Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Card Designs

This year I received many wonderful Christmas cards from friends and family, but also a few from companies vying for my business. Sending out a card to potential customers during the holidays can be difficult, especially for a big companies who don't want to offend anyone, doesn't it seem like we get more and more PC with each passing year? But, if they are well-designed and sincere, they can play a vital role in collecting more business during the holiday season.

Here are two examples of holiday cards I recently received in the mail. Both are from companies that I am currently using, but one struck me as containing much more holiday cheer and elevated design skills than the other.

Card #1: AT&T winter special offer holiday card

The blue envelope is addressed in a font that looks like real handwriting with an actual stamp. The front of the card is colorful and includes a funny winter story (there is no mention of any particular holiday, so it can be used for anyone). The colorful snowflakes add to its whimsical nature. The back features the Hallmark logo, which makes it seem like they went to the store and picked it out themselves.

Card #2: NetFlix holiday card

Although I like the color choices (red, light blue and white as opposed to the traditional red and green), this card is boring. The sans-serif "Happy Holidays!" seems typical and not at all heartfelt. The ornaments at the top look like there was no thought whatsoever put into them. It was sent in a plain white envelope with "To our neighbor at..." printed in the center. I almost threw it away without even opening it.

Card #1 (inside)

The inside of the at&t card features a cute message in the same scripty font as on the envelope. You also receive a coupon for $200 off of a service package. This coupon matches the design theme of the card (repeating the colorful stripe and snowflakes), but also introduces at&t's signature orange color (which contrasts beautifully with the blue envelope). Overall, I think that this holiday card was well designed and perfectly thought out.

Card #2 (inside)

I am all for using strategically placed white space...but this card uses way too much of it. It is so boring I think I am going to fall asleep just looking at it. I do like the repeated ornament, but maybe they should've included instructions on how to "enjoy the gift of Netflix". I currently have a Netflix account (which I love by the way), but if I didn't, this holiday card would not do anything to make me research their company. It just looks cheap and tacky. :(

Friday, December 25, 2009


Well, I got my wish...we had a white Christmas in Fort Worth Texas! I wasn't very optimistic when only a few days ago the thermometer hit 70 degrees, but Friday brought a snow storm, and we woke up to a sparkly white blanket of snow. Yay!! Being from Michigan, it doesn't really feel like Christmas without snow, so I'm happy that we got some!

Geordi didn't know what to think...so he just ate as much snow as he could :)

We didn't get a lot of snow, but at least we got some!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! May you all have a safe and fun Holiday Season. -Holly

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Twitter Background Update

My New Twitter Page!

I finally changed my Twitter background from the simple cloud design to one that I created in Photoshop. Being a Graphic Designer, I couldn't just use the template backgrounds...that's too easy! What would that say about my creativity? Nothing, that's what it would say. ;)

I saw this tutorial on abduzeedo.com on how to create digital bokeh in Photoshop, and I adjusted it a little to make my background unique (I used Hs instead of circles). I think that it turned out really cool, and now I can say that I have a designer Twitter page!

I had to finagle the image a bit to make it fit most screen resolutions, and these are the dimentions that I came up with (with a little help from various Google searches):

Total image size: 1728px by 864px (100px per inch, optimized for web view)
Left content: starts at about 15px from the left, ends at about 260px from the left

Check it out and let me know what you think!