Monday, 3 October 2016

Behind The Scenes: Digital Card Making

One of the primary reasons we started this blog was so that we could give you guys a bit of insight into the products that you’re purchasing. In a world where things are so easily accessible and available, it’s easy for us, as consumers, to feel disconnected from the items we buy and the people who make them. We want to make sure that you feel connected again, so that when you hang a piece of artwork up in your living room or light a candle next to your bubble bath, you can appreciate that it was handmade with love and care for someone like you to enjoy.

Handmade being the key word here. Each product we make involves a process, some more simple and some more complex. Either way, we would love to show you a bit of that process for each item available in our shop so you can see what goes into each product and what makes each item so special.

Today, I'm here to talk to you about the process behind the majority of our greeting cards!

Although most of the greeting cards I create are digital (meaning they are made on the computer and printed off in a set number of quantities), they usually start with hand-drawn artwork. Usually I just pull out my watercolour paints and doodle away on a few sheets of watercolour paper, but sometimes I have more specific plans that require drawing in ink or pencil crayons. Brainstorming ideas and just doodling away is one of my favourite parts of the entire process. Sometimes I use all of the doodles, sometimes I only use one or two components. But regardless, it's a fun and creative exercise to just create with no agenda.

I recently designed a set of autumn-themed cards, so these doodles are mostly from those cards. That being said, I do have the juices flowing for Christmas already, so you may see a few holiday doodles thrown in there too!

After letting the watercolour doodles dry, I scan the sheets into my computer. I by no means have a fancy, high-tech scanner, but my simple printer-scanner combo tends to do a pretty good job. Sometimes I have to adjust the colour balance or brighten the scans a little. This is an easy step, though. I prefer scanning my images in as opposed to taking high-quality photographs of the artwork because it helps me ensure that all of the doodles are in focus. 

I work on each card one at a time in Adobe Photoshop, drawing elements from the doodles by selecting them with the Quick Selection tool. I usually have a general idea about each card I would like to create, but sometimes I think of one on a whim and decide to add in a more structured font (as opposed to hand-drawn script) or digitally-drawn elements (like coloured backgrounds or shapes). Some cards only take me 10 minutes to digitally assemble, while others can take up to an hour. It all depends on how well I've planned it out beforehand, how many elements I'm adding, and how many adjustments need to be made throughout the process. 

Once I've finished designing a few cards, I print out a sample or two of each to test the colour quality. The colours on the screen of your computer can sometimes differ once they are printed out based on your printer and cardstock colour, so sampling is very necessary. For example, as you can see in these photographs, when I printed a sample of the Apple Of My Pie card, the "of my" was way too light to be easily read. I had to go back into my file and darken the doodle in order to make it more visible on the physical card.

Once I'm satisfied with each sample, I print out multiples and then cut, score, and stamp each card. My paper cutter is literally by best friend when it comes to this step. It allows me to measure and cut with ease. Each card is then given a little brown envelope as a trusty companion and packaged in a plastic sleeve to keep it clean and safe. 

Cards are definitely one of my favourite products to make for Evergreen. They're mini artworks in their own right but don't require as much patience or devotion as a full fledged piece of art. They're also practical - I know I love having a stash of cards on hand for whenever a special occasion arises! 

You can find our cards (these designs plus a ton more) at some of our upcoming sale events for $4 each or 3/$10.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the process behind some of our digital cards. Keep checking back for upcoming posts on the behind-the-scenes of some of our other handmade products.


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