Behind the Design

Michigan Greetings: Behind our Holiday Card Designs

The holidays are a special time at Peninsulas. For the team, it means decorating the shop, plenty of Buddy the Elf jokes, and of course, holiday cards! Every year we pack up boxes and boxes of cards, Santa’s workshop style, for our holiday shoppers. We often have folks stop by the shop asking for their favorite design from years past!

 

 

What makes our holiday cards so sought-after? We’ll tell you! Read on to find out why our holiday cards should fill the mailboxes of your friends and family this year.

 

 

All good things are created with care, from the very beginning. We like to have fun with it! Many of our designs are the result of a group brainstorming session between our design team, Michigander illustrators, copywriters, and more.

Our designs develop under the watchful and talented eye of co-owner and Creative Director Sherri Lawton Jameson, who you can learn more about on the Peninsulas about page. Her eye for fonts, layouts, and color is inspired by a long love of vintage design and is unmatched!

The illustrations for our Holiday card line were created by the skilled freelancer Matt Lebarre, who imbued these card illustrations with a rich design sense informed by his love of mid-century modern art. You can learn more about Matt and the other collaborations he’s had with Peninsulas in our Artist Series Interview with him.

 


Speaking of design, another aspect of our holiday card line that we’re proud of is its variety! Michiganders look for all sorts of things in their holiday cards, whether that be a cheeky sense of humor or a heartfelt greeting. Our line of cards caters to every kind of Michigander, from the ones with a funnybone to the more traditional. 

 

 

Cards like “Winter Sanctuary”, “Lantern Trail” and “Round Island Lighthouse” are perfect for a sentimental season’s greetings. 

For a charming card that would fit right into a storybook, try our “Michigan Gingerbread”, “Holiday Greetings from Michigan”, or “Some Assembly Required”.

 

 

Check out “Coney Christmas”, “Be Good” and the especially facetious “Reindeer Season” for a sillier holiday’s greetings. 


If you know Peninsulas, you know we’re all about celebrating Michigan culture, and that includes supporting local businesses! We work with a nearby offset printer to print all sorts of items for our store, and our cards are no different.

 

 

Not only do we love that collaborating locally supports hard-working Michiganders, but we also love that it allows us to have partnerships with people who know their craft. We work closely with our holiday card printer, attending press checks to ensure that colors are consistent and the best they can be, to make the art shine.

 


 

We saw the opportunity to make our holiday card line even more versatile, and we took it! A large part of our holiday card designs is also available as what we call gift enclosures. 

Holiday cards are great for sending far and wide, but what if you want to add a heartfelt message to a wrapped gift? Add a gift enclosure! These little tags are a staple of holiday gift wrapping, and we love how they can add that extra amount of charm to a gift bag or package. They’re perfect for the holiday wrapper who loves to give their cards, stationery, and gifts that extra touch.

Each gift enclosure design is a mini version of its greeting card counterpart and can be bought in singles or packs of six. How small are we talking? Each tag is 2-3/4" x 4" big. Pair it with our holiday wrapping paper for a look that’s 100% Michigan holiday spirit!

 

 

Sure, we could have made any old greeting cards, but we wanted to take it further. We wanted cards that reflected our pride for the Great Lakes, and our love of Michigan culture. We took the time to sit down and brainstorm ideas that have that extra oomph, with clever nods to iconic Michigan scenes.

Many of our cards have an extra angle to them that celebrates some aspect of Michigan culture. Take the “Full Production” and “Assembly Required” cards for example. These illustrations reference the poses and compositions of Diego Rivera’s murals displayed at the Detroit Institute of Art! “Lantern Trail” features a glowing Mackinac Bridge, and “Coney Christmas” features Detroit’s two most famous rival coney dog restaurants: Lafayette and American.

Holiday cards are a seasonal tradition with the power to bring people closer. We wanted to take our designs beyond the generic and give people something that would genuinely make them smile or chuckle when they pulled it out of the mail. More than just a happy holiday, we’re here to give you a merry Michigan greetings.