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Blog / Style & trends / 15 Birthday Card Design Ideas

Style & trends

14 Birthday Card Design Ideas

14 Birthday Card Design Ideas
Paula Scerbinina

By Paula Scerbinina

7 min read

A birthday card is a heart-warming touch that makes a great addition to any present. But what could be better than a regular birthday card? A custom birthday card with a one-of-a-kind design created specifically with the birthday person in mind. 

There are a couple of ways to create a birthday card—you can either DIY it or design a custom card with a help of a trusted print-on-demand partner, like Printful. 

If you want to create a cute, fully unique birthday card but aren’t sure about the design yet, here are 14 birthday card design ideas for your inspiration.

From the very beginning of human nature, botanical motives served as an inspiration for artists—from painters to architects. Botanical prints have become a timeless, all-year-round choice for print designs, including birthday cards.

Did you know that each flower has a secret meaning? Like a pink carnation means, “I’ll never forget you.” This can serve as an inspiration for an unforgettable birthday card design—even if you add a small flower illustration or cover the whole background with a monstera leaf pattern. 

Botanical birthday card design suits nature lovers, gardening enthusiasts, and those who appreciate timeless, natural beauty or prefer to spend time outside.

Sometimes, a single element or one picture isn’t enough to express your creativity, especially for birthday card designs for loved ones. In this case, the optimal pick for your birthday card is a collage. It’s a technique of putting together multiple pieces of elements. For example, layering several pictures, patterns, custom illustrations, or texts. 

This design will add a handmade-like touch to your birthday card and showcase your imagination and creativity through a quirky, original look. 

If you go with multiple photos for your card design, it might be an excellent fit for those who cherish memories and the sentimentality of memorable moments. 

But if you blend other elements (like patterns) into a collage design, this crafty birthday card is the perfect option for friends with a keen eye for craftsmanship or those who enjoy abstract or avant-garde styles.

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Animal-themed birthday cards are the perfect way to celebrate animal lovers’ birthdays. Animals on birthday cards add a touch of charm to your cute card and greeting message, making it a perfect gift for the birthday person. You can choose a playful illustration of their favorite animal, add a picture of their beloved home pet, or go with an all-over animal print.

a card with cats on itSource: Pinterest

Next in our birthday card ideas list are memes. Memes are so much more than just fun expressions. Aside from being a part of the internet culture, memes have become a way of communication, expanding their use imprinted designs. 

a card with a cartoon of a man on itSource: Pinterest

If you want to spice up your birthday card by adding a fun twist, customize your birthday card with memes. Especially if the birthday person is interested in funny content and internet culture. 

5. Abstract Happy birthday cards 

With an abstract pattern birthday card design, you’ve no limits on expressing your creativity. 

a card with a colorful design and a brown envelopeSource: Pinterest

From colorful geometric patterns to abstract brush strokes and random scribbles—this type of design has endless opportunities for experimentation with your birthday card appearance. 

The watercolor effect occurs when colors blend into each other and into the paper or canvas in a specific, distinctive way, creating a unique texture. 

There are two main characteristics of this design. First— bright, balanced colors. If you want to use multiple colors for your birthday card, it’s best to choose shades of the same color or colors next to the main color.

a watercolor drawing of a cake with a candleSource: Pinterest

The second principal component of this design is imperfect, expressive brushstrokes that create a fluid composition in a natural, not-too-refined way.  

Another birthday card idea is to create a numbered card with the recipient’s age on it. Ideal for those kids and adults looking forward to reaching a particular age milestone (like 10th, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th birthday, and beyond). This design celebrates a particular age milestone and makes a birthday person feel special.

a white card with colorful numbers on itSource: Pinterest

If you want to create a futuristic and outstanding look for your birthday card, try a pixelated pattern for your design. 

