Who doesn’t want to ‘feel the love,’ especially in the depths of a cold Chicago winter?
Ten years ago, that very thought inspired us to spread the love with a Valentine’s Day card. It made sense for our team, since we’ve all seen the power of design at work as we make ordinary spaces accommodating and appealing for our clients. So we decided to use the moment to make the power of design transformative for our clients and friends with a meaningful missive that would make them, and the day, feel special.
We’re not alone—stats from the Greeting Card Association note that Valentine’s Day is second to only Christmas for sending missives. Knowing that, we realized our card had to be spectacular to stand out from the crowd and fulfill our objectives.
As ‘sourcing experts,’ we knew the perfect source for the task at hand would be our friend and long-time collaborator Rick Valicenti of Thirst, one of country’s most gifted graphic designers. The rest of the story is now ingrained in our firm history: Ever since that first one, the Valentine’s Day cards he has created for us are not only incredibly clever and ‘heartening’—they’re hot commodities. Our recipients are always telling us, “They’re miniature works of art in their own right.”
Rick Valicenti, who is also an accomplished fine artist, says he strives to make the cards “transcend the ephemeral ‘here today gone tomorrow’ of this day, as well as the Hallmark vernacular.” With nimble word play and inventive graphics, he has accomplished that in each and every card. And given the fact that many of our clients and friends (and us too) have framed the cards, we agree with our recipients’ assessment: These are indeed works of art in their own right.
When we emailed Rick to remind him that we had to get started on this year’s card, he fired back: “Your Valentines are the sweetest reward I get to indulge in annually.” His sweet response made us think about how meaningful these cards have become as a firm tradition—we have come to realize that they are a testimony to the power of design and its ability to expand relationships.
We also realized that we’ve developed a firm philosophy around our Valentine’s Day cards. Just in case you want to start your own tradition, here’s what we’ve realized about this exercise:
Approach them as a great relationship investment;
Make them memorable;
Use snail mail so they don’t get lost in an inbox; and
Don’t forget that the power of design applies to the stamps, too!
11 Feb 2015