I told myself that this year I will stay ahead of the holiday rush! I want to buy thoughtful gifts, hang the stockings with care (i.e. buy the proper 3M hooks) and maybe even elevate my go-to rice krispie treats. My first tackle, though? Updating my holiday card address list! Getting properly festive is important to me, but as a stationer I truly love getting and giving holiday cards!
Let me share our best practices for planning your holiday cards—from your family photo to the card design, where to begin and what to consider. And as a bit of encouragement, all holiday card orders placed before November 8 will receive free machine calligraphy! (No more hand addressing those envelopes!)
Consideration 1: Do you have a specific photo in mind?
We often get the question, “Which comes first, the card design or the photo?” Like the chicken and the egg parable, it really depends.
Sometimes the photo can inspire the design. For example, if your family has been photographed on a white/studio background, we have a few cards in our collection that are perfect for this type of shot! Because of the neutral surrounding, we can illustrate or wrap text around the photos.
The clothing in this photo inspired the design and message of this custom letterpress holiday card! May your holiday be fairy and bright.
Consideration 2: Have you captured key family moments in 2019 that you want to highlight?
It’s not necessary to have professional photos for clever holiday card designs, especially with today’s iPhone camera. Look through your photo reel now and think about the following questions.
Did you go on any vacations?
We love working with that classic family beach shot, whether you are posing in the sand or in the waves. Take a look at this example in our collection that plays off the vacation theme!
We can also design custom holiday travel cards based on your personal adventure and showcase all you saw! The card below highlights the families Egyptian exploration!
Did someone graduate? Learn to ride a bike? Go to prom?
Our Polaroid Express holiday card and the popular Our Year-In-An-Instant card are great ways to show updates about your family in a visual way. We’ll also do slight retouching on photos to ensure that you look your best in the mail!
Do you have any other announcements to make? Wedding? Baby? New Address?
Think about sending your baby announcement around the holiday to share your greatest gift of the season!
We also have elegant wedding holiday cards in our collection to showcase your newlywed-ness! If you go the custom route our designers can also incorporate the colors and overall aesthetic of your wedding into the envelope liner and card!
Show off your new home and share your new address! Send it early so you don’t miss out on the holiday mail! Perhaps a sketch of your home, a porch-pose to show your new numbers or a festive front door (that actually opens)!
Did you pick up a new hobby or want to share some hometown pride?
A St. Louis favorite in our collection this year is for all the Blues fans out there. Wishing you a GLORIAs holiday!
Consideration 3: Do you have an idea for a photo or a specific concept for a card in mind?
If you do not have a photo in mind, do not fret! Many of our customers select the design of their holiday card first. Then, they take the card design to their photographer.
If you prefer a professional photoshoot over your iPhone options, there are other considerations/ideas that you can take to your photographer!
Location for photo: indoors or outdoors?
For weather and timeline purposes, we recommend taking holiday family portraits in October. We love working with photos of families in parks, and classic fall fashions really do work well in winter-centric photos.
Many of our clients prefer to show their family in their home! Think kids cuddled on the bed or a classic fireplace gathering (it’s easier to pull out those stockings in fall versus the tree!). Holiday cards are also perfect to show your updated house renovation. In the example below, we featured the family in their new kitchen and incorporated cooking iconography on the envelope flap.
If you do select to go the custom holiday route, we would be happy to create clever signage to hold in your family photo, whether it says “Merry Christmas from the Turners” or have your kids hold a “Naughty” or “Nice!” sign.
Theme or concept?
Not everyone is up for the unknown of this route. But we love brainstorming interesting concepts for photos and centering a design around it. Let us take the lead!
Tis the season, and we are excited to help you start your holiday card planning! Begin by browsing the sixty designs in our holiday card collection from interactive and playful to thoughtful and festive, all intended to standout! We look forward to hearing from you!