Thursday, August 26, 2010


Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 10 years then you know digital cards have a HUGE presence when it comes to invitations, thank you notes, and of course holiday cards. I'll admit there are a lot of great websites out there offering some beautiful designs and options. Hands down digital is obviously a less expensive option leaving a lot of potential clients going that route instead of custom. I was trying to think of a way to offer a more budget friendly approach to custom invitations and holiday cards. What I realized was "why does it have to be one or the other, why can't it be both?" Last year was the first year I invested in a digital photo printer and haven't looked back since.

If you know me then you know I HATE clutter and don't save anything but I do SAVE holiday cards. I LOVE the day after Thanksgiving, because I spend the next 4 weeks waiting for the mail to see everyone's cards, hanging each of them up on our slider. I think the most important thing about a holiday card is the "thought." Whether you send a photo card, regular card, fancy or simple someone thought enough of you and your family to send you a holiday wish. When I have Christmas dinner the first thing everyone does is look at the slider to see how everyone's kids have grown or who's families have expanded and I do the same when visiting others. If you drive by my house on December 26th you will see our tree in the driveway, if you came in the front door you would think Christmas never happened but if you go a few more feet to my slider you would see all the holiday cards still up......I keep them up until New Years Day when I carefully pack up all the current memories and look forward to next years.

Four years ago Annette was the first person I ever designed a custom holiday card for aside from myself, she believed in my talent long before I ever could. Not only has she been one of my biggest supporters but she has also been my very best friend since grade school. I remember clearly the first card I designed for Annette, I told her to send me a few of her favorite photos she would like to use....she sent me 15....and every year that number increases! She had taken photo's of Olivia in a tutu sitting on the brass ducks in Boston. Back then I was only offering red folded cards with black ink. She had extra tulle from her tutu so I used it as a wrap under the photo. The interior card had a printed message with two glittered stars....this card holds a lot of memories and it's nice to see how far my design abilities have come.

Annette's Christmas card from last year is the perfect way for me to show everyone how you can have your custom holiday card and still pay the mortgage. If you're someone that sends out a lot of holiday cards 50+ then doing 100% custom and getting everything on your wish list might be a challenge. What I did for Annette as well as many of my clients last year was we came up with a custom holiday card design using cardstocks, glitter ect.. but then I took that design and converted into a digital design. This approach is also nice because it allows you to use more photos.

Annette's custom holiday card was a 7x5 folded card in aquamarine that has a slight shimmer, the band was dahlia which perfectly matched the coral in both the kids outfits. For the interior of the card her message was printed on white linen, we added a sand dollar printed in coral then finished it with clear glitter. By using a folded card she was able to add another photo on the inside flap, for the envelope she went with the aquamarine.

When going the custom route for invitations or holiday cards if you are layering card stocks assembly will be necessary. I offer the option for DIY assembly or I can do your assembly. I tell everyone the same thing, assembly is NOT HARD its just time consuming.
Next up was the digital design, this was perfect for Annette because she had a lot of great photos of her kids and was now able to use a few more of her favorites. I kept the color scheme the same and added some snowflakes to the background. By doing part custom part digital Annette was able to stay on budget and still have a custom holiday card which made her happy as well as her husband Paul happy:)

 Digital has come in very handy with regards to holiday cards but it has also been a nice option to compliment party invitations. I have found that someone who has just ordered custom party invitations will also need thank you notes too. Offering custom digital thank you notes has become very popular. Clients often have fabulous photos from the party and it's nice to share some of those memories with those who attended.

For the Gorman Carnival I designed their digital thank you note using all the same colors and fonts from their original party invitation. Krista had sent me a few different photos but in the end the family photo looked the best, we finished it up with a custom message from the family to all of their guests.

In my previous blog you read all about Francesca's First Birthday, you can even see the sample of her digital thank you note. What I did not know at the time was that Nadia had hired professional photographer Rachel Kate. Once I saw the photos there were so many incredible shots I decided to make some design changes to her original digital thank you note. Hands down Francesca holding the balloons is just too cute but equally as cute were those bloomer pants that said her name. Nadia's photographer Rachel had suggest that we put it on the back as a button, which got me thinking, because her name was written on the bum why not use it on the front instead of her name.......LOVE IT! There were so many incredible photos I highly suggest that you check out more of Rachel's work at you will not be disappointed.

Whether you're interested in Digital, Custom or both please feel free email me with any questions you may have about the process or pricing......and NO, September is not to early to start planning your holiday card!!!!!!!


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