Behind the Design: Greeting Cards

May 22, 2018
Behind the Design: Greeting Cards

The world’s oldest known greeting card (a valentine) was made sometime in the 1400s and it’s on view at the British Museum in London, England.

And the custom of exchanging written greetings actually dates back to ancient China and Egypt.

Our Greeting Cards (which you can find at your local Purdys shop) bring that charming tradition of giving someone a handwritten note together with modern, playful, tell-it-like-it-is designs.

For now, there’s five different designs to pick from—Happy Birthday, Congrats, Just Because, “Thank yous are better with chocolate” and “Life happens, chocolate helps”—which were all done in-house by one of our talented designers, Chelsea.

After bribing Chelsea with her favourite Coffee Bean & Cocoa Nib Bar, we got her to tell us more about the design process (her dog Parker definitely helps out with it), how she got into design in the first place and what inspires her creatively.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer?

I was really fortunate to have creative classes offered at my high school and it was in those classes where I really felt like “myself”.

I spent my time in sewing, photography and art classes, and after graduating I knew I needed to continue being creative in my career. I realized graphic design was perfect for me—a way to curb my need to be creative while still keeping a foot in the corporate world.

Q: What job did you want to have when you were little?

I was convinced I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as a backup I thought I could make it as a Professional Tree Fort Designer.

Q: What’s the design process like for you?

I like to start out with some basic sketches to get an idea of layout and then sometimes I create a mood board of potential colours, patterns or graphics.

I really appreciate the physical “on paper” side of designing—it’s so easy to get lost on a computer and forget the original intent of the design.

Once I have a direction or framework, then I’ll take it to the computer and play around with fonts and colours.

For our Chocolate Survival Kit, for example, I sketched out ideas of icons to use on the packaging. Once I figured out I wanted it to look like a “first-aid kit”, I took it to the computer to play around with type and shapes.

The Greeting Cards were a fun challenge for me because while they had to be on brand, they didn’t have to be branded—so I had a lot more room to play around with the design and colours.

Q: What are some design trends you like?

Big bold colour and typography, text interacting with images, geometric patterns. Anything gold foiled, embossed or spot varnished.

Q: Have you designed greeting cards before?

Professionally, no, but personally, yes! I like to make my own cards for birthdays and Christmas, so being able to make them on a bigger scale for Purdys is very rewarding.

Q: The question every creative person loves: where do you get your inspiration from?

I grew up in BC and adore spending time in the woods, from hiking with Parker, my dog, and camping in the summer to snowshoeing in the winter. There’s something very humbling and inspiring about being in a quiet forest among 200-year-old trees.

Q: What do you do when you hit a creative block?

It took me a long time to understand that walking away and taking a breather is not a sign of weakness! When I find myself in a creative rut, I’ll put whatever project I’m working on aside and (try to) forget about it completely. A walk outside usually clears my head and gets me back in the groove.

Q: What’s something you worked on recently that you really love?

Our new Card Boxes: Best MedicineLife Happens and When Life Gives You Chocolate. They were a lot of fun to do. The concept for these was how do we celebrate the little things in life, the everyday moments, not just the big ones. So we narrowed it down from lots of funny chocolate sayings to “Life happens, chocolate helps” (which we did in a different treatment on the Greeting Cards), “Laughter may be the best medicine but sometimes you just need chocolate” and “When life gives you chocolate, eat it and tell no one”.

It was a nice challenge to incorporate different patterns into the packaging and play around with variations of purple and gold foil stamping.