Yes - with Christmas just over, you start hearing the Chinese New Year jingles around in town. While sitting at Starbucks, walking around Orchard Road, I'm constantly reminded that the festive is nearing (one month more actually). It's also a reminder, from a business point of view, to get our greeting cards and ang-pao prints ready to deliver. Printing a personal greeting card always mean so much more than an electronic card. It gets opened and read, and not just trashed or categorised as SPAM by Gmail.
And there is an unimaginable amount of variations that nowadays, we are both excited and emphatic with our clients on the numerous things they have to decide just to get a greeting out to their B2B client:
Unlike the paper used for magazines and books, greeting cards tend to attract a greater variety of paper types because of their smaller quantity and size -- hence more cost effective to be creative. There's a huge array of paper colours, with textures ranging from smooth and shiny to cotton and rustic. Papers are often tree-free, recycled and post-consumer materials, or in mills that use alternate energy sources. This way, every card gets a green mark to make the person on the receiving end know that you are environmentally friendly. A brownie point earned.
Just like how we add orange-peel or UV highlighting for books and magazines, creatives have also used different techniques such as letter pressing, foil, offset, embossing and custom die-cut shapes.
Using a polymer-plate, letter-press printing involves pressing the plate into the paper with ink, leaving an inked impression and giving dimension and texture to the design.
Another common way, to add variety, is the die-cutting. Circles, rounded corners, stars, quatrefoils, peace signs... If your dream card has a shape other than rectangle or square, it will be die-cut. We have done a number of different shapes -- all giving the card a personalised touch (unlike the usual rectangular paper-shapes).
And another great way of designing greeting cards, without spending too much money and time on illustrations and images, is to play with typography. Websites such as typekit.com allows Adobe Creative Cloud users to download and use fonts very easily (make sure you've paid for the right license uses) and you can even use the preview function to preview the font with the text you want to use it for. Playing with typography has become a very clean yet creative way to attract attention to the right content on the card.
Another way to play with design is to use photographs. Photos and images speak a thousand words still. Choosing the right photograph, tells the brand story and how it engages its customers. This gives a strong impression on what the brand is about, giving the card a unique personality -- importantly, communicating the brand to the one reading.
There are lots to play around with -- and if you are lost for whatever reason, give us a shout and know that we are here to help.