Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas e-cards for artists and by art galleries and museums in 2015

Did you know that the world's very first Christmas card was sent by the director of an art museum? Henry Cole, the Founding Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum sent the first Christmas card in 1843

This post covers two topics
  • the Christmas e-card sent as part of your marketing communications plan for your business as an artist
  • the Christmas e-card you might need to send to friends and family - because you've not got round to posting them all in time!

The Christmas e-card - for your art business

Did you create a Christmas e-card for your art business this year?

This year Corporate Christmas e-cards seem to have hit the big time - I've been absolutely inundated with them in the past few days.

There are absolutely masses of ecard companies targeting businesses and their prices are not cheap. The major thing to be concerned about with ecards is whether any company you use is safe - or whether it might create problems for the people you are sending it to.

You also have to decide whether you want:

  • static or animated cards
  • facility to customise the message 
  • mobile compatibility
  • use of your business logo
  • a link to your website or social media site embedded in the image
  • to test and track your business ecards (eg do they actually get opened?)

The safest and cheapest way to send a business ecard is to:
  • create your own STATIC image (do people have the time for animation?)
  • create an email to send to all those you wish to send an ecard to as an artist
  • include the image embedded in the email. That way nobody needs to open a link.
  • send via your normal email distribution list - that way nobody receives a strange link or gets an email from an address they don't recognise.  Plus it includes all the normal required recognition stuff at the bottom of the email for people to check out - and then feel more comfortable.

Museums and Galleries - Christmas e-cards

I've written about Christmas e-cards by art museums in previous years - usually round about the point where it starts to be too late to post an ordinary card and ensure it gets there on time!

Here's my round up for 2015.  I'm always amazed more museums and art galleries don't do this as it must generate a lot of extra traffic for the website!

Don't forget - when it comes to e-cards it really does not matter where you live because anybody can send them to anybody living anywhere in the world!

The Geffrye Christmas e-card selection
Below the museums are listed alphabetically by country. Those which provide a good selection have their names in bold.


Geffrye Museum of the Home (London)

The Geffrey Museum of the Home in Shoreditch continues - as it does every year - to provide a nice (and different) range of Christmas ecards of the British Home at Christmas in the past and traditional Christmas cards from the past.

National Museums Liverpool

This is the best collection I know online

Two collections are available and each has a wide selection to choose from as well as a range of styles.
The ecard allows you to add your own message and to send the same card to up to 10 people if you don't want to personalise by name. Once sent the next screen gives you the option to send another ecard. The email arrives as a "you have been sent an ecard" and inviting you to click a link - and they, of course, manage to insert a nice display advert for finding out their activities at Christmas! When clicked you get a nice large image plus the message underneath.

Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove

I'm very taken by the selection offered by the Royal Pavilion & Museums Image Store
 in Brighton. There's lots to choose from and a good range of different traditional designs. They include an option to send as an ecard.

Worcester Historical Museum

They have a collection of historical Christmas cards available to send as Christmas ecards - some of which are very suitable for children

Alternatively if you'd like to study the design and decorative appeal of Christmas cards sent in the past, you should go to the Victoria & Albert Museum's Study Room Resource: Christmas


Museum of Fine Art (Boston)

The ecard facility has been withdrawn - which is a big pity as they used to have some nice ones.

However you can email a link to artworks in their collection - however your message remains in the email rather than being included with an image within their collection

Here are some examples of Christmas images
The Sausalito Art Galleries have invited local artists to turn their artwork into e-cards

The ecards that aren't for Christmas

Some museums don't recognise Christmas or at the very least have no images which are in any way Christmas related

Membership ecard sites

Two ecard sites which provide seasonal greetings - for a fee - are listed below. BOTH are compatible with and can be read on mobile devices

Jacquie Lawson

  • an English artist who has been providing ecards for a long time and comes up with new cards for every seasonal event. These are the links to her 
  •  I find the design and the music a tad traditional/"folksy" - however the quality of the digital animation is excellent . Her site is also an an advertisement-free zone. 
  • However you MUST be a member to send any of her cards - however once you become a member you can send as many as you like. 


  • a husband and wife team producing online greetings cards. 
  • She's the artist. These are their Christmas / Hanukkah ecards and their New Year Cards. They have a wide variety of designs. They look more digital somehow compared to Jacquie Lawsons.
Do please tell me if you've found any other sites 
- particularly any created by individual artists

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