Lauri Shillings

Visual communication in many forms

Only 8 days ’till Xmas!

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Well, fellow procrastinators, Xmas time is here again. Have you gotten all of your gifts prepared? No, you say? Well, here’s 7 handy ideas to use what you have, [your graphic design skills] and turn them into christmas wonderful-ness.

Handmade gifts with designer flair.

Idea #1 –
Homemade calendars!
Everone uses them, so why not make them something they will use? You can add your own personality to the snappy sayings or images.
Here are just a few examples I’ve found for your inspiration.

Simple, catchy phrases and bright colors, only 12 pieces of paper. Com’mon, even you can afford that.

http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/02/calendar-girl-boy/

Here’s 10 different ideas. Use your own art- not some plagiarized google image search!

http://www.grainsofearth.org/10-creative-homemade-calendars/

This one uses a great typography treatment to spell out the month.

http://ohjoy.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/12/happy-friday-ti.html

Letterpress! (ok, so you might not have a letterpress… but you can mimic the simple color stamping effect.)


http://ohjoy.blogs.com/my_weblog/2008/09/delphine-calend.html

Magnets! Only one set to make! Create these out of buttons, bottle caps, or whatever you can stick a magnet to. Be creative! Everyone has a fridge, right?

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/magnetic-calendar-55643

Idea #2 –
Recipe Book

Some of you must actually cook for yourselves. What are your favorite things to prepare? Is it homemade soup? Breakfast Food? Burritos?

Whatever it is, make a simple cookbook all about your favorite foods. Design it to the best of your ability and wrap it up with a ribbon.
TADAH! instant gift.

• Here’s a cookbook idea that actually recycles your old desktop calendar. HINT, see above idea for other calendar ideas.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14221181@N07/4181462927/

• This cookbook idea doesn’t even involve making the cover if you don’t want to. Just slip printed recipies that you might WANT to eat into the binder. You might be nice enough to make a unique cover. Come on, your are a designer right?
http://susandwyerriley.blogspot.com/2010/11/organizing-tip-homemade-recipe-books.html

• This cookbook idea is super simple, Make index card copies of recipies and put into an inexpensive photobook, wrap with a ribbon!

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/gift-ideas/diy-stocking-stuffers#slide-9

http://www.thekitchn.com/gift-idea-make-162227
Make your recipe gift adorable, like this one. Hand lettering and pen and ink sketches make great use of your design skills.
Print it yourself, or send it off to blurb, as this site suggests.

Idea #3 –
christmas Posters

Here’s a compilation of 25 christmas poster ideas that you can mimic and adapt for yourself! Everyone wants a unique artistic design to put on their walls. You can be the one to supply it.

http://jayce-o.blogspot.com/2012/12/25-inspirational-christmas-poster-design.html”>http://jayce-o.blogspot.com/2012/12/25-inspirational-christmas-poster-design.html

• If you want to stick to traditional christmas ideas, then you can immortalize the spirit of christmas through song. Your favorite christmas carol title in poster form, forever.
http://www.rosiesmithdesign.co.uk/55130/252241/design/nms-christmas-posters-

• You can tell them how you really feal about them. Similar to how they have in this poster about the “Godfather”. Set your typography free!

http://www.zazzle.com/godfathers_birthdays_christmas_qualities_poster-228527703444343744 Totally your decision on whether they are on the naughty or nice list when you make your description.

Idea #4
Holiday Cards

• If you are a super gifted illustrator, perhaps you could immortalize your favorite movie characters into a christams scene.I found these on the Laughingsquid.com website. Too funny! (seriously, if you can, make your own!)

http://laughingsquid.com/star-wars-holiday-card-series-illustrated-by-pj-mcquade/

Instead of mailing just one card to your special gift recipient, give them a matched set. They don’t have to be holiday related, why limit your great work? These calling cards are always useful, and what a way for them to say.. “Oh, My [insert_your_relationship_here] gave me these for christmas, aren’t they great?”.

If your not so into Christmas, but are expected to give a gift, you could always go with classic stationery sets. Why not personalize a set for the intended gift getter? In today’s fast-paced world, the physical act of writing might actually be abolished in favor of e-mail, and that would be a travesty.

• You make identity sets all the time for clients… take some of those leftover logo design ideas and make super AWESOME gifts for your in-laws.

Hoban cards

hoban cards


https://hobancards.com/
offers luxurious, to drool-over, letterpress style cards, but I’m pretty sure you could create them something similar using the good old laser printer.

Idea #5
RE-Packaging

Ok, so we’ve all heard of ‘re-gifting’ but ‘re-packaging’?
Absolutely. Not all of us are terribly crafty, but we’re creative right? So go buy something delicious like super-awesome-organic-blackberry-jam at the grocery store and pull out those package design skills you learned in college. Make a new lable or box for that bad boy and you are set!

http://chezus.com/2012/09/15/homemade-jelly-doughnuts/
(image provided just for the messy, delicious looking jelly jar, but the donut recipe doesn’t look half bad either! Idea #2 anyone?)


http://serifsandsans.com/tag/label-design/
great idea for a typogrophy style lable…. Hey! Hot sauce re-packaging!!!

Idea #6
Fabric Printing.

take something you adore, type, and apply it to somehting everyone needs, kitchen towels. and PRESTO instant awesome gift.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/86065631/ampersand-flour-sack-towel?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_query=ampersand%2C+kitchen+towel&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=allam
HOW TO:
Make a stencil of your fav-o-rite type character, buy some flour sack towels at your local farm store, (seriously, they are like a buck-fiddy a piece, so go get some) use acrylic craft paint, (it’s normally permanent on fabric once it’s dry) and apply your awesomeness to that towel. NEATLY! And – protect your work area with paper first, ok?
Go wild here. You can use the same technique for hot pad holders, pillows, natural stone tiles make great trivets… just about anything you feel like painting can be personalized with type.

Idea #7
Postcard Design

What if you gave your special someone a gift box of custom postcards for them to mail out to all their friends so they can say, “Hi, wish you were here!”?
Whatever po-dunk ::or:: extreme urbanite place they live, make a ‘greetings from’ card for them to amaze their friends with.

Here’s a google image search for your inspiration…

Google’s “greetings from Postcard Designs

Whew! Seven ideas for you to create in the 8 days ’till Christmas. Better get busy! And Happy Holidays!

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