Originating in the ’90s and mostly used in a digital world, this pattern might not seem like an obvious choice for a birthday card. However, if styled right, pixelated patterns can be a versatile choice for quirky and playful designs for your birthday card. This design’s distinctive texture and aesthetic suits video games, technology, or retro fans.

A love-patterned design is a popular choice for a cute birthday card. This design is a top option for conveying happy birthday wishes to your loved ones on a special occasion. 

a card with many hearts on itSource: Hallmark

Here are some love-patterned birthday card ideas: 

  • Heart-shaped confetti in different sizes and colors

  • Connected hearts

  • Heart-shaped balloons

  • XOXO pattern (hugs and kisses) 

  • Lovebirds

  • Heartbeat lines forming a pattern

  • A pattern of Cupid’s arrows

10. Minimalistic birthday cards 

A minimalistic birthday card design is better for those who appreciate elegant simplicity and prefer clean, modern aesthetics. 

A minimalistic design is a design approach that contains only essential details that serve a specific message or function. 

This design is characterized by: 

  • Simplicity in form, clean lines, and uncluttered hierarchical layouts

  • A lot of whitespace to let the elements breathe

  • Limited color palette with no distractions

Some birthday card ideas for your design:

  • Simple typography featuring a single word or phrase 

  • Monochrome palette (black and white color scheme)

  • Small symbolic image (like a candle or a balloon) against a plain background

a white card with a gift on itSource: Pinterest

11. Landscape-themed birthday cards

Adding landscapes to your card design does wonders for the recipient. Breathtaking scenes like a quiet lakeside, busy Paris streets, a majestic mountain range, or a vibrant sunset over the hills can transport a person into these settings.

a stack of cards with mountains and moonSource: Pinterest


Your design doesn’t have to be a realistic representation of natural settings. You can also choose an abstract interpretation. Just ensure it captures the essence of the landscape you want to feature. 

Landscape birthday card design is the perfect gift for nature and adventure lovers and anyone appreciating nature, traveling, and being outdoors.

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12. Food-inspired birthday cards

If a person is a foodie, the best way to personalize a birthday card and make a person surprised is to add food-themed elements to your card. Food-inspired fashion, interior design, and wall art have been around for years, so why not use them for your birthday card design idea? 

a card with a message on itSource: Pinterest

Add a single illustration of a person’s favorite dessert or add multiple pieces so they create a pattern, turning your card into a fun, catchy, and minimalist artwork. 

13. Framed birthday cards

Complimenting your birthday greetings with a frame will make your message pop and enhance its visual impact. It’s an elegant way to create a focal point on your card and draw attention to the text while enriching its overall design. 

a card with flowers and a envelope on a woven matSource: Pinterest

14. Hand-drawn birthday cards

Imagine wishing a happy birthday through a cute printed card for your friend or family member that looks like you’ve just drawn this artwork yourself. Cool, right? Uneven lines and not-so-pixel-perfect sketches add a personal touch to your birthday gift card and showcase the effort and care you’ve put into the gift. 

a white card with mountains and dinosaursSource: Pinterest

From a simple visual element to a full illustration, your sketch digitalization has no limits. Want to create a hand-drawn feeling but don’t feel comfortable enough creating a sketch from zero? If you choose a print-on-demand partner like Printful to print your birthday card, you can pick a ready-made hand-drawn illustration and patterns from the library.

Which birthday card design to choose? 

Because design options are almost endless, the best birthday card idea should resonate with the card recipient’s personality and memorably convey your greetings. So, get some inspiration from our list, keep the birthday person in mind when creating a design for your birthday card, and you’ll be good to go!


By Paula Scerbinina on Mar. 18, 2024

Paula Scerbinina

Guest author

A free-spirited creative with a psychology and marketing background, Paula spends her days creating stories for brands and individuals. Her heart belongs to writing, mental health advocacy, and beach volleyball.

A free-spirited creative with a psychology and marketing background, Paula spends her days creating stories for brands and individuals. Her heart belongs to writing, mental health advocacy, and beach volleyball.