Today we’re thrilled to be sharing one of four exciting artist collaborations that are available in Hallmark Signature’s 2016 Valentine’s Day offering. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know we’re big fans of artist Ashley Goldberg. She was here last spring to host a pattern-making workshop for our artists, and we teamed up with her again to share our Handmade Hallmark ornament kits in December. She’s back today to share a bit about the creation process for her playfully chic Valentine’s Day collection. Take it away, Ashley!
One of the most exciting opportunities an artist can have is to work with a company with a long and rich history, and I can’t think of a better example of that than Hallmark. When asked if I wanted to design a collection of Valentine’s Day cards for Hallmark Signature, I jumped at the chance. And considering that Valentine’s Day has my most favorite color palette? YES.
Color palette is always crucial to me. It sets the tone. Before beginning I knew I wanted to use pink as the unifying color along with variations of it ranging from blush to coral to fuchsia. I also wanted to include my signature high contrast mark making. AND GOLD FOIL.
Two more things that are hugely important are texture and dimension. Hallmark Signature is known for those, and they really help elevate a card to a hand-held piece of art.
Keeping those things in mind (color, texture, and dimension) I got to work. I hand-painted background patterns and also created them digitally in Photoshop. I printed out the backgrounds and played around creating and combining versions of my favorite Valentine’s Day icons: hearts, arrows, and XOs.
I got out my scissors and glue and I made physical mock ups of each card. I hand-painted thin, wooden dowels to see what proportion of light, medium, and deep pink I wanted on each of the arrows. It was really important to me and to the Hallmark team to get a sense of what the final card would look and feel like.
It’s always a fun challenge to take something expected, like a heart for Valentine’s Day, and introduce an element that makes it unexpected. In my case, I think I might have asked, “Can it look like a piñata?,” more than a couple of times. I LOVE the idea of a heart with fringed paper.
The XOXO card has my favorite printed background of any project I have ever done. It’s a very minimal, modern pattern, and it has thin slivers of gold foil. Even though I’ve never met a gold foil I didn’t like, I think we have become accustomed to seeing gold foil take up large surface areas. Having just these tiny slivers of it was another way to bring the unexpected to this card.
To balance the hand-drawn background patterns, I chose more structured (but still playful) icons. I am always thinking about balance and harmony in any piece I create. I can get very particular with what I think the right balance is.
As in all projects, it takes talented creative direction and amazing production skills to transform my original art into a great product. I am so lucky to have worked with the team at Hallmark. Design is DEFINITELY a team sport, even if only one person’s name appears on the final piece.
While I could imagine what the finished cards would look like, when I held the actual cards in my hands I was blown away – and ready to send a Valentine’s Day card to every person I have ever met! The quality of them is astonishing. And seeing even the tiniest details of my designs translated to the final cards really wowed me.
As a very tactile person, I encourage you to go and pick up one of these cards and just feel them. When you give them they’ll leave the lasting impression that you’ve sent a card and something more – a thoughtful keepsake.
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store to check out Ashley’s Hallmark Signature collaboration! Be sure to tag us if you share your favorites on Instagram. (@think.make.share @hallmarksignature @ashleygoldberg)