Holiday cards should reflect the vibrancy and excitement of the holiday season. Everyone appreciates a card that is fun, inviting, eye-catching, and saying all the right things in the spirit of the season. A truly special holiday card requires a bit of creativity to be appealing, impactful, and heartfelt. There are specialized printing techniques available that can be used to help create elevated holiday cards that will wow friends and family. Let’s take a look at some of the print possibilities that can be applied when making personalized holiday cards.

Stamp It Up

Decorative stamps are simple yet creative design elements that can be applied when creating a holiday card. There are several different stamping techniques, including, but not limited to, rubber stamping, shadow stamping, swipe stamping, stamp layering, metallic stamping, bleach stamping, and ombre stamping. Stamping allows for the creation of beautiful designs that can add unique, creative elements to a holiday card. From intricate designs to casual artistic creations, pressing a desired stamp onto ink, then onto paper, can enhance the look of any holiday card with just a steady hand and a little effort.

Use Embossed Elements

For a touch of elegance, add an embossed element to your card. Embossing features a raised surface design that can be applied as either a subtle finishing element or as the main design feature on a card. Some common forms of embossing techniques include dry embossing, a method that produces a raised surface on paper or cardstock with the use of a stencil and an embossing stylus tool; heat embossing, a method whereby embossing powders or embossing ink are heated and melted to form a glossy, hard surface on an image when stamped; and embossing paste, a method that involves the application of embossing paste on paper or cardstock to produce a raised surface, using a stencil to create the desired design. When thinking of adding dimension, glam and texture to a card, embossing is the way to go.

Make a Statement with a Banner

The possibilities of print can be realized with a holiday card that makes a statement presented in the form of a banner card. This is a great way to personalize a card, add some character, and make it fun. Designing a banner card commonly involves applying an accordion fold to the paper or cardstock, with the sentiment or greeting draped across the full length of the card. Seems simple enough, but there is room to make the design more intricate with some personalized flair, using ribbons or die-cutting, for example, and adding sentimental elements.

Stick with a Card Niche

Knowing one’s creative strengths can lend to a specific focus when creating elevated holiday cards. Being a “jack of all trades and master of none” can result in lack-luster cards that will not be well-received. Stick with a niche that is your strong suit, which will highlight that unique element and make the holiday cards stand out among others. If humor is a strength, then that should shine through when creating the holiday card. Humor could be present in both the design element, such as a graphic picture, as well as in the greeting or stated sentiment.

Keep Color Scheme in Mind

Color is an important element in just about any print project. The right color scheme can enhance the appearance of holiday cards and make them worthy of the season they’re meant to represent. Choose colors that represent the specific holiday and ensure that the central theme is easily recognized and also appropriate for the occasion. As it relates to holiday cards, when asking the question "What is the ROI of a High-Quality Print Piece?," be mindful that something as simple as the selected color scheme could be a factor. Color embellishments and accents, along with the paper or cardstock background color(s), should all compliment each other.

There are some fun and creative ways to enhance a holiday card and make it special. The printing possibilities include the right color scheme, using decorative elements such as stamp designs and embossing techniques, adding a personal touch with a banner style card, and highlighting one’s niche strength. Creating an elevated holiday card requires some thought, planning, and a strong level of creativity that will allow for risk taking and going outside the box to create cards that are extraordinary.

If you’d like assistance with the creative process of card production, or are interested in applying printing techniques to a massive number of cards (such as your company’s holiday card project), contact the experts and Ironmark and see what we can do for you!

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Written by Samantha Pace

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