Greeting Card Design - Birthday Card for Sisters Gets a Makeover

September 14, 2016

Greeting Card Design - Birthday Card for Sisters Gets a Makeover

Well, I've finally received the latest card proofs from my printer and, for the most part, they look good. There are a handful, however, that I am not fully thrilled with. Mostly because some of the colors shifted from the ones put out by my Epson 3880 to those put out by the printer's machines. Those are easily fixed.

Of the ten that needed correction, six needed color correction and four left me wondering if I needed an entire design overhaul. After a couple of days re-visiting the cards, I decided on a design overhaul.

Why redesign cards?

 One of the important things that an artist, illustrator or designer can do is come up with definable style or brand, something that people immediately know was created by that one person. For months I have been winnowing my many different cards down to a few collections, with each collection having its own identifiable style.

When I first started Kat Mariaca Studio with the plan to specialize in cards and their associated art prints, I had a number of collections, including:

Over time, as I learned how much time and effort is needed to make each collection successful on its own merits, I decided to put Alli's Fair and Wife As on the back-burner and concentrate on my other collections. Mostly because the other collections were more complete in and of themselves.

The problem was that the It's a Noun collection really bothered me - and for the longest time I couldn't put my finger on it. Finally, it hit me.

In a World Full of Sisters - Before Image - from Kat Mariaca Studio

While my other collections were easily identifiable, It's a Noun was a hodgepodge of different styles, themes and "voices." I needed to define the collection in my own mind and then to apply that design to all the cards in the collection.

One day I had the idea for Lazy Greetings (TM), postcards. My son has long hated writing thank you cards. Because his hand writing is tiny, he feels that he has to come up with a lot to say to fill up the space offered by regular greeting cards. I suggested that he simply write bigger, but he wasn't comfortable doing that so I eventually hit upon the idea of giving him less space that he'd have to fill - postcard thank yous, congratulations, etc. cards.

As I began sketching out ideas for the Lazy Greetings (TM) postcards, a certain quirky style began to evolve. I kept at it until I was able to define a number of common elements, colors and fonts that would tie the line together and then I realized that I liked it so much that I would have to apply it to my collection of general cards, It's a Noun.

This, however, opened up a new question for me, whether I liked the name "It's a Noun" enough to keep it. When I first came up with it, I thought it was witty - you know, it covers everything "people, places & things" - but for awhile I'd been thinking that I needed a name that better described what I was doing.

Eventually, I came up with "Greeting You" because, after all, that is what my cards do, they extend a greeting of some sort. Next I began to design cards for the Greeting You collection, ones that would cover everything from birthdays to anniversaries to congratulations to just because cards. 

And then it was time to send my card designs off to the printer. And when the proofs came back, I realized that there were some cards that I had never gotten around to re-designing. Hence the end point of this post - one of those cards is a birthday (or just because) card for sisters. Further up in this post you can see the before.

Below is the after. As you can see, it now fits into my design specs for my Greeting You collection.

In a World Full of Sisters - After Image from Kat Mariaca Studio

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