How to Create (How I) a New Card Collection

For every stationery designer the next release is both daunting and thrilling.

While there’s a deadline looming there’s also endless possibilities of what you can create. For me, new collections are typically veryyyy hard. I get in my head and fuss over new designs for weeks. But! They always come together in the end. So in this post, let’s break down how to make a new collection shall we? These are just a few loose steps. Obviously everyone has their own process but this is the general process I follow.


  1. What is my current collection missing? Or what’s working the best? Since I’m still a relatively new brand new releases are a time where I get to build out my collection. For example, my collection is still lacking Mother’s Day & Father’s Day (I’ve attempted these before - this category is so hard for me!) so that would be a good place for me to start working on and built out that missing category. Similarly, what was popular from the last release? My new designs from last time were a great hit so I’ll continue in the same style and maybe add on a few to those existing designs. Once I have a general idea, I’ll make a list of what categories I’m going to do and how many of each. My new releases are usually about 6-12 cards in total.

  2. Quantity over quality - next is purely idea generation. I’m a big believer that your first idea is never your best idea. In this phase I’m trying to get out as many ideas as possible and think of thoughtful phrases to match.

    (side note: this is something I love to do during markets/events! It’s a great way to utilize the down time and patrons always love to see what you’re working on/sketching. It’s a great conversation starter!)

  3. Editing - after I’ve generated a bunch of ideas I’ll go through and pick my favorites to refine. Out of say 50 sketches there’s usually around maybe 10 that I like. I’ll take those ideas to the computer and refine them. 

    (while I do this I typically have Pinterest or a Google image search open to a) Make sure it’s an original idea and I'm not inadvertently copying someone and b) To expand on idea. For example if I know I want a pink flower here, what type of flower? *Googles pink flower and scrolls thill I see something I like*)

    This is the step that can last weeeeks for me. It takes me a long time to feel confident in new designs so this is sometimes a laborious process.

  4. Test print - Test print to-scale for potential adjustments. Admittedly, I very rarely do this. There is a feature in Illustrator that will show designs as actual size on screen (usually pretty accurate!) so I don’t do this very often but sometimes you just have to print it out. I do test prints more often with stickers. 

  5. Prep files & send them to print - the most exciting part! Always check that your colors are in CMYK, outline those fonts, make sure the bleeds are correct, and then send them to print.

  6. Open the box and love them! (then plan the photoshoot!)


Very brief but this is my overall process. Fairly simple right? (*laughs*). But truly, there’s something special about getting to share something ‘new.’ With each release I get to see how my brand and design style has evolved so in a way they’re little milestones, built in stops along this small business journey.

Anyways, going to leave it there before I get too sappy! Want to chat through process? DM on Instagram! @lineandkind

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