More and more I notice designers and firms choosing an alternate holiday in which to contact their clients. Be it the traditional December celebrations, Chinese New Year, Valentines Day or as in the case of Suka, Thanksgiving.
One thing that I had never done before, but wanted to try, was printing on clear plastic. This would allow me to play with the transparency of the inks in some new creative ways. My first idea was to design a single fold card, that when closed would read as one message and when opened revealed another message. You know, kind of like the secret decoder rings that you get in a Kracker Jack box. After tons of exploration and in taking with my creative director Brian Wong, he suggested using a colored vellum envelope and making the card more like a postcard rather than a greeting card. It took a lot of trials and errors to find the right colors that would create the “secret message” effect but still have a Thanksgiving feel to them.
When it finally came to sending the card to the printer, we wanted to do little something to make the card special, but still stay with our budget. We explored a few different printing techniques such as debossing, embossing and guilded edges but we ended up using letterpress and offset. It proved to be a nice balance between style and price. We had done pieces with offset and letterpress before, but we had never done something with registration that was this tight. The printers were confident that they could do it but I did have a bit of anxiety about the registration. I went on press for the offset and letterpress process and everything went very smoothly. One thing we learned from this experience was, if you going to print offset and letterpress in tight registration it’s better to print them as one up on a sheet, rather than two up on a sheet. Our offset printer had already run the cards as two up and so our letterpress printer tried doing the letterpress as two up, but it lead to an uneven impression and registration. This wasn’t a huge problem, but they just ran the cards as if it was a one up sheet. They split two up sheet into two separate runs.
And I am thankful for those designers who spend the time testing and exploring ideas that will translate into beautful items I want to hold in my hands and share with those around me. And if you want to share in thankfulness, email firstname.lastname@example.org and you might be able to get a card to call your own.
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UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.
Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.
Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.
Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.
Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.
Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.
Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.
Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.
The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.
The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.
Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.
Events & Judged Competitions
Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.
Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.
FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.
Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.
Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.