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Tips: Holiday Photo Cards

It is already that time again — time for holiday cards!  One of my favorite things about the holidays is making our annual Pawliday Card!  I greatly enjoy making images tangible.  That is why I print my images; make photo books; and get images framed and on our walls!  It brings so much joy and makes wonderful family heirlooms and keepsakes!

Below I share some tips on making a photo holiday card.

1. Aesthetic: Decide on your aesthetic or theme of your holiday card.  Before I even select images for our holiday card and look at possible card designs, I decide on an aesthetic or theme that I would like to convey, and keep this theme in mind when selecting images and the final card design.  My aesthetic is generally simple and clean, highlighting the images.

2. Images: Select the images that you would like to include on your holiday card.  Next, I begin with the images I want to include on the front and back of the holiday card.  I go through my images from the year and select the images that I would like to include on the holiday card.    It is important to make sure these images are of high quality in order best showcase your photographs on the card.  Also, it is important to keep in mind the best crop to present each image and how the images collectively look together.

3. Design: Select a couple of design options that works well with your overall aesthetic and images you have selected.  I typically look at card designs at Artifact Uprising, Minted, and Pinhole Press.  (This year, we went with Artifact Uprising for our Pawliday card).  I spend time looking at these sites and gathering the possible designs that will work well with my images and aesthetic.  After narrowing down the card design options, I show the possible designs to Doug and get his input and then together we settle on two to three possible design options.  I like to have heavy matte card stock for my holiday card.  Thus, I use companies that offer this option.

4. Mock-Up: Create mock-ups of the possible design options.  After selecting the designs, I put together mock-ups whereby I make the final selection of the images and this provides a good way to visually see how the card would look.  Then, I show the mock-ups to Doug and we settle on a design.  By the end of the mock-up process, it is usually pretty evident which images, text, and design will collectively work the best together.

5. Final Design Selection: After letting some time pass, a week or two, I go back to my final design option and make sure I am happy with it.

6. Proofing: Once the images and final design is selected, I then show the final holiday card to Doug for final revisions and proofing of text, etc.

7. Stamp: We also use a custom photo stamp on the envelopes of our holiday card.  This typically includes an image appearing on our holiday card.

8. Seal: We also use a custom photo seal on our holiday cards.  This usually matches the custom stamp.

9. Return Address Label: We use a simple return address label for our holiday cards.

10. Timing: It usually takes me about a month to complete the above process.  It strive to get my orders in by the beginning of November to offer ample time to address and send out our Pawliday card, and address any printing issues, if need be!

I hope that these tips help you in creating a photo holiday card that you love!

Shown below is our Pawliday card from last year.

Happy Holiday Photo Card Making!


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