Fred Rogers Productions
Graphic design, photo editing and pre-press/print coordination
InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom
The iconic Fred Rogers Productions creates children’s educational programming right here in Pittsburgh. They wanted to spread joy and cheer—and show off their incredible characters—through beautifully-designed holiday cards. Their hope? Vibrant, curiosity-evoking, and completely custom—without breaking the bank. Well, they found the right designer…because the holidays and Mister Rogers both make my heart happy. This project (and ultimately this ongoing partnership) was an easy yes for me.
While the holiday cards of FRP’s past did highlight the characters, there was room for more personality (since they have loads). Our plan? Let’s bring curiosity and fun to the forefront—while ensuring a super-custom deliverable. Our goal was to immerse the reader so we could truly share some holiday happiness—a sentiment that felt spot-on.
Staying mindful that they are a non-profit organization, we find unique ways to maximize the card’s engagement-potential while keeping cost-conscious: special print effects and techniques like spot gloss, foil finishes and unique folds were budget-friendly ways to impress the reader. No matter the theme, the final card always reflects the spirit of FRP through their characters and positive message. As their proactive holiday card designer, we have "Christmas in July"—a quick, joy-filled meeting where we strategize the theme for the season’s card. This way, we can keep spirits high, and stress low come December.
We also do two batches of the card—one with pre-printed signatures and one left blank for handwritten messages from the FRP folks. And for maximum versatility, we always turn the printed card into an animated GIF which gets emailed and shared on social media.
It's no secret I LOVE MISTER ROGERS. And if you’re a human reading this, you probably do, too. Whether it’s an annual holiday card or another exciting initiative, working with this iconic Pittsburgh organization—who is keeping Mr. Rogers' message alive—feels good in every possible way.
"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time." — Fred Rogers