Design — Greeting Card: Independence Day

Young at heart and
A million opportunities.

Above were the words that came to my mind when I sat to make a greeting card to mark the occasion of India’s Independence Day (15th of August).

The result

Download this Greeting Card >
(JPG, 800 X 600, 192KB)

Choosing the right words

The target audience of the greeting card is people who nurture the idea of entrepreneurship — people who run the so-called ‘start-ups.’ So, the body copy should be something that uplifts the idea of freedom and what comes out of it. A quick search resulted in the finding of following words from Albert Einstein.
“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”

Choosing the right image

The main principle I follow in my designs is ‘avoid the obvious (thing).’ So I know what I am not looking for: tricolor flag, balloons, fireworks, ribbons — any image that conveys the idea of a celebration.

“From where can I get good images?”*

Stock photography is a big business and people like Imagebank/GettyImages, Corbis or Alamy are the market leaders. Buying an image from them is a very costly affair. So, what do poor designers do to get images?

The solution is ‘stock.xchng(this website is defunct now; See the update at the end of this article). Their website cannot be compared with the market leaders, but the images are royalty free. Of course, there exist standard restrictions like the following.

You may use the Image:
In digital format on websites, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video, cell phones.
In printed promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, CD/DVD covers, etc.
Along with your corporate identity on business cards, letterhead, etc.
To decorate your home, your office or any public place.

I happened to get the image “#922084” taken by Asif Akbar from ‘stock.xchng.’ It depicts three active young fellows leaping in joy.

Free Our World Stock Photo by Asif Akbar

Layout Intricacies

A vague idea in my mind is to show the close-up shots of the young faces. This is a better way to convey the emotion of joy. At the same time, I also wanted to show a shot of the group to represent its dynamics. All this must be contained in a frame of 800X600 pixels so that it will be easy to e-mail.

I cut ‘ribbons’ containing the close-up shots of the three faces and arranged them neatly on the right side. A scaled down version of the group photo is placed in the left background. The filter ‘Gaussian Blur’ often comes handy to add an element of depth into the images. I applied this filter with a radius of 2.0 pixels to the ‘background group.’ To get a ‘meshed’ look of the three faces, Gaussian Filter is applied to ribbons except those who carry a face.

See the comparison below.

Choosing the right typefaces

It is always better to stick to a maximum of two typefaces and two font colors. This is for maintaining the consistency of the image. The main typeface used is ‘Gill Sans MT Condensed’ which gives a compact feel. To highlight the word ‘freedom,’ ‘Edwardian Script ITC’ is used. Font colors are black for easy readability in a light background and red for highlighting. One of the boys shown in the image is wearing red T-shirt. So the color is consistent throughout the design.

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3
Design date: 13-Aug-2008

UPDATE: 13 Aug 2009

Are you looking for a wallpaper or calendar?
On the occasion of the Indian Independence Day (15-Aug), here is a ‘Jai Ho!’ desktop wallpaper/calendar for you to download.


Visit this blog entry: Design – Independence Day Desktop Wallpaper Calendar
Team; 13-Aug-2009

*UPDATE: 15 Aug 2022

Following are some of the best free stock image websites.