Developing a Greeting Card Range

FC2 birthday card

FC2 birthday card

Having had a successful greeting card range kicking around since the 90's, you might think developing another to be it’s successor would be simple. The formula is there from FC2, my very first and by far, most successful range to date. It has calligraphy with no illustration- friendly and fun messages that are easy to buy! Apart from the colours, nothing much has changed with FC2. I design the lettering by hand, sketch it out and then go over the layout I like with ink and a brush. It is foiled at the printers, so that the lettering is shiny and colourful, all done on a white card. When I designed FC2 back in 1998, to have a birthday card without pictures was unheard of. These days calligraphy & hand-lettering, or at least fonts that look like hand-lettering are everywhere- calligraphy is in vogue!

So time to do something new! I submitted my first design proposal to my publisher at the beginning of last year. At that time I imagined it having gold calligraphy on a heavily textured card, simple & elegant. I went out to see what was out there and as so often happens, the market was flooded with what I thought was a totally original idea. Back to the drawing board as they say! Taking the calligraphic element and the type header from my original designs, I moved on and came up with a variety of new design options. To show you how the final 'Kirsten Burke' cards came to life, here are pictures to show the development.

All these ideas were rejected for one reason or another, until I was looking a Pinterest board I was putting together. I noticed how eye-catching black and white stripes are against a collection of other images. Bingo! I had my new design idea and I began feverishly mocking up a collection of 14 cards. This is the amount of designs I do when submitting anything new. Having this many shows the publisher that the design works as a range, and that it works  as a birthday card as well as a 'get well' card, while still working within the design formula. It was a hit; I could tell it worked because the designs flowed. 

The size of the card is changed and the designs are tweeked

The stripe is born!

The calligraphy, image and font is embossed

After 4 months solidly working on striped cards, they are done. I am so excited about it, I really love them. Printed in vibrant, solid colours that look fabulous against the black stripes, and with the type and calligraphy embossed to give the cards a great feel too, I really think they are fabulous, but I would I suppose. I hope you like them too and I hope you will notice them in a greeting card shop near you very soon. Please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts. 

Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and enjoy your own calligraphy adventures. Until next time...

Very kind regards, Kirsten