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What’s Next: How to Create a Festive Holiday Care for Your Business

This is a great suggestion from Rachelle Harding because in just 16 weeks, the holidays of December will be upon us. When your business sends out holiday greeting cards to clients and maybe even prospects, it helps create a little bit of a relationship.

It helps differentiate your company from those that ignore the holidays. And companies of every size need a competitive edge to survive in these challenging economic times.

The current trend is to be as politically correct as possible and create a generic holiday card that will communicate a message that encourages the recipient to have a happy whatever it is that they wish to celebrate at the end of the year.

If your business serves a diverse audience, then this option may be the best way to go. You never know who will take offense to what. However, one of the benefits of direct response marketing is knowing precisely who you are addressing. So if you are confident that you know which holiday is being celebrated by whom, feel free to send a card that is holiday specific.

Some of the generic wishes that can be found on commercially available cards include:

  • Season’s Greetings
  • Happy Holidays
  • Holiday Greetings

Another way people attempt to “play it safe” is by bypassing the holidays of December and getting right to New Years. For example:

  • May the New Year bring you much happiness.
  • Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year

And still others send out a sentiment that is positive, but cannot be associated with any particular occasion:

  • May peace, love and prosperity follow you always and forever.
  • Best wishes and our sincere thanks for your loyalty and good will throughout the year.

When it comes to the visuals that accompany these middle-of-the-road sentiments, once again the trends are moving in the direction of the generic snow scene.

Most of the formerly popular images such as a cherubic Santa Clause, or prancing reindeer, or nativity scenes have been deemed inappropriate in today’s climate of keeping business and religion in separate compartments.

At the same time there will be a dearth of dreidels and an embargo on menorahs to play fair and keep the halls un-decked.

So what then is the subject of the politically correct, yet hip and trendy holiday greeting card? Let’s take a peek at some of the cards designers themselves are designing for their own use.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant Art, Los Angeles). Known for his controversial Obama Hope poster, Fairey is a master at integrating his Obey brand into all his visual material, including this holiday greeting.

Steven Guarnaccia

Steven Guarnaccia (chair, Illustration at Parsons the New School for Design, New York). Using state-of-the-art paper engineering, Guarnaccia’s cutouts of Santa and Frosty are unconventionally conventional.

Peter Sis
Peter Sis (illustrator, New York). Sis, known for his award-winning children’s books, issues a holiday card every year, usually a sweet scene in his signature pointillist style.

R.O.Blechman
R.O. Blechman (illustrator, Ancram, N.Y.). Recipients have looked forward to Blechman’s cards for more than 4 decades. His images are often warm and witty, if also a little abstract.

And from across the pond…from the pages of D&AD
A line of Greetings Cards created for the Design Museum. As guardians of good design, it was essential for this organization to offer patrons something that would be innovative and tastful. This line was versatile thanks to the use of stickers that could be applied to the appropriate card.

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And this nifty dual-purpose creation…

Turner Duckworth Holiday Card 2009
With studios in London and in San Francisco the firm wanted a festive image that could be shared with friends and clients. The holiday card depicts both the London and San Francisco skylines. The design captures the weather and cheer of the season, from London’s snow covered buildings to a starry night in San Francisco.
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