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Quantity Produced


Production Cost

Production Time

3 – 5 Days

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

5 in × 7 in

Page Count

Paper Stock

Strathmore Bristol Vellum (sold in pads as an art paper)

Number of Colors





Umbra (manipulated)
Hoefler Text Swash Italic


By mid-January there can be a moment of Holiday-Card-Graphic-Cleverness Fatigue induced by the abundance of graphic designers who take this time to produce something beautiful and/or clever. And it’s almost February and we still have a handful or less of holiday cards to publish here on FPO. But why stop when you have beauties like this that not only is visually clever but also is cleverly produced? I first saw Carrie Hamilton’s Holiday card on Felt & Wire and I immediately asked Carrie to also show her project here. At Felt & Wire she offered some insight into how the card came to be.

The theme for my studio’s holiday cards is usually the date of the coming year. It’s culturally inclusive, and because it consists of a maximum of four characters, it allows me to explore a wide range of typographic solutions. 2010 in roman numerals translates to MMX, a configuration of characters so sexy, it practically designs itself.

While jotting down the phrase on my to-do list, “MMX for XMAS,” I noted that the MX could be cut out of a surface and made to read as XM when flipped over, thus creating a dual-purpose greeting. The idea seemed straightforward enough, but the execution was a mystery. I couldn’t justify the expense of die cutting for a self-promotional piece with such a limited life.

The intensity of the laser can be adjusted to allow for etching — that is, when the laser cuts into the surface of the paper but does not penetrate all the way through — or engraving, when the laser passes back and forth over the material to render a solid form.

The effect is stunning and the idea so jealousy-inducing. Plus, it didn’t break the bank.

Best of all, laser cutting is priced according to the time it takes for the laser to cut the design into the paper, and some laser cutting services require no minimum order. It’s an ideal medium when you want to produce something truly special in a short run.

Kismet Holiday Card --- Kismet Holiday Card --- Kismet Holiday Card

Photographs by Joe McGrath


Recent Posts



Kismet Holiday Card


Production Method



Carrie Hamilton, Kismet Design Studio




This post was published in the original layout of FPO so all images are smaller. Project descriptions as well as production lessons are quoted in the main content area.

Post Author


Author Picture

Armin Vit

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

January 27, 2010


Filed Under

Promotional Cards


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

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.

products we sell

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.


Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.

The End