Every year when it comes time to make the holiday card, whether for business or personal, I struggle to come up with fresh ideas that top previous years’ efforts. Invariably it’s the shoemaker’s kid who goes without shoes…that was me growing up as the shoemaker’s kid, and it’s still me as a designer, generating fresh ideas for clients year after year. No matter how much design and printing styles have morphed over the 17 decades since Christmas cards were first exchanged in London in 1843, much about the sentiments and adornments remain virtually unchanged.
Christmas cards came to Americans in 1874 thanks to Louis Prang, a Boston printer, illustrator, “father of American greeting cards” and namesake of the Louie Awards. Prang first offered Christmas cards as a commercial product in England in 1873. His exquisite chromolithography full color illustrations and printing set the industry standard for mass produced color prints displaying small animals, butterflies and flora among the popular subjects. By the next decade Prang produced designs for greeting cards representing all the major holidays.
Many of the holiday cards from the Victorian era were derived from nature. In addition to a folding greeting card, postcards and bookmarks were popular holiday greeting sizes.
This year’s inspiration for my greetings comes, not just in the form a greeting card, but in a practical keepsake that is multi-functional. My obsession with bookmarks stems from the fact that I haven’t give up on the printed word yet. I got the Kindle as a gift, and it was a handy gadget to carry around while traveling, provided it had no technical issues. There were issues, and I spent needless vacation hours resolving them, finally exchanging my Kindle for a new one. Since then, we’ve opted for an iPad, but I don’t use either the Kindle or the iPad as a replacement for books or magazine. No thank you, I’ll keep my print editions. Magazines just aren’t the same on a Kindle.
Nearly every print edition of a book requires a bookmark as a placeholder, and I may be reading or perusing a dozen books at once. Since I know there are many others like myself who find their electronic gadgets otherwise indispensable, but aren’t crazy about curling up with their iPad, I figure everyone needs a bookmark. So instead of gift tags, which are typically too small for the names that need to fit onto it, I’m using bookmarks, and I’ll be sending them or something akin to them this year.
Oak Creek Printworks can print bookmarks to double-duty as cards or gift tags. Click here to link to Custom Printing. We print in the following formats. Measurements indicate trim size: Gift cards – 3.25 x 2.25 inches, A2 note cards – 4.25 x 5.5 inches, A6 greeting cards – 4.625 x 6.25 inches, A7 greeting cards – 5 x 7 inches.