Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How the Christmas cards were made!

This year's Christmas greeting was inspired by a seasonal story commissioned from Ed Garland, and written specially for us. When he wrote it I had no idea what I would do, but the words 'kaleidoscope gloop' leapt out and, inspired by an editorial piece I'd done earlier in the year about chemistry and their symmetrical, often tiny circular forms full of detail, the answer came joyfully and easily!

I knew I also wanted to fully indulge my love of print techniques this time and was in recent receipt of a new swatch from a paper company which had the most delicious new metallics. And my ever-patient and creative printer, who can do absolutely anything you ask (after a few practices, of course) got excited about this one.

Here's the original ink artwork for the four kaleidoscopes:
Doll feet, holly, snowflakes; parcels, skulls and ooze; 
Bows and rained-on cars;
Umbrellas, clouds, windscreens and mistletoe;
and finally the tangerines, books and Christmas trees, all key elements in the story.

Here's my mockup of the how the finished card would look:
And here, looking like the most exquisite piece of jewellery, is the block for the gold foil on the bauble. I was terribly excited by this.

Foiling tests:

The cards were printed 2-colour litho (some innovation was needed to print the gold on the brown board, because of its already-high gold fleck content):

Then the baubles die-cut:

Finally the cards threaded and three different colours of Swarovski crystal stuck to each one.
Address labels were sprayed gold before printing, stuck on to three shades of sparkly envelope, then the cards hand written with a message and sent out! Oof.

And here for the print lovers is the beautiful old Heldelberg creasing the cards. That’s the multi-skilled Roger supervising (and me chopsing). Just listen to those sounds! (you might need to turn up the volume).

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