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

This card by Vintage Vector Studio uses three different vintage typographies with a scratched and faded red background to create a retro feel of it being a hand-painted sign.

Print
Vintage Vector Studio

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.

02. Camila Soto
Camila Soto

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.

03. Ines Lespinasse
Inès Lespinasse

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.

04. Alaa Abuamra
Alaa Abuamra

05. Get clever

These astute Christmas cards by 1331 Design replace words in well-known festive phrases with applicable coding and fonts.

05. 1331 Design LLC (1)
1331 Design

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.

06. Ideas Factory
Ideas Factory

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.

07. Essie letterpress
Essie Letterpress

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.

08. Elly Ang
Elly Ang

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!

09. Erin Jang
Erin Jang

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.

10. Metron
Metron

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.

11. Laura Louise
Laura Louise

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.

12. Ian Walsh
Ian Walsh

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.

13. Alexander Boys
Alexander Boys

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.

CELLULE_CARTE11x17_MASTER_V2
Cellule Design

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.

15. Hey Studio
Hey Studio

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.

16. David Garcia and Camilo Rojas
David Garcia and Camilo Rojas

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.

17. Alisara Tareekes
Alisara Tareekes

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.

18. Katherine Webb
Katherine Webb

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.

19. Linzie Hunter
Linzie Webb

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.

20. We Are Scout
We Are Scout

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.

21. Hank and Maxwell
Hank and Maxwell

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.

22. Yiwen Lu
Yiwen Lu

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.

23. Ema Rogobete
Ema Rogobete

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.

24. Luca Milani
Luca Milani

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.

25. Tania Macarenco
Tania Macarenco

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.

26. Greg Eckler
Greg Eckler

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.

27. Miles Design
Miles Design

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.

28. Monnet design
Monnet Design

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.

29. Brent Couchman
Brent Couchman

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.

30. Sophie Bass
Sophie Bass

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.’

31. Pavlov Visuals
Pavlov Visuals

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.

32. Lydia Leith
Lydia Leith

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.

33. ERA Creative
ERA Creative

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.

34. Kanelimaa
Kanelimaa

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.

35. Lemongraphic
Lemongraphic

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.

36. Merry Christmas

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.

37. Madalina Andronic
Madalina Andronic

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.

38. Nicko Dalton
Nicko Dalton

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.

39. Hammade
HAM

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.

christmas card
Hongkoon

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.  

41. Alessia Antonaci
Alessia Antonaci

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.

42. Lily and Val
Lily and Val

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.

43. Holiday wishes

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.

44. Codecards
Codecards

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.  

Back Camera
Ink Designs

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.

46. Tent and Super Brands
Tent and Superbrands

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.

47. Utility Design
Utility Design

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.

48. Jaime Hayon
Jaime Hayon

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.

49. Pop and Pac
Pop and Pac

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.

50. Noise 13
Noise 13

YOUR TURN

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!

Rebecca is a freelance writer, researcher, and design historian. She has a Masters in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons The New School for Design, New York, and studies cultural history through the lens of architecture, design, and decorative arts.