This evening I worked on holiday cards for friends, family, and galleries. I wanted to create something distinctive that would show off a complete series of prints. I experimented with a number of ideas including stacks of trading cards (with bubble gum) and a large square collage in a custom square envelope, but in the end I borrowed an idea from New Yorker cartoonist Mark Ulriksen.
Over the summer I heard him speak about climbing the ladder as a young illustrator and he mentioned that he used an accordion fold design for an early portfolio mailing and found that it worked well because people would leave it standing up on their desks.
The idea sounds simple enough, but it took a long time to prepare reproductions of each of the prints and then lay everything out in Adobe Illustrator. I also made a bunch of test prints on various papers from a Red River Paper sampler pack before ordering the large sheets and envelopes for the actual cards.
A single 17″ x 25″ sheet has room for two accordion fold cards. Here I’m using 68lb Ultrapro Satin Version 3.0 from Red River Paper.
The 17″ x 25″ sheets barely fit in my trimmer. It took quite a while to work out the locations of the various alignment marks. Since I can’t see exactly where the blade will land, I use alignment marks like the triangle on the bottom of the page. In this example, I need to align the triangle with the 5″ mark on the ruler in order to get a perfect cut.
Using a $10 Martha Stewart bone folder from Michael’s to score the folds. It turns out that not all papers are suitable for folding. Red River has a very nice 86lb double sided glossy paper, but I couldn’t use it because it had a tendency to disintegrate when I scored it.
The accordion fold cards are visually appealing and stand on their own.