beautifully printed, gorgeous creations that will more than impress that special someone but also go a long way to generously support the artists, makers, independent shops and designers all relying on your business to thrive. So, in the spirit of Just a Card, here are some of my favourite finds.
You're Blooming Wonderful by Toucan Tango
Brought to you by the screen-printing duo behind Toucan Tango, Luce and Scott, this lush greetings card isn't just for Valentine's Day but to acknowledge other moments of celebration. From birthdays and anniversaries to wishing someone good luck, You're Blooming Wonderful is a delightfully cheerful design for that special person in your life.
I Love You Cat by Alice Bowsher
In collaboration with Wrap Magazine, illustrator Alice Bowsher has combined flowers and felines in a winning combo that will pull the heartstrings. A gorgeous card printed in the UK on an uncoated FSC-certified card using vegetable-based inks, it's a fab option for Valentine's.
We're a Perfect Match by Nikki Ernst
Nikki Ernst is a multidisciplinary illustrator and designer who works with the medium of collage by mixing found material with graphic elements to create work that has plenty of texture and a retro appeal. "I try to capture a nostalgic feeling in my work, inspired by my love of vintage, sentimental music and old magazines," she says. Here, she shares this Valentine's Day design based on the sentiment of finding your perfect match.
What a Lovely Pair by Lisa Maltby
Featured at the very top of this article is Lisa Maltby's You Have My Heart, which can also be transformed into a stunning A5 print for a frame or your walls. Here, we also share What a Lovely Pair, but there's also a Love Potion option available, too. With all three, the Sheffield-based illustrator adds her renowned hand-drawn typography along with stunning illustrations to literally smack us in the face with a ton of love, all with a wink and a smile.
LOVE by Sarah Boris
"It's a big card," says graphic artist Sarah Boris, as she unveils her contribution to the annual celebration of love. Available as an A2 with custom lettering in her signature style, this limited edition print will delight any graphic designer in your life.
Love Letter by Taaryn Brench
Taaryn's A6 'hearts' greetings card is originally painted in gouache and printed on recycled paper in the UK. It comes with a brown kraft envelope and is left blank inside to add your own message. It's a gorgeous example of the Leeds designer and illustrator's distinctive style. Simple and elegant with a Valentine's Day palette of soft pinks and reds.
I'd Pause FIFA For You by Brogan Evans
This "cheeky" Valentine's Day card by Welsh creative Brogan Evans is a fantastic example of how you can customise your own. I've personally opted for 'I'd Pause Red Dead For You' – which isn't entirely true, as it depends on whether I'm doing a mission. Plus, I've been with the same guy for 18 years, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Either way, I digress. Fellow PlayStation fans will love the various alternatives of which game to pause, from FIFA to Call of Duty, pick one to suit.
Plane Heart by Elliot Kruszynski
Another gorgeous offering from Wrap Magazine is Elliot Kruszynski's Plane Heart greetings card. Simple and fun, in his usual style, which he describes as "maybe like a child drew it", this minimalist design will warm any heart.
Birds & Bees by Danielle Rhoda
A gorgeous A6 illustrated Valentine's Day card by illustrator Danielle Rhoda with dazzling gold foil elements and a soft touch. Birds do it, you know. So do bees and educated fleas. Left blank inside to add your personal message, whatever that might be.
Thanks For Always Listening by Emmy Lupin
Never mind Valentine's Day, have you heard of Galentines? South London-based illustrator Emmy Smith aka Emmy Lupin, has crafted this perfect option to send to your best friend. With bold colour and pattern in Emmy's usual playful yet relatable style, we think Galentines should be every day of the week.
Hold Me Tight by iancul
Whether Iancu Barbărasă is quoting the classic song by The Beatles or is sharing a simple message of love, we adore this set of postcards featuring various digital drawings, including two elegant flowers embracing each other and messages of kindness. Purchase this or grab the pack of 10.
You Make Me Happy by Clair Rossiter
A freelance illustrator based in Sutton, represented by Creative Sparrow, Clair Rossiter also creates gorgeous greeting cards on the side, including this design for Valentine's Day or any day you want to tell someone you care about them. It has a lovely textured finish and is left blank inside for your own poetic words of appreciation.
Love Card by Day One Paper Co.
Day One Paper Co. was founded by Katharina Sertic & Verino Popovic at the beginning of 2022 to sell their own creative stationery from their shop based in Croatia. This lovely greetings card, perfect for Valentine's Day, is understated and charming. Printed in full colour with a blank interior, it's A6 in size and available to order online.
Risograph Mini Print by AJ Higgins
Not so much a Valentine's Day card but a risograph mini print, handmade and designed by British illustrator and cartoonist AJ Higgins, who loves making comics and "colourful, wacky things". We believe 'You Been Out Yet' will send just the right message to that special someone. But there are plenty of other options available via his Etsy shop.