Floral greeting card collection Jess A Little Creative

Behind The Scenes: Designing my new floral greeting card collection

For those of you who don't know me, hello! I'm Jess and I run Jess A Little Creative, an independent greeting card business in Cheltenham. Last month, I launched a new floral greeting card collection, ‘Floral Thoughts'. And I thought it’d be interesting to share some behind the scenes secrets with you about how this new greeting card collection came to life.

The article below is an interview-style Q&A which includes stories about how I came up with the concept, the name and the phrases used on the new cards, plus I share a bit more about my design process too. Consider this your exclusive access to the inner workings of a greeting card designer's brain, I hope you find it interesting!

All the photos in this article feature cards from the new collection, 'Floral Thoughts', which is available to buy now. 

'So Happy For You' card

Where did the idea for the new floral greeting card collection come from?

I have been receiving requests to design some floral greeting cards for a long time, and decided it was finally time to do it. I am known for my unique typographic greeting cards, so this was quite a diversion from my normal design style. And truthfully, it was never planned as a full collection. 

I first created the 'Cannot Thank You Enough' card as I thought a floral thank you card could look really beautiful. Once that was designed, I knew the floral style would also work well for a sympathy card and a thinking of you card, so I designed those too. At that point, I had three floral cards, and they looked so nice together. It was then that I thought 'This needs to be a whole collection!', and that's when I planned all the other designs and started creating the pastel rainbow of thoughtful floral cards that you see today.

'Cannot Thank You Enough' card

How did I pick which flowers to draw?

Part of the beauty of being an illustrator is having a bit of artistic license, to interpret things and use your imagination. Some of the designs are clearly based on real flowers, like the daisy illustrations for the 'So Happy For You' card, and the red rose illustrations for the 'I'd Be Lost Without You' card

But some of the flowers are totally made up, using shapes and colours that I thought would compliment the wording on the card and the occasion it was created for. It was really fun coming up with the different flowers, and ensuring they were all different enough to stand out, but similar enough to sit together well as a collection of floral illustrations.

'I'd Be Lost Without You' card

How did I come up with the phrases for the cards?

Although this collection is all about the florals, and of course creating the floral illustrations was incredibly important, it is often the words on a greeting card that ultimately help decide if that card is suitable for the recipient. So I knew the phrases had to be spot on. 

Jess A Little Creative's tagline is 'unique cards for thoughtful people' and I really wanted to reflect that in the phrases used on the new collection. I wanted these cards to feature thoughtful and meaningful words, different from the bog standard ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘With Sympathy’. 

I wanted these cards to help encourage meaningful connection. But finding the balance between thoughtful and utterly cheesy for the phrases was hard (believe me, it is a fine line!) but I'm really happy with the final phrases I came up with. The phrases feel real and genuine, like something you would actually say to your loved ones. 

'Birthday Loveliness' card

How did I choose the name ‘Floral Thoughts’?

This was the first greeting card collection I had designed that I wanted to name. Most of my other greeting card designs tend to fit into the 'typographic cards' category, and I have never named them as a collection. I knew the name needed to include the word ‘floral’, and I knew they would be known for being thoughtful greeting cards, so the name came from playing around with those words really. 

I thought 'Floral Thoughts' was a nice way to sum up that these cards are inspired by people's thoughts and feelings, using gorgeous floral illustrations. It's simple, but I actually love it and can't imagine the collection being called anything else now.

'There Are No Words' card

Which is my favourite design from the new greeting card collection?

This feels a bit like asking a parent to name their favourite child! I love the entire collection, and think they are all gorgeous cards to send for lots of occasions. But I do have a soft spot for the 'There Are No Words' card, as I know how difficult it can be to support a loved one during a tough time, and so having a special card to help open up that conversation is so important.

I also love the 'You Have Got This' card, because sometimes we all need reminding of our strength and capability. And despite it being the one I struggled with the most, I actually really love the 'I Really Messed Up' card. You don't tend to find many apology cards, and I didn't want it to say 'I'm sorry' as it could end up looking like another sympathy card, and this card had a different purpose. But I thought the phrase I chose felt genuine and authentic, and could cover a whole range of different situations, allowing people space to write their own specific apology inside.

'I Really Messed Up' card

What was my design process when creating this new floral greeting card collection?

My process starts very creatively. My mind is constantly coming up with ideas for new card designs and from all those ideas, I have to decide which to take forward. It’s often so hard to prioritise which designs to create first, but in this case, I decided it was time to design some floral greeting cards, which resulted in a new collection of floral cards. 

From there, it gets a bit more practical. I plan out how many cards the collection will have, which occasions the cards in the collection will cover, and ensure the colours and phrases all compliment each other and sit well together. It helps to have all the colours, illustrations and phrases planned out before I start drawing, so I know I will be forming a curated collection, rather than a random jumble of designs that were in my head! 

And after the planning, it gets more creative again when I start designing. Things always need to be flexible and adapt, so some of the colours and floral illustrations swapped and changed along the way as I was working. Flexibility ensures I am creating the best work I can, without being bound by the initial ideas. But that's my general process: ideas, planning, then designing.

'You Have Got This' card

What has the reaction been like to the new floral greeting card collection?

I have been a bit overwhelmed with the reaction to these new cards. I wanted to create a collection that would move people emotionally, and help them connect with their loved ones, and judging by the reactions I've had, I am so pleased to say that I have achieved that. 

One lady nearly cried when she saw the ‘There Are No Words’ card on my stall at a local craft market. She said it had made her think of a situation she was going through, which she hadn’t yet given herself a chance to feel upset about. The fact that these cards are helping people process their emotions is just incredible.

One of the ‘Sending You A Big Hug’ cards was shipped off to America with a care package, for someone's uncle who is currently very poorly. This customer was struggling to find a card with the right sentiment for their uncle, but said this one was perfect. 

And I can't even count all the other times people have thanked me for creating cards with ‘real’ phrases that mean a lot. Knowing that they are helping you connect, open up, and support each other is amazing. Thank you so much if you've bought some cards from the new collection.

'Sending You A Big Hug' card

And that concludes the behind the scenes look at my new floral greeting card collection, 'Floral Thoughts'. I hope you have found it interesting.

The ‘Floral Thoughts’ greeting card collection is available to buy now. All the cards are available to buy individually, or you can get the whole collection of 9 greeting cards as a multipack.

If you'd like to hear more about my greeting card business, Jess A Little Creative, please join my mailing list where I’ll be sharing more with you about my creative process and everything involved with running a small business single-handedly.

Thanks so much for reading, Jess x

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