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February 2010

Anatomy of a Greeting Card

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Oakgradcomp1 This quotation by R.W. Emerson was given to me as a starting point for a graduation card design assignment. Immediately, the concept of using an acorn and an oak tree came to me. My art directors at RSVP (a division of Sellers Publishing) liked the imagery idea. My job was to create the two main images and the calligraphy for all the text. To the left is the first sketch I sent in, prior to realizing that the Emerson text was to be placed on the card front. Click on each image to enlarge.



On the left is the photocopy image I started with for the oak tree. I wanted to create a silhouette version for a background, which I achieved by working with the scan in PhotoShop.

AcornSq copy

For the illustration on the right, working from a real acorn, I used a pointed pen with ink and a watercolor wash. When the card was printed, the border and accents on the acorn were foil stamped.


To the left, this composite of the card shows the final placement of the elements. The calligraphy is FPO, with the final lettering submitted as a separate hi res file. The printed version of the card has the tree silhouette in a satin foil.


To the right, a tip-in liner for the card (it will fold in the center) features a ghosted image of the full oak tree. A pen, ink and watercolor border of acorns travels down the right side. The card has just been printed. I'll post a photo of it when I receive samples.