You think the holidays are all about the gifts. Think again. What really stands out—literally, for at least a month, stuck to refrigerator doors, lined up on counters, tacked to bulletin boards—are the cards.
This year, I challenge you to forgo the Shutterstock photo option for the (letterpressed) road less taken. And it’s easy! Philly-based stationers are turning out cards that will win you top billing on fridges everywhere. Here, my favorite picks from seven local companies.
1. Squeeze My Hand
This Old City-based letterpress printing and custom design company makes beautiful letterpress cards that are artful without being too sentimental. $22 for this set of 3 cards and envelopes. (Discounts given for larger orders; email for more information.) Buy here.
2. Betsy Ann Paper
Liz Moorhead creates box sets of her simple but sweet watercolor illustrations, like this set of four Philly-centric designs (I adore the South Philly neighborhood lights card). Psst: You’ll also find her stuff in local stores including Occasionette, Philadelphia Independents and Vix Emporium. $16 for set of 8 cards and red envelopes. Buy it here.
3. Manayunk Calligraphy
Kimberly Shrack creates illustrations with her prettier-than-typography calligraphy. Her cards feature lyrics from traditional holiday songs, and can be personalized (yes, still in time for Christmas!). From $30 for 10 cards and envelopes. Buy here.
4. Rachel Ink
The cards by Havertown-based Rachel King Burch feature her architectural, thoroughly charming drawings, like the peppermint-wheeled Vespa and the Philly rowhomes above. From $14 for a set of 8 cards with red envelopes. Buy it here.
5. The Atelier
Melissa Noucas’s Philly-based line of paper goods and accessories includes this trio of holiday card sets—and our favorite way to send a photo card, a custom Instagram design (center). From $24 for set of 10. Buy here.
6. Gracefully Noted
Go to this Philly-based design company for the coolest (all handmade!) die-cut cards ever, each one a bit of artwork in its own right. $22.50 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes. Buy here.
7. Well Said Creations
Another option: Leave the sweet sentiments to everyone else and go funny (and R-rated). Plus, who doesn’t love a good Christmas Vacation quote? From $20 for a set of 5 cards with envelopes. Buy here.
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