For many people, a Christmas card signals the start of the festive season. Such an important moment warrants a card that has been handcrafted with the same attention to detail and thoughtfulness that you put into the writing of it.
Designed in-house and handcrafted by our own artisans, our cards embark on an incredible journey from idea to envelope. From drawing motifs that are both traditional and modern, to hand mixing each individual ink colour, few understand this journey better than our design team. We sat down to find out the inside scoop on this year’s new festive stationery designs.
“We always like to surprise people with something that is a little bit…out of the ordinary. This season we have introduced vibrant new colours that do not necessarily reflect traditional festive colours. Our Christmas baubles were actually inspired by the graphic shapes and opulent designs found in Turkish and Moroccan ceramic tiles, as were the colours.”
For those who prefer things a bit more minimalist, this season also introduces a sophisticated, understated aesthetic in the form of our Snow Flurry card, which uses a blind embossing technique to stamp intricate snowflake silhouettes onto our iconic White Wove card.
With such a rich stationery heritage (128 years to be precise) we were curious as to how the design team chose to incorporate these traditional designs.
“It is truly wonderful to have an extensive archive to peruse for inspiration. We try to keep the essence of the original design and modernise it, whether this means updating the lettering style or the colour palette.”
Meticulously considered, all of the colours used in our cards have to be hand mixed in our workshops and then tweaked until the perfect hue is achieved. But that is only the beginning. Copperplate engraving allows only one ink to be printed at a time so colours have to applied in puzzle-like pieces layer by layer until all of the elements are in place.
“The Following Yonder Star card is especially difficult to print due to the number of colours used and the intricacy of the gold engraving. These fine lines cover such a large surface that it really pushes the printing press to its limits.”
“We try to capture the magic of the season by combining traditional techniques with new ideas and designs. They have a certain cleanness and crispness, a design aesthetic that is decidedly Smythson.”