Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Aak! More Christmas Cards!

I rarely make time to produce illustrated Christmas Cards for myself, but I've done them for others in the past. Here are two I created for The Merten Printing Company way back in the mid-nineties.

The accordian-fold reindeer card was created in 1995. Jim Borgman had been designing Merten's cards in years prior, and I really felt the pressure. Knowing I couldn't compete in execution, I went for a funny concept, and pulled it off as best I could. The words "Happy Holidays" were authentically created by carving potatoes and printing them on paper before scanning them. I had fun exploring every possible way of messing up a potato print and drawing the reindeer to correspond to each letterform. Note the nod to David Carson, who's fame was cresting at that time.

Two years later, I designed the elf card below, and wisely decided to go bolder with the color.

The elf was originally named Skippy the elf (after president, Skip Merten) to the apparent delight of the pressmen and production staff.
Skip had me change it to "Pixel" anyway. :-D

These were a lot of fun and I'm posting them as a tribute to Skip, who continually gives and gives and gives to this city and has taught me more about printing than any teacher or mentor ever could.


  1. Chuck, these are fantastic!

    The characters, type, layout and color all make for excellent designs!

    I don't know how many businesses send Christmas cards these days. I used to design them for UDF, radio stations, etc. Yet another income generator that has gone by the wayside.

  2. Show UDF, your "Christmas Is Coming" design, Daryll. You can probably reinstate the tradition with that one!

    Seriously —thanks for the kind words! I did at least 3 cards for Huffy Bicycles as well. Maybe I'll post them.

  3. These are classics! Definitely post the Huffy ones. I want to see the UDF ones as well!

    Great use of color on these.

  4. These are great, Chuck! I love how polished your work always is. I love the reindeer characters especially-I might know them.

  5. Yeah, Chuck the character development is awesome! I'd love to see more stuff from the "vault" too!