Seasonal Greeting Card Tips : Christmas

By heather at 11:04 pm on Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Date : Dec 25
Publishers start thinking about designs : June

History :

Christmas is the only religious holiday in America that is also a legal holiday. December 25 was selected as the date to observe Christmas by Pope Julius in 349 A.D. While the legend of Santa Claus dates back to the 4th-century figure of St. Nicholas, Santa Claus did not become a popular American folk hero until 1822, when Dr. Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A visit from St. Nicholas” for his children.

In 1863, cartoonist Thomas Nast used Moore’s description to draw a Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly magazine. This became the model for Santa Claus that most artists use today.

The first Christmas card was produced by London artist John Horsley in 1843, the same year that “A Christmas Carol” was written. The card, created for London businessman Henry Cole, added “Happy New Year” to its message of “Merry Christmas”.
– Greeting Card Association

Icons :

  • bobbles*
  • candles
  • candy cane*
  • carolers
  • Christmas tree*
  • elves*
  • feast (turkey, etc)
  • fireplace
  • frost
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • gingerbread man*
  • gingerbread house*
  • hockey
  • horse drawn sleighs
  • hot chocolate
  • icicles
  • Jack Frost*
  • jingle bells
  • milk & cookies
  • mittens
  • penguins
  • polar bears
  • presents*
  • Santa Claus*
  • scarves & hats
  • seals
  • skating
  • skiing
  • sleighs
  • snow
  • snow flakes
  • snow suits
  • snowboarding
  • snowman
  • snowscape
  • stockings*
  • thermos
  • toboggans
  • wrapping paper*
  • wreath

Religious Icons :

  • Note : Items from the Christmas icon list with * should NOT be used for religious Christmas cards
  • 3 kings
  • angels
  • bells
  • Bethlehem
  • choir
  • doves
  • manger
  • Mary & Jesus
  • nativity
  • praying hands
  • sheep & shepherds
  • Star of David
  • wise men

Religious Colors : earth tones
Colors : red, wine, dark greens, white, ice blue, jewel tones
Fonts : traditional, swashy, calligraphic, timeless, elegant, whimsical

Flowers :

  • Holly: Good wishes; Defense; Domestic Happiness; Foresight; Am I forgotten?; Far sightedness.
  • Amaryllis: Splendid Beauty; Beautiful but timid; Timid; Proud.
  • Mistletoe: I surmount difficulties; I want to be kissed; You are a parasite.
  • Pointsettia : meaning unknown to me
  • Star of Bethlehem: Atonement; Reconciliation.
Filed under: business of illustration

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