It’s that time of year again. You’ve dutifully gone ahead with your office’s Christmas jumper day, purchased your secret Santa gift and avoided the constant stream of mince pies that seem to end up on your desk. However, one festive task remains: the company Christmas card.

If your company’s looking to end 2017 in style, why not design your own unique company Christmas card?

Although undertaking a task like this could be daunting, these design tips will help make this an easy and fun, creative task to complete.

Using a simple design tool, such as Shutterstock’s Composition Aware search, will enable you to choose a quality image from a library of millions, ensuring a unique spin and give you the ability to personalise it further in a quick and simple fashion.

We’ve outlined steps to help your company create a card that would even raise a smile from the office Scrooge.

Choose the perfect image

We’ve all been there, having an image of the perfect sentimental yet witty Christmas card in your head, but being unable to source a picture to match. This is where Shutterstock’s Composition Aware Search tool comes in. The first of its kind, this tool allows users to specify one or more keywords, and arrange them spatially on a canvas to reflect the specific layout of the image they are seeking. For example, if you would like your Father Christmas coming down the chimney on the left and the Christmas tree on the right, simply arrange the words on the canvas in that way, enabling you to build your card.

Shutterstock will then provide you with the many images that closest match your search. The tool also has the unique ability to add room for copy by selecting the “copy space” option, which is particularly helpful for adding a personal message. This can remove issues of text being unclear over undesired objects on your card image that perhaps has a colour that doesn’t suit. For keen designers, Composition Aware Search allows you to cut corners with photoshopping, and for those of us who are designing novices, the tool provides opportunities to be creative and become more spatially aware.

Personalise it!

Let’s face it, it’s hard enough to schedule team catch-ups about clients, let alone a photo shoot for a Christmas card. Someone will inevitably forget their jumper, reindeer ears or Santa hat and the whole “creative plan” will be blown, and potentially heighten inter-colleague tensions about organisation and planning.

This is where Shutterstock’s Editor comes into its own, the tool offers a range of options for adding that personal touch.

  • Filters: Use these to add a seasonal twist to your image – perhaps go for a sepia tint if you’re trying to evoke memories of Christmases past or up the colour if you want your festive greens and reds to stand-out.
  • Cropping: A simple effect, but re-framing an image to fit perfectly with your intended dimension can make all the difference and ensure that the recipient’s eye is drawn to the most attractive part of the image. Whether its square, portrait or landscape, framing can make all the difference.
  • The corporate badge: Make sure to include any relevant logos so that your card can be instantly linked back to your company – ensuring everyone knows who the sender is at first glance.
  • The power of words: Bold, elegant text will transform your design into a professional Christmas card that colleagues and potential clients/customers will be proud to have on their mantelpieces.

Sleep on it

The best idea is often not the first one that springs to mind. You are treading the line with an inside joke, but are you saying too much? Shutterstock allows you to save and revisit. Gain other’s insight too and strike a consensus. If your company’s name is on it, make sure they know what they are sending!

An additional consideration is how you distribute your Christmas card. Although posting it through the letterbox is the traditional way to send a card, there’s no reason why you can’t expand on this. Designing the card with an online tool makes it easier to share through social media or send via email.

Hopefully by following these simple steps, your company can produce a card that chimes with clients, prospective clients and professional networks – all while bolstering staff’s Christmas spirit.

By Tania Philip, VP Product, Shutterstock