Neenah Paper’s “A Year’s Worth of Greetings”

Services: Illustration

Neenah Paper’s “A Year’s Worth of Greeting Cards” promotion featuring Russell Shaw’s Earth Day Card

Neenah hosted a collaboration, “A Year’s Worth of Greetings,” featuring their Environment and Royal Sundance brand papers. Twelve designers created two cards each for this compilation set of twenty-four moments.

It is always fun working with Neenah – so when they reached out and asked me to participate in this greeting card design collaboration project, I leapt at the chance. But once I got into the work and realized that the collaborative project would be littered with design superheroes of mine – from Chip Kidd, Frank Chimero, and Luba Lukova, to Von Glitschka, Ben Grandgenett and more – I honestly just kept thinking, “Wait why am I here? Is this a mistake?” What a dream project to be a part of!

Thank you to the other designers involved and to the team at Neenah for bringing me along for the ride!

Earth Day and Celebrate Nothing illustrated greeting cards for Neenah Paper Year’s Worth of Cards promotion

Earth Day Card

For the Earth Day card, I was inspired by old woodblock prints and tapestries and wanted to create imagery that was a modern twist (clean lines and crisp geometry) on classic forms (trees and mountains and waterfalls), while also contrasting the clean lines of the artwork with the textured fibers of the linen paper.

The design is printed in green and white foil, on Royal Sundance Emerald Green paper in a linen finish. The inside of the card has one of my favorite quotes from one of the Earth’s favorites sons: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” - John Muir.

Green and white single width vector lines create a dense illustrated nature scene for this earth day card

“Celebrate Nothing” Card

For the second card, the assignment from Neenah was a totally blank canvas. I decided to make this card not for any holiday or occasion. Instead, it’s this principle that we try to follow in our home, and a piece of a quote that my wife taught me. It’s a reminder that sometimes we need to “celebrate nothing” — but we need to celebrate nonetheless. Sometimes you need to open champagne on a Tuesday, just because it’s Tuesday, and Tuesdays are worth celebrating. Sometimes you need to go and eat out somewhere nice just to breathe and remember to be present and that present moments are worth enjoying for the sake of them.

I illustrated these words with a skywriting plane scrawling the message across the page. Something normally reserved for over-the-top gestures, but in this case, it’s just a silly and small reminder to be present.

Hand drawn skywriting plane writes “Celebrate Nothing” across the front of this greeting card