2014 Illustrated Holiday Greetings for Businesses, Part 1: Gag cartoon

Every summer and fall I am commissioned to create illustrations for a number of business clients, to grace the front of the greeting cards they send to customers, colleagues and friends.  The types of businesses vary, but their goal is pretty much the same: to reach out in a unique way to their acquaintances and sincerely thank them for their friendship.  Often my clients want a whimsical or humorous angle to the message, because humor is seen as an extra little gift – a wink and a nod, a special connection.  It says “Here is a situation we both understand and can share a chuckle over together.”

Humor, I’ve learned over the years, makes people remember your business.

In this post and the next few I will highlight some of the cards I created this past fall – I had to wait till now to write about them, didn’t want to spoil my clients’ surprise!

Some clients chose to do greeting cards for Thanksgiving. It’s a perfect time to literally thank your customers for their loyalty to you; plus, by mailing these cards in mid-November, the card is seen early, before the barrage of Christmastime greetings.

I’ve drawn New Yorker-type gag cartoons for a number of years for Pro-Active Performance, a company that works to improve the productivity and capability of organizations and their employees. I work with Pro-Active to come up with cartoons with business-buzzword themes – something to which all their colleagues and customers relate – and we always involve some kind of Thanksgiving symbol.  For this year’s card I first envisioned a turkey meeting where they were doing a SWOT analysis for the Thanksgiving holiday:

cardproact14wpsketch

The punchline came when I inserted the turkey farmer – the finish here is drawn in Prismacolor pencil with india ink:

cardproact14wp

The card has a warm and sincere message inside expressing appreciation for clients’ support, and wishing them happiness in the holiday season.  Pro-Active Performance has told me they receive great comments from the recipients of the cards – for certain, no one would mistake these for generic off-the-rack greetings!

More in the next post.

Customized Holiday Cards set Businesses Apart, says WSJ

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Alexandra Berzon explains that, while ‘simple holiday cards from financial firms are pretty much the norm at this time of year . . . there are exceptions.’

The writer cites Kingsford Capital Management, a low-profile financial firm in California, that has won a reputation for giving unusual cards and gifts to their clients, ranging in genre from political cartoons to advent calendars to quilts, all customized to comment on the financial industry. “The novelty holiday gifts . . . could end up holding some value, art world insiders say, given that they are limited-edition items,’ often illustrated by artists the firm’s owner admires.

I’m happy to have a number of clients who also see unique holiday greeting cards as a sincere and creative way to engage with their customers and colleagues.  Below are the cards I created for this holiday season, Thanksgiving through New Year’s. My clients were Woodcock Washburn LLP, Lifetime Asset Management, Automotive Financial Services, Furia Rubel Communications, Inc., Hoffman Design Group, Safe-Guard Products International, LLC, Obermayer, Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, LLP, Lennon’s Small Jobs and Pro-Active Performance, Inc.

chriscards2013a