Two New Year’s Business Greeting Cards

I illustrated New Year’s cards for two businesses to mail to their clients, and both asked for caricatures of their staff in the artwork. These businesses feel it is a nice way for their customers to put a face to the voice they hear on the phone when they call; and since the cards are drawn, they are a bit more fun and even whimsical than a photo would be. (I’ve also gotten comments that my drawings make people look younger than they are in real life, which everybody likes!)

The first was for LifeTime Asset Management in Raleigh, NC. They wanted their staff toasting the New Year at a party, so i first pencilled in a rough composition of the 9 figures raiding glasses.

I tightened that up and drew specific faces in, and the company logo on the balloons, for a better rough.

I printed off a copy of that & colored it in roughly for the color comp, which I sent them for approval.

Once I got the ok I traced the drawing onto illustration board and started painting it in – I snapped this photo below while I was still laying in the basic colors.

And here is the completed art, with celebratory confetti added in, which appeared on the front of their card.

The second New Years card was for Kohlhepp Investment Advisors here in PA. They are a family-run business and everyone has a great sense of humor – if you look at past Kohlhepp cards on my blog you’ll see they’ve had me draw the team in many funny, unique situations. This year did not disappoint – with the bullish economy they decided on the great concept of the whole team running with the bulls! I sent them two very rough sketches, asking if the two women in the firm want to be right in there with the bulls or not – they answered of course they do!

I tightened up the drawing –

and did a rough color sketch

They requested Ed Sr. to have a more active pose on the bull, so I changed that, then drew it on illustration board in prisma pencil, painted in acrylic washes, and added some dust clouds in chalk, for the finished art.

2014 Illustrated Holiday Greetings for Businesses, Part 4: Economical Postcard

My friend, professional handywoman Mary Lennon of Lennon’s Small Jobs, uses my cartooning skills for a New Year’s card each January, which she sends to thank clients for their business – and of course to subliminally remind them that she’s available for all sorts of work around the house.  Mary explained to me the jobs she is most often called for and together we developed some little scenarios involving a couple penguins.  The last two years’ cards:


They’re getting to be like two little vaudeville guys.  Now this year’s –

lennon15wpOn the reverse side, she thanks her customers for allowing her to help maintain their home, and wishes them the best in the New Year. We expect plenty of her clients tape the cartoon to their refrigerator, to keep her number handy. Mary does just fine reaching out to her customers by sending these out in the most economical mode of mailing – a postcard.  At our local printer we can get 200 2-sided black & white postcards on nice glossy cardstock for about $60. Postcards of course don’t even need an envelope, and take less postage than regular cards, so there’s even more savings.  I like to think the postal workers might get a chuckle out of delivering them too!

More cards in the next post – scroll down to see previous posts in this series.

Flattering Caricatures for Business Use, Part 1


click images to enlarge

I realize the word ‘caricature’ has negative connotations for a lot of people, visions of ballooning noses, explosive eyebrows or quirky poses, like my drawing of Ed Rendell, left, for the Harrisburg Patriot-News when Rendell was elected governor of Pennsylvania. But I’ve been drawing caricatures for my business clients for years that aren’t that way at all, and I’m never sure what to call them. I usually say they are ‘Flattering Caricatures’ because, I tell my clients, whereas the camera puts 10 pounds on, I can draw 10 pounds off. And give guys more hair too.

The goal of a business caricature is to present the human-ness of my clients’ businesses – reveal the fact that there are real people behind the logo and brand, something their customers may nominally acknowledge, but gloss over in everyday business transactions.  Wouldn’t photos do the same thing? Certainly, to some extent. I’ll point out, though, that most media now is super-saturated with photography, while hand-drawn illustration distinguishes itself instantly to the human eye.

What do my clients use their caricatures for?  Greeting clarkcard96cards, Facebook icons, blogs, promotional material, to name a few.  A few examples:

Holiday cards. Many are used for their company’s holiday greeting card to their clients and associates; often business owners see the holidays as a time when they can be a little more relaxed and humorous than during regular business. They also like to send more personal messages to their customers – thanking them for their business at Thanksgiving, for instance, or wishing them joy and success at Christmas/Hanukkah or the New Year.

kohlhepp96wpWhen it’s a small company I’m often asked to draw the entire staff for a card – it helps clients know more faces in the office than maybe just the one or two with whom they have the most contact.  I also sneak the company logo into the drawings when requested.

And there have been a few requests for large staff cards as well.


Blogs. Some clients use their caricature as a friendly persona through which they give industry advice in their blogs.  One says, it helps her lighten up her writing so it’s more of a comfy conversation with her readers.


macoutfittersfinal96Promotions.  Caricatures of the staff were used by one client on this moving card, showing their new office space, and a law firm had me draw their partners, below, as if they were done by a courtroom artist, for a full page ad they ran in a law journal.corodemus96

In part 2 of this post I’ll explain what I request of clients who want caricatures done, and the process we go through to get the look and message that’s best suited for their product.

(If you’re reading this post on a third-party platform and want to read Part 2 when it’s published, I recommend you follow my blog on my site at