We all know we are suppose to say thank you. I just want to re-iterate that it is actually quite important. When I was training as a canvasser for Greenpeace (I was/am one of “those people”) we were told that once they started to formally include the requirement to thank their new donors, their retention rate jumped some astronomical number like 50% (I don’t remember the exact number, this one is fictitious). Previously they had just assumed that their employees would say thank you, but apparently they weren’t. Taking this, in light of the fact that what people remember the most of any interaction is the beginning and the end, it’s easy to see why a gracious closure is important.

To that end, I decided to make thank you cards. With graduation and my birthday so close together, I had plenty of reasons to be thankful. However, thank you cards are expensive, I’m a designer & a maker and I prescribe to the idea of not buying my emotion from a card store. Thus I set out to make a fantastic thank you card.

My priorities were to first and foremost say thank you, and then make it personal. I considered something standard like “From the desk of…” or “Thank you from” as a letterhead. I decided that was a bit stale. It felt too broad.

I have a distinct appreciation for vector art, graphic reductions and stencil work. Something about the high contrast and minimalistic representation has always captured my attention. Thus, I looked at more of a classic style thank you card. Something that simply said thank you on the outside with a small graphic or pattern. However, again that seemed so blasé. It felt like to do it right, I would either need to just make it more stock, and leverage my graphic identity to make it connect, or keep looking. I chose to keep looking, because making it stock, wouldn’t match my priority of making it personal.

Finally I stumbled upon another idea. I love the style of an image with text knocked out of it and I take photos of almost everything it seems. I should just put a photo on the front. Not just any photo either, but one of me interacting with the gift. Since they would be printed on demand, specific to each situation, I could further personalize them with the recipients name on the front.

Once I settled on this idea,I chose a thick, sans serif font because it is simple and makes the point of gratitude clearly. I chose black and white images because I like the contrast. Furthermore, it makes the words pop a bit more re-enforcing the statement of gratitude.

They were laid out on a standard sheet of paper and since I won’t always be sending them out in multiples of four, I made some standardized ones that use my photo of textures and patterns too. As a last resort.