Thinking of you

I finally made it to the second, full assignment, which is to “[create] a range of cards for sentiments or events that are worth of a greeting card, but are currently not catered for by card manufacturers”.

The following post will go through the points I will need to address while working through this brief.

The first thing I need to do is analyze the brief.


  • key wordssentiments, events, worthy, not catered for, obscure, commiserating, celebrating, other landmarks, might want to share are the key words for me from the brief
  • research and develop ideas – my primary research was to come up with a brainstorming of ideas of things to commemorate I felt fit the brief (focusing on the words obscure, not catered for). I came up with a relatively long list, as can be seen in the left image. My secondary research was to create another mood board on Pinterest as this was the easiest way to gather a lot of images in one place without taking up all the storage space on my WordPress blog. In my mood board, I searched for cards that I thought had a clever design, were original (to me), or obscure. I wanted to get an idea of what other people were doing and if the themes related in any way to what I had in mind. Luckily I feel like I came up with a lot of ideas that I haven’t seen elsewhere, which gives me a lot of room to play around with design ideas.
  • visualize ideas – since I already utilized a mood board in my previous step in my secondary research, I started on this step to take the ideas I felt were good (and belonged together somewhat, so I could imagine the cards were being sold together in a set) and create thumbnail images:

    Of the three series I sketched thumbnails for, I decided to go with the “Sorry I killed your pets!” one and began with an initial sketch of the goldfish card (just the inside, as that’s the only place I want an illustration):goldfish cardI then brought the sketch into Photoshop and began playing with the color scheme. My first instinct was to render it like I would a comic, but I definitely felt and noticed this would be way too much for a greeting card.

    My next idea was to render it using only a very limited color palette (1 or 2 colors, maximum).

    Goldfish Card_2                       goldfish card 1 color

    Once I felt I found the right color scheme / feel for my card set, I began working on the other sketches for the cards I wanted to complete:

After completing all the designs and finding the scheme, I brought the finished designs into InDesign, in order to work on my (very little) text. In the end, this is what I came up with. It’s very simple, but carries over my idea:






  • critique of work – The rationale behind my designs was that I wanted a very simplified look to go along with a short-and-sweet message (to give a kind of a, ripping-off-a-bandaid feel). I started with the goldfish card because it was the easiest for me to execute illustration-wise. As mentioned above, I tried a few coloring styles, but they came out looking too comic-like for my taste. I wanted to still have the feel of a simple greeting card. I then reduced my color palette drastically by using only one color for each of the cards (except for the dog, but I will touch on that).
    My main inspiration comes from my all-time favorite card, which is just a plain, white card with a simple text. Simplicity is definitely a recurring theme in my work for the time being.
    When it came to the dog card, I had to choose more than one color in order to ground my image / make it more readable. I chose grey, since I didn’t want to detract from the main color, which was the green tone.
    As for the hamster card, I am a little unhappy with the placement of the text because I wasn’t able to place it in the exact same location as in the other cards, due to readability issues. Although I do feel that this card is my favorite of the three. It took many sketches of hamsters for me to be happy with the finished product and many variations on the idea before I was satisfied with the result.

I then printed out my cards, and here were my final results:

I have to say that I feel a lot happier seeing them printed and “live”, as opposed to just the digital art. Where I had doubts about the way the cards looked in my computer screen, the printed versions really made me feel a lot better.
What I think I could have done better: I definitely could have chosen a lighter purple or maybe another muted color, such as a toned-down red or orange for the hamster card. I maybe could have abandoned my dog card idea to find another way to use just one color, in order to keep the series as similar as possible.

But overall, I’m pretty happy with my results.


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