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October 20, 2021

Graphic designers: we need you!

Written by Jack Lewis

Can you design our Christmas card?

We know, we know. It’s not even Halloween yet, and here we are mentioning the C-word. But you must have noticed it was coming: the nights are drawing in, there are mince pies on the supermarket shelves and we may have already sneaked one or two of those big tins of chocolates into the house.

This year, we’re getting prepared early, because we want to send all of our freelancers a festive Christmas e-card. And that’s where you come in! We’re reaching out to all our graphic designers to help design this year’s Dinghy Christmas card. We want to see your talent and originality shine through in the most imaginative Christmas card design you can create – and the top design will win an iPad mini!

Our winning Christmas card competition design will be produced and sent as an e-card because that’s more eco-friendly than sending out lots and lots of paper in the post. It’s estimated that over 1 billion Christmas cards are sent in the UK each festive season, so we’re trying to play our part to reduce the environmental impact of our Crimbo celebrations. That’s why our winning design has to be special – to spread festive cheer into the inboxes and social media feeds of all our lovely freelancer customers.

What is the graphic designer prize?

The winning design will win a 64GB iPad mini and your image will be used as the front cover of our Christmas e-card, sent out to all our customers and posted on our social media channels. We’ll tag the winning designer, giving you some extra exposure and hopefully putting you before the eyes of some potential new clients.

Important information

  • The deadline for submitting the artwork for your entries is Friday 26th November 2021.
  • Please submit your final design as a pdf and email it to

There are so many different designs of Christmas cards on the shelves these days: traditional, modern, Christmas cards from the dog, funny cards, photographic cards…the list is endless. Christmas is celebrated in all sorts of different ways, so it shouldn’t be too tricky to find inspiration. But if you’re struggling to feel festive, pop some mulled wine on, turn up the Christmas tunes and have a look at these websites to get the Christmas creativity flowing.

V&A – The First Christmas Card

The first Christmas card is thought to have been sent by Henry Cole in 1843. Cole was the founding director of the V&A museum, and they have a great overview of the history of the Christmas card and some stunning examples of the Victorian tradition of Christmas cards on their website to help inspire your design process. It’s also always worth having a browse at the designs available in their online shop to get an overview of the high-end Christmas card market.

Smithsonian Magazine – The History of the Christmas Card

In the United States of America, the earliest Christmas cards would often have less of a “holiday” feel, instead focusing on images of flowers or nature, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Just like Dinghy, card companies in the US in the late 1800s would often hold competitions for the best designs. Each year’s card releases were reviewed and acclaimed in newspapers, celebrating their artistry and craft.

Blue Thumb – Christmas Through the Eyes of Five Famous Modern Artists

How does Christmas look through the surrealist eyes of Salvador Dali? What would a Banksy Christmas card look like? And what Andy Warhol card creation might you have sent to your folks if you were living in 1950s America? Find out over at the Australian online art gallery Blue Thumb.

Papier – A Brief History of the Christmas Card

The rise of online card printers where you can alter the text and images of your cards has made the “family portrait” style of personalised card more popular and accessible than ever. But, according to Papier, it was Wild West sharpshooter Annie Oakley who sent the first personalised portrait cards – created from photographs taken of her on tour in Scotland in 1891 and sent back to her family in the States.

Business insurance for graphic designers

While you get cracking on designing the perfect Christmas card for Dinghy’s freelancers, it’s also worth taking a minute to check that your business insurance is up-to-date. Dinghy offers different types of business insurance policy all tailored to the needs of freelance graphic designers. If you’re not sure what type of cover you need, you can take a look at our guide ‘What types of insurance should a graphic designer consider?’. It breaks down all the different policies we offer and gives examples of the types of claims a freelance graphic designer might need to make. Getting a quote for cover takes less than a minute on our website – approximately the same amount of time it takes all the Purple Ones to get eaten from a tub of Quality Street.

About Jack Lewis

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