Unveiling Our 2011 Christmas Cards!

by ilene on December 19, 2011 · 12 comments

in christmas, holidays, stationary

Ever since I was little, I loved writing and sending Christmas cards!!! I was that weird child in high school that was handing out Christmas cards to my friends, even though I rarely got one in return at that age. In college, I looked forward to writing Christmas cards, it meant putting off studying for finals. Some ambitious years, I would make the cards from scratch which was always a lot of work. The best years were if I had thought ahead the year before and had a stash of the fancy expensive holiday cards that went clearance the day after Christmas to send out the following year. Nowadays, I love getting the photo cards from friends with kids. They are just so darn cute! Those photo cards are the best! Checking my mail box in December is the highlight of my day, its always a fun surprise to see which adorable family portraits will be peeking out from the pile of bills. If you send us a Christmas card, you should know that they are proudly displayed all around our house, sometimes until February!

One of the best parts about getting married is getting to send out joint Christmas cards with Jeff. Of course, Jeff has no part in the design, writing or sending of the cards. I’m not even sure if he is aware I take on this undertaking every year, but I love that we can send out cards to our friends and family together as a couple. As a graphic designer, I want to design our cards myself and coming up with an unique design for our holiday cards is a fun challenge. I feel that the design of the card has to perfectly encapsulate our past year. I start dreaming up what I want to design in October! Last year was the year we got married, so it was a no brainer to send out cards with us in our wedding attire. We used these beach photos taken by the talented Caroline Tran on the front and back of the cards:

(sorry, I whited out our last names) I loved how these turned out and we got tons of compliments on them. Some of my friends still have these hanging on their fridge a whole year later! (and I am secretly giddy when I see them displayed!)

This year, I was racking my brain to come up with a design that described our past year. Since the highlight of 2011 was our big move out west, I came up with a San Francisco design, inspired by the beautiful city skyline that we see out our living room window every night:

The view out our window is one of favorite things about our apartment. Whenever I look outside, I am so happy to be living in this great city!!

This is the Christmas card design that I came up with for this year:

I love that the skyline on the front of the card incorporates a lot of the things that I love about San Francisco: the Golden Gate bridge (the most recognizable and photographed bridge in the world), the ferry building (where we go every Saturday morning to buy fruits and vegetables), Coit Tower, Lombard Street, cable cars, the TransAmerica building and it even has Jeff’s office building in there. And of course, I added our two bicycles, Jeff’s mountain bike and my beach cruiser, which has become our logo. (Read about our bicycle logo from our wedding here) It seemed fitting to include our bikes with the San Francisco landscape since this was our new adopted city. On the backside of the card, I included a recent photo of us, space to write a short message and our new address (whited out for privacy) so that our friends have that information.

I sent out the files to be printed at Vistaprint.com, where you can upload your own custom design. Always always search for an online coupon code if you are using Vistaprint, you can save up to 20%! I ordered 100 4″x8″ cards. I splurged on getting color on the back side and I also splurged on linen paper this year instead of using their usual glossy or matte paper. They toss in free envelopes and a magazine subscription (random!!) With shipping, the total came out to $60 for 100 cards. Add on postage and each card comes out to about $1 each to send.

I’m really happy with how the cards turned out! I’m so glad I went with the linen paper, too! The linen texture added a more sophisticated feel:

I like writing a short note to the recipient, even if its just two or three sentences, because it adds a more personal touch:

If you are one of our friends reading this post and didn’t get a Christmas card from us- SORRY!!!! We ran out!!! I hope you aren’t mad! Double apologies if you sent us a card and didnt get one in return! I’m embarrassed! Next year, I’m going to order twice as many! Since we have a limited supply of cards, its always hard cutting down our list of recipients! I went down our wedding guest list and cut out all of Jeff’s single male friends (who most likely would rip open the envelope and then throw the card away), international friends, anyone who has moved recently and I don’t have their address or anyone who we haven’t talked to in over a year. And we still ran out of cards!! SORRY!!! Please forgive us!!! *sheepish*

One hundred Christmas cards, all packaged and ready to mail out!

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1 cravesadventure December 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm


2 Ryan December 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Super awesome cards! I don’t expect to receive one this year because I forgot to give Jeff are new address in Chicago but well done non-the-less! (I virtually except this as our card πŸ˜‰

3 Anonymous December 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

LOVED them! So excited I got one! πŸ™‚

4 I'm Feelin' Crafty December 27, 2011 at 2:55 am

These are great! I have used vistaprint for years!! Last year I did a back and front one, but for some reason the back was upside down. I guess I did something wrong, but you couldn’t tell in the proof. anyway, they reprinted and sent a whole stack of new ones for no additional cost, even though it was totoally my mistake! Your graphics are just beautiful! Merry Christmas. what program do you use? My husband and I are getting more and more into graphic design, but don’t know which program would be the best to learn more with….

5 ilene December 27, 2011 at 3:13 am

Hi I’m Feelin’ Crafty! I love vistaprint! They DO have great service! For most of my design work, I use a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator. For print work like these greeting cards, I usually do most of it in Illustrator, especially because I wanted to draw most of them in vector format.

6 I'm Feelin' Crafty December 28, 2011 at 4:26 am

Thank you! Illustrator was what I was thinking about. You’re very talented and your cards are just beautiful!

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