Posts in Holiday

Canadians are just as dark and twisted as Minnesotans!

published by Fran Shea

I knew it!

People always ask me, “what made you write that card?” This question is usually followed by either laughter or tears and then I am dumped on the side of the road with a pack of cigarettes and a mix-tape.

If I even had time (or could pull the gag out of my mouth) to answer, I’d say that the inspiration for each and every card is just a reaction to some experience that I’ve had. I’m not a scientist but I’m pretty sure that the brain works like a Rube Goldberg Machine. One observation leads to a series of tangents and the end result is either a small, quiet room in a mental institution or a greeting card that part of the (dark and twisted) population can relate to.

Example: My grandmother decided to spend her twilight years traveling. She and her companion wanted to tour some parts of Hawaii in a helicopter. Tragedy struck, and the helicopter and all of its passengers were smashed against the side of a volcano. The only identifying evidence available were the teeth.

What?! Yes, it’s true. That card is not a big seller in the U.S. but strangely, it’s quite popular in Canada. What does that even mean?? And now are you going to wonder if there is a story behind this card?:

There isn’t. THERE ISN’T.

The strong would survive the winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten.

published by Fran Shea

the-strong-would-survive-th

The Long Winter is the true tale of a Minnesota family surviving one of the most brutal Winters in our recorded history. Trapped in the house – day after day after day – the blizzard makes it impossible to see out the window or even walk out to the barn without getting lost. Good ol’ Pa rigs up a rope to follow, he is always coming up with some creative solution! Ma follows that rope because Pa finds himself trapped in a ditch by the creek. The wood pile dwindles to nothing and the family is forced to twist hay into little bundles – they would burn these in the cast-iron stove to heat their little house. … Tough, brown bread is the only food left to eat.

Or is it?

What if that was on the jacket flap? I’d totally read that book.

It’s time for Christmas rejects!

published by Fran Shea

Gosh, that’s a scary movie! Those poor misfit toys… the choo-choo with the square wheels, the pistol that shoots jelly, the effeminate jack-in-the-box…  I think the jack-in-the-box and that little dentist-elf would make a cute couple.

Okay, so I keep trying to design something to print on these FIVE THOUSAND BEVERAGE COASTERS that we have lying around. I guess no one cares about preserving the shine and luster of their finished furniture.

I think that’s barbaric.

Maybe they think it sends the wrong message? I don’t. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to booze it up through the 12 days of Christmas. In fact, it is acceptable all year round IF you set your drink on one of our beverage coasters. (Was that some sort of plug?? Yes. Here’s a link: AND here’s one I designed just for Touchpoint Retail. It has the recipe for a candy cane martini right on it. Isn’t that handy?? coaster-for-touchpoint-450x229

They decided to go with a card design from the Zeichen Press line but JUST TO BE DIFFICULT (I mean, sui generis.) they had us print it on an oversized SQUARE coaster. But I must admit, it’s pretty darn nice.

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Rewriting History OR Making Ken Piper sit on Scary Santa’s Lap

published by Fran Shea

Dear Scary Santa,

How is Mrs. Scary Santa? How are the reindeer? That’s nice.

Could you please bring us our own architectural firm? Just like Mr. Brady from the Brady Bunch?

brady-bunch

He’s always making models in the den and walking around with rolled-up blueprints. It looks like so much fun. PLUS, we would totally take care of it. We figured out the best name for it:

Tanek.

Get it?

It’s our names! Spelled backwards!!

Anyway, we’ll let you get back to working with the elves.

From,

Ken & Nat

big-screen-grab-santa-nat-k

Back in the shop

published by Fran Shea

The low magenta toner has put a hold on the catalog production. I am really, really upset about it. I’d like to spend more time with the new laser printer. Understanding its quirks, its likes and dislikes. What makes it get out of bed every morning? Does it enjoy being my slave? Don’t worry, Brother HL-4070CDW – this is only temporary. Jen paid the extra $3.99 for shipping and your toner will be here Wednesday. Thank you, Jen. I mean it. 

So I spent the day in the shop. Despite my tears I was able to lay out some previously written cards. I think the anguish really comes through. I am, after all, an artist. My soul is appropriately tortured. Whoa is me.

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shhh nobodyll-notice-us

pevenshire wiffynuts

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It’s Christless time!

published by Fran Shea

Time for more corporate holiday cards! My Big Brother owns Tanek, the coolest (of course) architectural firm in the Midwest. Every year they ask us to bring some of our freshest (dopest) designs to their table. We drop whatever we’re doing (eating) and hop to.  This year I’ve created a couple of things:

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subtlehalftone-peppermint

The humor is subtle. Just like me.

I think this one should have been chosen last year:

tanek-paper-dolls

But no. It was voted down. Apparently the Tanek Leaders didn’t want to be seen in their fictional underpants. Prudes.