Christmas comes but once a year, and it’s time to spread that festive cheer. So design a card, it isn’t hard, and show them all you care.
Christmas cards have a very distinct design language and vocabulary that sees images of reindeers, trees, snow and Santa accompanied by words such as ‘joy,’ ‘peace,’ ‘merry’ and ‘happy’ topped off with a color palette of green, red and gold. But there’s no reason you can’t be creative within this framework or experimental outside of it while still expressing the sentiment of Christmas.
So no matter who the recipient is – whether it’s customers and clients or friends and family – here are 50 stunning designer Christmas cards that will have you decking the halls and singing joy to the world.
01. Use retro typography
02. Overlay a photograph
Camila Soto’s beautiful collection of greeting cards includes this warm and rustic seasonal card with the words ‘Feliz Navidad’ and a Christmas tree loosely hand-drawn over a photograph of forest ground.
03. Combine textures and vectors
Inès Lespinasse’s Christmas cards combine scanned textures with vector work and sharp angles with sweeping lines for a modern yet handcrafted feel.
04. Be inspired by your surroundings
Alaa Abuamra’s intricate design for York University is inspired by the school’s iconic architecture. Vari Hall along the bottom and reindeer antlers along the top provide a frame that is filled with Christmas motifs to convey the spirit of the holiday season.
05. Get clever
These astute Christmas cards by 1331 Design replace words in well-known festive phrases with applicable coding and fonts.
06. Personalize it
Ideas Factory sent 500 bespoke Christmas cards to its clients and personalized each card by creating a digital application that generates a unique snowflake based on the mathematical value of the recipient’s name.
07. Tell your Christmas experience title
Christmas in the southern hemisphere is a very different affair to that of Christmas in the northern hemisphere. Essie Letterpress’ card design represents a Cape Town-Christmas with a glowing sun, palm trees and waves, as well as typical South African flora and fauna.
08. Print it on wood
Printing a Christmas message on wood achieves a more natural and organic aesthetic. This card by Elly Ang for Collective 88 has a brown and grey color palette that works beautifully with wood.
09. Illustrate a Christmas carol
Erin Jang’s card illustrates the well-known carol The Twelve Days of Christmas with a fresh and playful mixture of bold and colorful typography. Everybody sing along!
10. Be graphic
Society6 features the work of lots of talented designers and Metron is no exception. This print, available on Christmas cards and other objects and fabrics, uses stylized Christmas trees and a 12-color palette to create a graphic and angular pattern.
11. Do it by hand
These cards by Laura Louise have all been hand-drawn, which has the personal touch but can be time-consuming when working with quantities. So to print in numbers, simply scan the illustration, upload it as an image and work with it on the computer.
12. Make an advent calendar
Who doesn’t love an advent calendar with a treat or surprise behind every day of December? Ian Walsh’s advent calendar card reveals a message that, letter by letter, is filled with Christmas cheer.
13. Give a card-turned-gift
Alexander Boys’ Christmas card is more than just a card; it can be folded into a three-dimensional present with a retro-style print for something a little special.
14. Create a ‘how-to’ guide
The inside of Cellule Design’s Christmas card is a map that shows recipients how to navigate Christmas as well as asking them to find hidden symbols that represent the company’s wishes for the year ahead.
15. Throwback to mid-century illustration
The simplified, geometric and folksy style of mid-century illustration has had a revival of popularity in recent years. Hey Studio uses this style to create a Christmas scene with reindeers, partridges and a field of vibrantly colored flowers.
16. Create it in real life
David Garcia and Camilo Rojas collaborated on this card for The New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. They created and photographed a Christmas scene made with paper objects, exploring how graphic design can be an interactive and three-dimensional medium.
17. Be inspired by other styles of art
Inspired by vintage signs and calligraphy chalk art, Alisara Tareekes’ Christmas card is hand-drawn then composed in Photoshop. The figure-8 flourish in the center depicts a Christmas with a placed above the scrolling ‘Merry Christmas’ text.
18. Experiment with colors
Straying from the typical Christmas color palette, Katherine Webb’s Christmas card uses pink and yellow with boxes representing ribbon-wrapped presents.
19. Get your colored pens out
Dig our your case of colored pens and be inspired by Linzie Webb’s series of cards that have fun Christmas messages in playfully drawn hand-lettering.
20. Create coloring-in cards
Like We Are Scout, let recipients participate in the creative process by making a card that they can color-in themselves. Simply create patterns and scenes with clean black outlines and the recipient can do the rest.
21. Create an ornament
Hank and Maxwell’s clever Christmas card is made from leather in the shape of reindeer. Merging the idea of sending a greeting with a special gift, it curves and folds into a reindeer sculpture that can easily perch on the shelf.
22. Use flat design
Yiwen Lu’s Christmas card uses flat design to create a scene that conveys the ‘Party in the Village’ theme. The simplicity of the imagery is effective with Ferris wheels, igloos, hot air balloons and other fun-filled motifs.
23. Experiment with color
This series of Christmas cards by Ema Rogobete has an eye-catching and luxurious color palette of orange and turquoise combined rich red, blue and purple.
24. Say it with symbols
Luca Milani’s cards combine his love of fonts with the charm of Christmas: brackets become tree branches; asterisks become snowflakes; and the figure 8 becomes a very portly snowman.
25. Be modern and retro at the same time
Tania Macarenco has created a stunning set of Christmas cards that combine retro imagery and symmetrical layout with bold colors.
