Having the ability to draw design inspiration from many sources, quickly sketch ideas, and ultimately turn those sketches into rendered graphics is so important to design strategy. As a designer, going through this process of actualizing ideas helps you filter through to the best ones. Moreover, many clients have trouble fully understanding new ideas until they are visualized. I like to work on personal design projects throughout the year to keep my visualization skills fresh, and to give me an outlet for my incessant need to create things.
As one such project, I’ve been working on designing our first ever Christmas card for a few weeks now. Just last night I completed the project by ordering a set. I thought I’d share a bit on my process for designing them, as well as our ‘rejects’ – I won’t show our final design so as to keep the surprise for those of you on the mailing list.
To start, I looked at stationary sites around the web for inspiration. I also looked through Real Simple and made a few trips to Paper Source to check out what they had to offer. The cards I loved most had interesting typography and blocky graphics.
After bookmarking a bunch of designs, I sketched out my take on some of the favorites.
Finally, I took to Illustrator to create the graphics. If you have the time, I find that a project like this is great for pushing your skills in design computer programs. Though the Adobe Creative Suite can be tough to get started with, there are lots of resources on the web – whenever I got stuck, I could Google, “How to create a clipping mask tutorial” and immediately find several helpful videos.
Here are some of our favorite designs:
And there you have it! Working on Christmas cards has inspired me that I can design our wedding invitation suite, so it’s on to the next project.
Side note: We ordered ours as postcards through Moo.com, which happens to have free shipping for orders over $35 until November 22. The process is very simple: upload your files, sign off on the proofs, then wait a few weeks for them to arrive in the mail. I can’t vouch for the postcard quality (yet) but love their services in general.