Art + Design

From the Design Desk: The Self-Made Holiday Card


There’s something a little extra special about getting a holiday card directly from its creator. Not only does it reflect their personality, but you can also count on it being a limited edition. Geoff Wagner, a design colleague, designs his holiday cards and it’s exciting to receive the little envelope and wonder: “What has he come up with this year?” (See below)

Graphic designer David Riofrio had his holiday card letter-pressed at a local printer. It was such a treat to get this unusual card, with its thick creamy paper and textured design. (Below)

In the current economic climate, it is difficult for companies to justify printing their own cards. Chronicle Books went green this year with a clever and festive digital holiday card, also designed by Geoff Wagner. The card is animated to reveal free recipes, craft projects, and fun excerpts from our books. But the rarity of a printed company card might give more of an impression. Bellow is Dwell Magazine‘s holiday card, with smart foil stamping on black paper.

I love getting holiday cards from illustrators, as they often display quirky new takes on holiday themes. I can only assume that the cat in the card below by Gemma Correll is singing: Glory, glory, hallelujah.

You don’t have to be a designer or an illustrator to make your own holiday card. As the book DIY—Design It Yourself suggests, it’s mostly about having a unique idea and finding a way to parlay it onto paper creatively (i.e., cut paper, rubber stamps, etc.). I approach making cards like baking holiday cookies, with Charlie Brown music and card stock instead of dough.

Suzanne LaGasa

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