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Make Your Holiday Cards Sparkle With Cheer

Holiday cards are a great way to spread joy and remain top-of-mind with family, friends, and business clients. According to the Greeting Card Association, at least 1.3 billion cards are sold during the average holiday season. Nearly 80% of American households receive holiday cards and typically receive between 1 to 8 cards a season. Holiday cards have high visibility, and many choose to display them in their homes or businesses for the duration of the season.
Take a step beyond the basic offerings to leverage new printing techniques that provide more creative options for designers and a more high-end appeal for consumers. In addition to excellent luxury card stock choices, 4over offers several custom printing methods to enhance holiday and greeting cards.
From a design perspective, focus on text or solid graphic elements that enhance the overall look and create greater appeal to card buyers and their recipients. Add some reflective shine to your cards with Akuafoil, or choose raised foil for an added textural feel. Akufoil uses colors created by cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) to provide a colorized foil effect for even more range beyond standard metallic foils. Imagine using a blue-hued Akufoil application to highlight water, snowflakes, or the sky in your holiday designs. Or ice-skating penguins with pond printed with Akufoil?
For straightforward metallic effects, raised foil is a great option. Using raised foil for lettering or certain solid graphic features makes that part of the design stand out from the other elements. This printing technique gives a 3-dimensional aspect to an otherwise flat card since the raised portion can be felt when touched. There are many holiday design elements where raised foil can be applied effectively. Raised gold or silver foil applied to reindeer, silver bells, gold holly leaves, and metallic tree ornaments are a few examples.

Holiday Card Design Elements to Enhance

Akufoil and Raised Foil

Spot UV

Large, header text

Large, header text

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Bodies of water, e.g., ice-skating pond

Bodies of water, e.g., ice-skating pond

Candle holder

Candlelight/flames

Bells, e.g, silver bells

Fireplace fire


Another enhancement that works well for holiday and greeting cards is raised spot UV. Raised spot UV provides a high-sheen gloss effect that sits on top of the paper. You can visualize it as a water bead on the side of your drinking glass when the ice melts. Spot UV can provide that extra visual pop to the design and works exceptionally well to enhance any design elements that deal with water (e.g., drops, rivers, streams, lakes). Holiday cards often have raised spot UV to spotlight a snowflake, a candelabra for Hanukkah, or a picturesque winter scene.
From a design perspective, all three enhancements require similar file preparation. Decide where and what elements in the design you would like to apply the enhancement. Next, create a layer mask within the design application like Adobe Photoshop. Set the new mask layer to 100% black (K), where the black is where the enhancement will be applied, and the white area is where the original design will appear.

<img: example of a Layer Mask>

Source: 4over.com

Help your clients understand how to add some extra sparkle to this year’s holiday cards to wow their friends, family, and business clients! Be sure to download the ready-made design templates from trade.4over.com.  Check out Print101, 4over's educational series, where you'll learn how to prepare files, supply mask layers, submit orders, and more. Still have questions? Give our experts a call at 1-877-782-2737. They're always happy to help.

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As one of North America’s largest trade-only printers and a trusted source for print fulfillment since 2001, 4over helps print, design, and other creative services resellers grow profitable businesses. We do this by offering a vast selection of quality print products at guaranteed trade-only prices. Our expansive e-commerce catalog includes everything from standard marketing collateral like business cards and brochures, to harder-to-find specialty, large format, and promotional products.

Our capabilities span gang run offset, digital, grand format, and promotional printing across six production facilities, staffed by experienced, committed operations teams. With locations across North America, state-of-the-art equipment such as powerful Incas and Scodix UV machines, and fast turnarounds, 4over offers our customers savings, selection, and scale. We serve large franchise printers, single print shops, print brokers, graphic designers, photographers, and every type of print reseller in between. Learn more at Trade.4over.com

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