“If you think about Father’s Day, we don’t get to play with glitter and ribbons and bows,” Ashlee S., Hallmark Art Director, tells us—with zero regrets, btw. Instead of those greeting card staples, their quest to make dad-worthy keepsake-able cards led them to create a palette of “man-terials,” including colors, textures, embellishments, and processes. They turned a portion of the line over to Designer Riga S., who walked us through her process and the inspiration behind the Man Made Father’s Day collection.
For my husband today, tomorrow and always | The kind of love that’s forever | My heart is home with you
I’ve been at Hallmark for seven years, and done several collections. I start with a lot of research: looking around for inspiration, reading books and magazines, trying to bring new ideas and different kinds of materials. For this Man Made Father’s Day collection, I looked at mens bags and fashion, woods and metals. We narrowed it down to fabric, faux leather, and wood—with lots of process and texture.
When I thought about fabric, stitching came to mind. I sew in my free time, and do embroidery as a hobby. For #my5days [Editor’s note: Hallmark charges our creatives to spend five days of every year on pure creative renewal], I took a Sashiko class to learn the style of Japanese mending. The traditional colors are white thread on indigo fabric—and I picked a really simple, repetitive pattern so I could finish in two days.
It just seemed to fit with the design direction for this Man Made Father’s Day collection, so I decided to incorporate it and scan it and make it part of the collection.
Later, I found out it would be too expensive to do real stitching on the card, which also features an embossed faux leather tag and canvas ribbon. We embossed the stitched design on textured paper.
[Editor’s note: It feels totally real.]
Before I worked at Hallmark, my very first job was a very small startup company. As a designer, I had to do everything, from designing to preparing the file and sending it off to be printed. Sometimes you had to proofread your own copy. Here, we have so many people with their own expertise—so one card has a lot of people working on it. The collection before this one, I worked a lot with other artists.
For this one, I did a lot of the designing. I got to use my own hand lettering, too. Sometimes I started with the messages from our writers—like this one, “My heart is home with you.” The words and designs evolved over time—once I could see the whole collection, I made some changes.
To me, creating is a way of expressing what you want to convey to other people.
When I make cards, it’s about ideas: combining the message and the design to bring it into a full package. Making something beautiful is my creative outlet.
Sewing, to me, is a way to spend time on my own to de-stress. I have a five year old—so when she goes to bed, I sew as my way of relaxing.
Photography and styling: Kelly C.