A very, very brief history:

The early Chinese & ancient Egyptians were the first to dabble, by sending each other ‘tidings of good will’ on papyrus. Around the 1400’s woodcut prints were used for New Years & Valentines messages, but the first greetings cards as we know them, came after the introduction of postage stamps in 1840. Here’s the first commercial Christmas card, commissioned in London, in 1843.

Over the years at Right Angle, we’ve designed lots of greetings card ranges. Some of the most interesting have been for Paper D’Art, a publishing company specialising in innovative, unusual cards and stationery.

Let’s have a quick wander through the design process, from initial rough sketches and concepts to see how some of the finished cards turned out.

Dangle D’Art Kids:

Here’s a range of children’s ‘age’ cards we designed and illustrated for Paper D’Art. Ages were from new born to 6 years old…. the front of the cards have die cut apertures and the illustrations rotate on a fine string when the cards are opened. The age is printed on the inside of the cards.


The card range was called ‘Dangle D’Art Kids’, as well as the cards, we also designed the brand logo, together with some of their other sub-brands and indeed the ‘Paper D’Art’ company logo itself.

Cut Above:

Another successful range of cards we designed and illustrated was the ‘Cut Above’ range. Here each card has a die cut aperture on the front page, which reveals an unexpected punchline when the cards are opened.

Design Sketch… Front Cover… and Inside of the ‘Cricket’ card

Here’s a couple of the original design sketches together with how the cards turned out:

Front Cover… and Inside of the ‘Pigs Might Fly’ card

Design sketch for a ‘Cat/Fishbone’ card (finished card not shown)

Front Cover… and Inside of the ‘Diver/Shark’ card

…So, every year since year dot (or year 1843), for special occasions we’ve all been buying, writing, addressing, stamping and sending birthday cards, anniversary cards, Christmas cards, etc.

In recent years as a business, we’ve sent printed ‘charity’ Christmas cards where a proportion of the cost goes to a good cause, but a lot of the money gets lost along the way. As with everything, new technology brings with it new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things.

Last year we received our first eCards at Christmas, first thought was, ‘how rude, can’t even be bothered to pick up a pen’. Second thought… they’re cheaper, easier, better for the environment and there doesn’t seem to be many major disadvantages… bit of a ‘no brainer’ really…

This year, we’ve donated our Christmas budget to the wonderful people at the Peace Hospice peacehospicecare.org.uk and are now in the process of putting the final touches to our 2010 eCard design… Watch this space!

So… Traditional Greetings Cards versus eCards… and the Winner is?…

Well, there’s still a card shop on the corner of every High Street, Auntie Mary will always need a printed card as she hasn’t got a computer and we can’t find any evidence to tell us if the number of eCards sent last year was greater than the number of printed cards sent (probably not yet). However, something tells us, as time goes on, the eventual winner will be…

…eCards, although, having said that, looking at the some of the current eCards available, there are quite a lot of bad taste, ‘clip art’ ridden monstrosities out there… anyone know a decent designer?