Recently I created holiday letters for my family and my parents. I’ve taken on some new philosophies for these in the last couple of years:


1. Photos and more photos (since everyone is doing photo cards, I need to reciprocate with photos of us. Besides, photos often tell the stories better than words.
2. Keep is short and sweet. I like to give a little more info about our year than just what you find on a photo card, but people don’t need all the details. I like to highlight a few things about each of us with photos and short captions.
3. Design it. I’m a designer, and you’d better be able to tell that from my holiday letter. The first year, I just slapped some photos and text on the page. Then I did one for my mother and made it look much nicer than mine. What was I thinking?!


This year, I really wanted to make our holiday letter resemble a comic book. But, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the concept easily conveyed. I had the handwritten font, the black borders, the popping title, but I think the kicker was the photos. I didn’t want to convert them to illustrations, and those really set the tone for a comic. So, I abandoned the idea and went for pretty and festive. I’ll see if I can’t think up something successful for next year.


My designer takeaway: I need to use opportunities like this to be creative for myself and try out something I want to do.


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