Holiday Card #4

Here is  a fun, yet simple Year in Review card.
Keep it simple with a single photo, brief highlights (5 or less words), and a paragraph for your favorite memory of the past year.

Choose your own colors, traditional Christmas colors, or choose colors to match your photo.

If you don't love the graphics used, ask for something different. I have a variety to choose from.

These customers wanted to announce that they were adopting. We changed the layout a little bit to include their state graphic, life in numbers, and a brief bio.

Most of my designs can have more (or less) photos than shown. These customers chose to have 3 photos, and they also wanted to show of  where they traveled, and used the country flags instead of a map. I love when you have ideas I have thought of yet!
I have the most creative customers, and I love that none of the cards I create are the same. You can see additional versions here:


Holiday Card #3

Holiday Card #3 was one of the very first ones I sold, and I love it! I love the back that shows off fun pictures throughout the year, and the infographic side has so many options available. I love creating this one!
I've always been a fan of lime green, and it is perfect for this Card.

I'm also obsessed with instagram, so what better way to show off some of those pictures than on the back of this card.

Show off your top highlights, where you call home, some of your favorite places, about each family member, how long you've been married, and your year in numbers.

If you're looking for a not-so-traditional Christmas colors, this blue and red is perfect. Use a different font, and change the sections up just a bit.

Yellow and Navy are always fun colors. These guys included a map of their travels in this design.

A different variation of red, blue and white. Include your favorite places to visit as a family, or some of your favorite activities.

Keep it simple with a few highlights, travels, Year in Numbers (with graphics), favorite places, and quotes!

I love the colors chosen for this card. I love that they are bright and fun, but still have a Christmas-y feel. I also love that they wanted infographics to show off their highlights. 

 I love greys and red, and this one is a perfect blend of both.

You don't need a lot of details, but if you have them, we can make the "About Us" or "Highlights" section bigger to fit all you have to say. 

This was a fun card to make for a single gal. Once again we used the graphics to highlight her Year in Numbers, and she included a pie chart to show what she is grateful for. We also used some fun fonts. 

You don't have to put a lot of photos on the back. Keep it simple with one photo, and a Christmas greeting. 

There are SO MANY fun variations, and these are just a few. You can see additional versions here:


Holiday Card #2

The Holiday Season is slowly creeping upon us, so I wanted to share with you some of my favorite variations of the first holiday card I designed. (You'll notice, however, that it is not #1 but #2. Let's just say I have a folder full of ones that I started, and haven't completed!)

This color scheme has been one of the more popular schemes. A nice mint-ish green and greys. 

A different color scheme, with a bit more information for each family member, plus a space for their beloved pet. Remember, though, the more words in the description there is, the smaller the type will be.

This is one of my favorite designs from 2014. I love the red and gold color scheme they chose. The map is outlined in the gold, and they chose to list their highlights, instead of put them in paragraph form. I also love that they chose to use their Holiday card as a pregnancy announcement.

This design was for one of my favorite repeat customers. She knows what she wants, and will keep asking until it's perfect. Totally fine! I want you to be completely satisfied with your design. The color choice here is perfect! The mix of navy, mint and gold is gorgeous. Instead of a travel map, she chose to have a family photo instead. This card was also the perfect opportunity to announce their new address.

Don't think you have to have kids to send out a family holiday card! Instead of using the "kid section" for kids, they chose to highlight the movies they saw, the restaurants they loved, and the songs they listened to. They put a small photo in the bottom corner, and they chose different fonts. If you see a font on another design that you want, just let me know! I will be happy to switch them out.

Keep the information simple, show off your worldly travels, list your favorites, and add a fun bar graph.

I love the dark background with the lighter accents. The large world map in the center is also a fun addition.

This is a fun way to show off your family travels with the larger map section.

I love adding fun graphics to show off your highlights. Don't forget about your pets, and add a fun "Year in Numbers" section.

This sweet customer had triplets shortly before Christmas. She wanted to show off her new babies, so we added three photos with a very short description for each of them.

Those are just a few variations of the same design. There are so many options available, simply message me for details. You can see additional versions here:


Tip #2: Plan & Order Early!

Whether you're ordering for Christmas cards, or for any type of party, it will make everything less stressful if you plan ahead of time, and order early! Now, this doesn't mean that the designer won't be able to help you, if the party is next week, and you need the invitation yesterday, but it is going to be a lot less stress for both you and the designer if you plan ahead.

