Happy New Year’s Eve! With the holiday hubbub beginning to die down, I finally found some time to share this year’s Christmas card. For the past 3 years I’ve designed an infographic instead of writing a family update letter. I’ve found this an easier way to tell friends and family what we’ve been up to and it’s (so far) been a fun creative exercise.
I’ve found it works well to put our Christmas greeting on the front and the infographic on the back.
To start, I find a picture of my husband and I from the year. If I’m lucky, I have more than one to choose from, but with me behind the camera often, it’s hard to catch a good shot of us together! This year I asked my cousin to take one at Thanksgiving for us.
Next, I downloaded some Christmas-y icons from Creative Market. If you subscribe, they send free downloads (vector graphics, fonts, etc) every week. I think the font I used is from there as well.
To make the graphics & greeting stand out just a tad more, I added a subtle gradient to the image (transparent > less transparent black) top to bottom.
Now onto the infographic!
This is the more complicated part. To get started, I pull out my calendar from the whole year and write down important events or activities that I think are significant. This usually involves Netflix, Google Calendar pulled up on my phone, and a fresh page in my ideas notebook.
First I jot down everything: meetings we went to at church (showing how we were involved this year), concerts we attended, trips we took, and regularly scheduled events like weekly game nights with our friends and book club.
Next, I look at the list and try to sort the items. I like including a map of where we traveled, so I know that’s how I’ll represent our trips. But then I decide what should be shown as an icon, what should stay in a list, and how to balance stuff about me, stuff about my husband, and stuff about the two of us. If I’m stuck, I look at my previous years and at Pinterest for ideas.
This year, I thought it would be cool to include a short list of the books I read. I’ve been reading a lot more again, partially because of book club, and enjoyed a lot of our picks this year. Since Dan isn’t in my book club, though, I needed to find something else to balance out that section. His idea was to list his favorite artists from the year since he has been listening to a lot of new music.
Another complication is how to list our regular activities, especially since we do some of them together, but not all. Another of my cousins took a cute photo of us at an apple orchard this Fall that I didn’t think would be good for the front of the card, but might be cute on the back. I decided to make a cheesy heart around it, use it as the space to share how many years we’ve been married, and also as a separation for our activities. Now I had an easy way to distinguish them: Dan’s activities next to Dan, mine next to me.
Here’s how the whole thing ended up:
Once the organization is done, it’s just down to fiddling with fonts & styles. I like to stick with red & green for Christmas and one fancy font, one basic.
So, that’s how I design my annual Christmas cards — hopefully with enough time to get them printed & mailed out before the 25th 😉
Do you send holiday cards every year? If so, I’d love to hear how you make time for them!