Monday, July 6, 2009

Christmas In July

Last December I decided to make my own Christmas card to send out to everyone, because buying cards from the store is for suckers!

I figured that while my card was wishing everyone a happy yuletide, it might as well pull double duty and promote me and my little freelance business while it was at it. What better way to celebrate the birth of our Savior than by blatant and shameless self-promotion? So I plastered it with my logo, email and Flickr page info in an attempt to drum up some business. Too bad it didn't work. Now that I think about it, I mainly sent it to my friends and family, who don't generally need a lot of freelance work. Oh well, there's always next year...

The idea of the card was to make it look like an old-time boxing poster from the 1920s, starring Santa Claus and his made-up rival, Anti Claus. Nothing says Christmas like a card promoting two characters beating the tar out of one another!

I laid out the card and all the copy in InDesign, because I don't like working with large amounts of text in Photoshop. It's much easier to typeset and adjust text in InDesign. Writing the old timey text was fun; trying to match the archaic hyphenation and phrasing.

I then imported everything into Photoshop, where I drew and colored the characters on the graphic tablet, and added some aging effects.

I guess the aging effects were successful-- I sent a card to my boss and when he saw it he thought his wife had bent the top right corner of the card when taking it out of the envelope!

Here's the full outside and inside of the card. Note the very subtle self promotional text. You have to look carefully or you'll miss it.

Here's the original sketch of Anti Claus and Santa. The final versions are pretty much identical, other than Santa getting flopped (ouch!) so that he'd face the opposite way. I'm still not happy with the fact that Anti Claus is brandishing a crowbar. Originally I was going to have him holding a large candy cane as a weapon. That was definitely Christmassy, but it didn't seem very dangerous (unless maybe Santa is a diabetic-- a real possibility considering he's overweight). In the end the only other thing I could think of was a crowbar, so I had to go with that.


  1. I really like this one. I see you added "VS."

    Doesn't Santa have something else he should be doing on December 25th? Maybe not. Maybe he got all that rigamarole out of the way the night before.

  2. Yes, it always bugged me that I forgot to add "versus" on the original card. I didn't notice it until I'd already sent them all out. Nobody else seemed to notice or mind, but that's all I could see when I looked at it. A boxing poster needs to say "versus!"

    So I took this opportunity to fix it.

  3. brilliant! you should have your own card line for sure! i love the anti-claus! is anit-claus your own creation, or is it from something else? if it is your own, i think you could do a whole story on santa claus and anti claus.

  4. Thanks! Yeah, Anti Claus was my idea. I don't think I've ever seen anyone use that name before. I was trying to think of an idea for a card, and for some reason the boxing thing popped into my head. I wanted to come up with someone for Santa to fight, and I kept thinking I needed someone who was the opposite of him. Someone anti-Xmas. Then I noticed "Anti" and "Santa" kind of rhyme (OK, not really, but they're similar), and Anti Claus was born.

    I need to start coming up with the 2009 card now. Every year it's a photo finish to get the thing done.

  5. great works
    thanks for the comment.
    because i understand a little english.
    they was illustrations for book.


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