top of page
  • Writer's pictureJen

The best-selling birthday cards of 2023

With close to 70 birthday card designs featuring a whole range of wild animals, from the axolotl to the capybara, we have plenty of cards to choose from here at Wild Lines! Our annual review in January offers a fascinating insight into people’s top card choices, and they aren’t always what we expect. 

The hand-drawn animal cards are all carefully designed to combine detailed artwork with fun, cheeky or sweet finishing touches. They are completely different to other designs you might see in shops and online, and I think your top choices highlight the fact that you are looking for something unique - both in style and animal choice.

We sold thousands of birthday cards last year. For this list, I’m focusing on the colour pop cards, since we didn’t launch the gold foil card range until part way through the year. So, without further ado (and in no particular order), let’s dive into your top birthday card choices of 2023! 

1. Party bat card

Party bat birthday card

The party bat birthday card is hanging on (sorry) at the top of the rankings. I love how well this one does - it is an unusual design featuring an endangered Livingstone’s fruit bat. The card is understated, with the pop of colour coming from the party tooter in the bat’s mouth. Bats are often given a bad rap and I’m so pleased that I’m not alone in having a soft spot for the incredible creatures. The party bat card is a truly unique birthday card, and an adorable option for wildlife lovers.

2. Sloth birthday card

Sloth birthday card

The sloth birthday card was new this year and has quickly jumped up the rankings. The sweet two-toed Linne’s sloth is hanging from a branch with its party hat on and a little gift in its hand. Sloths are universally loved (who couldn’t be charmed by those sweet eyes?) and the sloth birthday card has been popular for both men and women. The design perfectly fits our motto at Wild Lines - it is guaranteed to spark a smile.

3. Duck birthday card

Duck birthday card

Customers on Etsy go wild for the duck birthday card - somehow it has managed to climb the algorithm and is a popular choice for men, in particular. The card features a charming watercolour duck in a smart party hat. It is a simple but delightful design, which I originally drew for my duck-loving brother. If you’re looking for a card with wide appeal, the birthday duck card is certainly up there as a top choice.

4. Eagle owl age cards

40th birthday owl card

Another relatively new design, the eagle owl cards have been flying off the shelves to help people celebrate their big birthdays. The owl sports a badge on his chest featuring 30, 40, 50 or 60. Thanks to his wildly unimpressed expression, it is a funny birthday card perfect for those who don’t fully embrace the silly birthday traditions, including party hat- and badge-wearing! The charming design is sure to raise a smile, even from the grumpiest of birthday boys and girls.

5. Capybara birthday card

Capybara birthday card

Next up, the capybara birthday card! Do you remember seeing capybaras trotting around towns in David Attenborough’s series about how animals adapted during lockdown? There is something very loveable about the South American mammals. I think it might be the combination of their big snouts and the skeptical expression in their eyes. Whatever the reason, people have been loving having capybaras on their birthday cards this year, and I’m all for that.

6. Owl birthday card

Cute owl birthday card

From the serious eagle owl to the cute little owl, this owl birthday card has remained just as popular for 2023 as in the previous year. The birthday owl is one of our sweetest designs. You just can’t go wrong with these tiny, slightly scruffy, almost-angelic birds. Their little faces are bursting with character and, in this case, the bunch of balloons tied around the owl’s waist only adds to its ‘aww’ appeal. The owl birthday card is a great option for friends and family who you know would appreciate a bit of cuteness on their special day!

7. Axolotl birthday card

Axolotl birthday card

Axolotls are surely some of the most unusual animals out there. When I sell axolotl cards and prints at events, people often ask me if they are real animals - and I don’t blame them! The pink salamanders with their crowns of tentacles look undeniably like aliens. Axolotls are critically endangered in their native habitat in Mexico, though there are now quite a few in captivity around the world. The axolotl birthday card might be more niche than some other designs, but it is a very sweet choice for those who embrace the unusual.

8. Love owls card

Love owls Valentine's Day card

A top choice for loved ones (and yet another feature for owls!) the love owls card features two hand-drawn little owls - one little, one large - snuggled together with a bold red watercolour heart balloon between them. The card is popular as a birthday card for husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends and, since it is blank inside, also works well as a Valentine’s card and Mother’s Day card. It is a lovely card to treasure, or even display in frame after the event has passed.

9. Hedgehog birthday card

Hedgehog birthday card

One of the cutest in the British wildlife collection, the hedgehog birthday card is consistently popular. It’s hard to go wrong with a hedgehog - they are a widely adored (but, sadly, seriously declining) species here in the UK. For this sweet design, the hedgehog is curled up after a long day of celebrating, with his little birthday bow tie and matching party hat still in place.

10. Meerkat birthday card

Meerkat birthday card

Did you know baby meerkats are called meerkittens? I imagine this one, with its party hat on and balloon tied to its tail, as on its way to a birthday party. Many of the animals I draw are endangered, but that isn’t the case for the meerkat. The little social mammals are doing just fine in the wild, but they have been very useful to conservation charities, thanks in particular to their popularity in zoos! The meerkat birthday card will be appreciated by recipients of any age - it is a great choice for your birthday card box.


Whatever designs you go for, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you have chosen high quality, eco-friendly birthday cards. Wild Lines cards are all made of recycled card and packed with recycled envelopes (either in compostable sleeves or naked). I get a little spark of joy knowing that for each card purchased, we’re probably saving a non-recycled card from being manufactured.

I hope the list helps your birthday card decision-making! There are so many wonderful animals to choose from; if somebody doesn’t have a stand-out favourite, it can be tricky to pick. If you simply can’t decide, why not take advantage of the multi-buy discounts? You can get a multipack of four animal birthday cards of your choice for £9.99 or, for even bigger savings, eight birthday cards for £17.99 - both with free UK delivery.


bottom of page