Regardless of the quality of the original artwork, if the printed version does not do it justice, the client is likely to be disappointed. A few pointers will help bring the custom greeting cards up to professional standard with effective use of photographic software.
Scanning or Photographing the Artwork
The image of the painting must be of high standard, or even the best design software can do little to make it look good. In some cases, it might be worth hiring a professional photographer. The image of the painting must be:
- In sharp focus
- Must not be distorted
- No part of the painting must be cropped or missed off
- In high definition
If the original painting is small enough (and dry), it can be scanned via the print software. It is wise to use the optimum definition setting, which will give the image the highest dots per square inch (DPI) for best detail and to show the art techniques used.
Using Photographic Software, Design Wizards & Illustrator Graphics
When the Christmas card image has been saved into my pictures, it is ready to play around with. It is wise to retain the original image in a separate file in case the alterations are not satisfactory. The following pointers need thought.
- Consider the edges of the image and where to crop. Take care not to crop too much or detail will be lost and the composition could appear unbalanced
- Subduing brash colours by toning down the colour saturation of a gaudy oil painting could give it a more understated and muted feel, which can add appeal
- By increasing the contrast, the image will often look more striking
Using Special Effects When Designing Christmas Cards
The artist does not need lots of flashy software to create effective Christmas card designs, but special features are often worth experimentation. Consider the following:
- Special effects such as fade out for the borders can be effective
- Consider using sepia tint effects to give the image an antique look
- Using functions that make the image appear as though completed on canvas or to give it a watercolour wash effect is always worth experimentation
- Soft focus will add extra appeal to Christmas cards containing animals
- Obtaining a few proofs and requesting feedback is wise prior to arranging Christmas card printing will avoid disappointments
Create Professional Christmas Cards
It is wise not to use too many fancy effects, flourishes and coloured fonts for the remainder of the card or this could deter the focus from the artwork and make the card look cheap. Fonts therefore need to be kept simple. Black, grey or silver will give a professional look. The artist’s credit should be in small print on the back with the company logo.
How to Design Christmas Cards Using Software
Effective Christmas card design results from optimum use of artwork and design software. An original painting is only as good as the image saved, so it is worth spending time getting a clear image saved. It can then be manipulated for maximum effects. Special effects such as muting the colours, fading out the borders and making the image appear as though on canvas will often serve to enhance the Christmas card image. It is always wise to seek approval before taking a trip to the Christmas card printers.