While party invitations are a little more time sensitive, if you're late to the game ordering your holiday cards, it's okay! I feel like the holidays extend through January, and no one will judge you if they don't receive your card prior to Christmas. If you're really late, change it to a New Years' card. Those, in my opinion, are acceptable through March. Your friends and family just want to see your pictures and what you have been up to. They don't care when they get it. So, take a breath, it will all be okay.

If you have all the information that you'd like on the card, but you are just waiting for pictures, ORDER! Adding photos and making minor changes are easy. Those take about 2 minutes (or a little more! ;) But for me, the process that takes the longest is making sure I can fit the information you send into the design.

Also, pay attention to the turn-around times. At least for me different designs will have different turn-around times. Party invitations are typically up to 2 business days, but some of my holiday cards can take up to 3-5 business days. If that does not fit in your timeline, you can always email the designer and ask if they can rush an order, or, as much as I hate to say this, look for another design. Pay attention also to their "business hours". For example, my hours are M-Sat, which means I do not work on Sundays. So if you order on Saturday, 3 business days would put you to Wednesday at the earliest..

If you ever have questions about turn-around time, just ask the designer! Remember, the Holiday Season is going to be very busy for designers, and everyone needs their designs back right now! Turn-around times may go up during the busy time of year, or designers may close their shops to get caught up. Planning and ordering early will make it so you can worry about the rest of the things that come up around the holidays!

And, for all your early birds, if you order between now and 10/31, you can receive 25% off your purchase by using coupon code: EarlyEarly25

Tip #2: Plan & Order Early!
Plan and order your Holiday Cards EARLY! Even if you don't have ALL the information, or photos, sending what you do have will speed up the process and make it less stressful all around!


Tip #1: Bleed & Trim

What is bleed and trim, and why is it important?
(If you want to skip all the words to the end for the actual tip, that's just fine too!)

One of the biggest issues I have run into over the past 2 years of having my Etsy Shop, is not knowing before I start designing what the print guidelines will be. It can be pretty frustrating on both ends to go and upload to the digital file to the printer, only to learn that they require bleed, or some other special guideline!

Now you may hear this often, but not know what it is. In fact, I didn't know what it was for a long time. So here is a good definition of what it is:
Bleed is the industry term for any color or image that goes right to the edge of the paper. What actually happens is that the picture or other graphic extends 1/8" (.125") beyond the edge of the page and that excess image or color is then cut off as a part of the bindery or finishing process.
Is your head spinning? Simply put, if you want a 5x7 card, but your printer requires 1/8" bleed, I would add 1/8" to each side, extend the main background to cover it, and send you a file that is actually 5.25x7.25.

Most place also have a "safety", which means any text or image needs to be another 1/8"-1/4" inside the original size. This will ensure that no important information will get cut off.

Still not sure what I'm talking about? Let's take the file below. The dark grey is just the background of my workspace and is irrelevant here. The RED line shows the size that the file will be cut to. If this is for a regular 5x7 file, the space inside the RED will be 5x7.

You can see that the white extends a little beyond the RED. That is the bleed. Again, no important information will be in that section. Additionally, everything inside the BLUE line is in the Safety zone. If something happens to get between the BLUE and RED line, there is a chance that it could be trimmed off. So keep it safe inside the blue.

Now, you may be thinking, "Why don't you always include bleed in the file?" Well, the reason I don't is because not all printers have the same bleed guidelines. Some places will take a regular 5x7 just fine, while others, like Costco, want it to be 5.25x7.25, white VistaPrint wants it to be 185mm X 120mm, or 7.28x4.72.

But they are close enough, right?

Mmm, well if you want some of your holiday card to be cut off, then yes. Take a look at this next image. The holiday card is a regular 5x7. I placed it behind the guides shown above (which is actually the VistaPrint 5x7 card)

You can see that first, my design does not fill the width of the canvas, and second, the white border is right on the edge of the safety zone. It may seem like a simple thing to fix it at this point, and I could easily shrink the main design and just add more of the background color to fill the edges, but that would leave a good inch or so of just background on each side. To make it look good, I would stretch the design, which results in having to re-do the type. Not always an easy task!

So why do you need to remember all this? Well, you don't need to remember all the details, just remember this...
Tip #1:
It is VERY important to let your designer know if where you are printing will require bleed. If you aren't sure, that's okay, but still tell your designer where you are planning on printing so that we can search their website and see. For some reason, it can be really hard to find sometimes, but as long as I know WHERE you are printing, I'm more than happy to research it. It's easier for me to do that before the design has been customized, than to change it after to fit the guidelines.