Birthday flow chart

Flow charts. Love ’em or hate ’em, these little buggers are everywhere – except birthday cards. Until now (cue dramatic music).

The premise for this card is simple: Why have one large section of cards for people who are actually sending their cards on time and a tiny, pitiful “belated” section for everyone else? Really, in the name of efficiency we could combine them into one card. Plus it saves paper, which is so green it’s bound to be cool. Of course you argue that not sending a card in the first place would be even greener, but I’m going to ignore that fact.

The design I wanted was simple: a basic color palette and no drop shadows, gradients, or other such effects. The main tools I used were various textures, the pencil tool (one I generally pretend doesn’t exist), the smoothing pencil tool (who knew?), and some scatter brushes (most of which didn’t actually make the cut – so sad). Naturally there were some standards too, like the pen tool and pathfinder, but those are two tools that even I know how to use.

Using this card is easy. Depending on when you are giving the card, follow the flowchart and write your message in the appropriate location. And don’t try to fake out the flowchart…the flowchart knows all.

card front

card outside

card inside

card back

card back

One of the things I still haven’t gotten used to with Illustrator is how layers are handled. After a while I realized I had one layer with everything on it and I couldn’t easily get to the selection I wanted. Needless to say the amount of time I spent trying to clean up the situation could’ve been better spent banging my head against the wall – it would have been just as productive.