Holiday Card 2021

November 30, 2021


For the 2021 Holiday Season, I wanted to send a digital invite to a holiday party I was hosting, and have a card to send to family in the mail.


After looking at a few different holiday cards from years past, I decided to keep the design very simple, but wanted to have some subtle animation for the digital invitation. As well, it had been 1 year since I got my dog, Bisbee, and I wanted to celebrate him in some holiday fashion. The christmas lights on the final design are very similar to the ones I put up every year - with larger, bulbous casings and vibrant hues. Check out the moodboard I made for this project.


I created both a mobile and desktop design of the card, because I wanted to ensure people who I would text the invitation to would have an enjoyable experience on their mobile device. After some low-fidelity sketching with some sharpies and scrap paper, I created final design using Adobe Illustrator. I particularly enjoyed making the Bisbee logo - he looks good in his Santa Hat!


I thought of a few ways to send the digital invite, from something as straightforward as a .gif, but I really wanted to add something to my site and experiment with CSS in a way I hadn't before. I ultimately settled on exporting the design paths from Illustrator as an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic), since I could easily tweak the design in code.

Mainly, I wanted the individual light bulbs to light up, so I learned how to use the <animate ... /> tag to change the colors of the bulbs while the page is being viewed. It took some tampering to make sure the font-family was imported properly and applied to the <text> tags that are part of the overall <svg> component. As well, I had to familiarize myself with the <svg> that was output from Illustrator. Ultimately, having the distinct layers from the Illustrator file sorted by <g id="layerName"> tags was particularly helpful in identifying the paths I needed to animate.

Final Design

You can view the live design here.

It's responsive, and the RSVP text are actually <a> tags that link out a pre-filled email so those invited can easily reply.

Final Thoughts

I'm glad I learned how to work with SVGs in code and making the designs really pop - it was something I hadn't done before. In the future, I would likely still use the combination of CSS and SVGs for similar projects, but for designs that have varying font-families imported, I would likely need to think of something different to avoid having my site importing too many fonts and slowing it down in the process.

For the design, I'm particularly glad I added the snowflakes - they really helped give the card more texture overall and prevent it from feeling too flat.