26. Mix and match messages
Because not everyone celebrates Christmas, Greg Eckler created a card (or more like a little booklet) that allows recipients to mix and match Festivus, Christmas, Hannukah, Navidad and Holiday messages.
27. Make it functional
Miles Design’s letterpress Christmas cards come with perforated die-cuts that enable recipients to pop the center of the card out and use it as a coaster. This way, the card stayed as a reminder on clients’ desks.
28. Spell it out
Rather than spending time and money on designing an image and printing in color, Monnet Design used bold type in monochromatic colors to describe typical Christmas scenes. Inside the card, the message tells recipients that the money it would have spent on fancy cards is instead being given to charity in the recipient’s name.
29. Be crafty
Brent Couchman used the making of this Christmas card as an opportunity to learn a new design technique. Inspired by woodcut prints he created his own, carving a Christmas message across two blocks of wood and printing in two colors.
30. Die-cut it
The edges of Sophie Bass’ stunning Christmas cards have been die-cut to mimic the shape of the illustration. Inspired by mid-century style drawing, her card features stylized images of typical Christmas motifs.
31. Go strong on typography
This Christmas card by Pavlov Visuals for Billboard uses an dynamic typography design that intricately and cleverly connects and overlaps letters to spell out ‘Happy Holidays.’
32. Make it double-sided
Christmas has both religious and commercial connotations and Lydia Leith’s double-sided cards capture and contrast both of these. Religious symbols are in blue: a star, a mule, Mary and Jesus; while popular symbols are in red: Christmas lights, reindeer and Santa Claus.
33. Express your business
ERA Creative’s cards for illustrator David Birtwistle uses pencil shavings to represent a Christmas, reflecting Birtwistle’s business and skills.
34. Be subtle
Representations of Christmas don’t need to be overt and obvious. Rather, they can be subtle and artistic like Kanelimaa’s card, which has a snowy scene of ornamented Christmas trees.
35. Use gold foil
Gold is one of the big colors of Christmas and Lemongraphic have created this luxe Christmas card by using a gold-foil stamp print on thick black card and gold edging.
36. Transform typography
This Christmas card cleverly transforms the words ‘Merry Xmas’ into the shape of a Christmas tree. It’s elegant, graceful and executed beautifully.
37. Illustrate, illustrate, illustrate
Madalina Andronic’s illustrations have a folky, childlike and whimsical quality and in bright red and white, this card is playful and endearing.
38. Christmas-ify a product
For Handy Haynes’ Christmas cards, Nicko Dalton depicted a builder’s trowel as a Christmas tree by lathering it in dripping green paint.
39. Represent Christmas activities
HAM decorates homewares with two characters – a pig and rabbit – capturing various moments of their imaginary lives. The company’s Christmas cards continue to tell the story of their lives with the pig and rabbit undertaking festive activities such as lighting the tree and shopping for presents.
40. Be a minimalist
A very simple and minimalist line drawing is all that is needed in these cards by Hongkoon in order to create a Christmas scene with Santa, Rudolph, a tree and snowflakes.
41. Use a beautiful background
A snow-covered landscape forms the background of Alessia Antonaci’s winter wonderland, which is overlaid with circles that represent falling snow and glaring light.
42. Go to the blackboard
Depicting a chalk-drawn blackboard, Lily and Val have created a monochromatic Christmas scene of the snowy season in the northern hemisphere while ‘let it snow, let it snow, let it snow’ rings with rustic charm.
43. Be nostalgic
This ‘Holiday Wishes’ card uses nostalgia-filled imagery of two ice-skaters to evoke the sentiment of festive seasons past. In gold and cream, it’s traditional and almost wistful.
44. Write the message in code
This Christmas card has literally written the seasonal message in code with CSS coding on the outside of the card rendering the greeting on the inside of the card in Requiem Ornament all-caps font.
45. Emboss it like a boss
White-on-white is perfect for Christmas and embossing is always a great way to achieve it. Ink Designs’ holiday card uses the company’s circular logo as the building block of a reindeer with a bright blue nose.
46. Make a pattern
Tent and Superbrands’ card also uses its logo to create a graphic pattern. Here, a series of triangles have been stacked and overlaid to create towering Christmas trees in the company colors of blue, beige and black.
47. Have fun with words
Utility Design has a witty range of cards that play on Christmas themes, situations and events. Here, Elvis is auditioning for Santa who appears none too impressed with the famous musician’s hip-swinging ways.
48. Put pen to paper
Furniture and lighting designer Jaime Hayon makes lots of sketched and personalized greeting cards by putting pen to paper. They are really a great idea when coming from a team of people as everyone can contribute a drawing or message or color-in an element of the card.
49. Make an interchangeable pattern
Pop and Pac’s Christmas card for paper company Arjowiggins includes three cards in different colors and different patterns so recipients can decorate their tree as they wish.
50. Create eccentric characters
Noise 13 designed a series of Christmas cards featuring eccentric and misfit characters to depict a San Francisco Christmas. Speeding reindeers, parading nutcrackers, and rockabilly-Clauses all remind recipients that there’s no place like home.
I do hope that you feel inspired
By these Christmas cards that have transpired
So ho, ho, ho!
It’s now your go
May your creative spirit be admired.
Have these holiday cards inspired you to send out something special this year? If so, click here to create your own designs with Canva! Utilize a large collection of graphics and beautiful typefaces to make your own unique and festive holiday cards and messages. Don’t forget to share your designs in the comment section!