Archive of the Month, December 2012 – Christmas Cards

Christmas cards designed by past students, 1991 – present

December’s Archive of the Month is a collection of Christmas cards created by our students.  These examples of modern design officially promoted The Kent Institute of Art & Design and later the University of Creative Arts, following a tradition for official Christmas cards started by Queen Victoria in the 1840s.  They gave students the opportunity to promote their talents and gain first-hand experience of fulfilling a commercial brief.

The collection includes two official Christmas cards for the Kent Institute of Art and Design.  The first is illustrated by Gary Jones, BA (Hons) Communication Media (July 1991) and was designed by David Hart BA (Hons).  This vibrant image, ‘Black Birds Whistle,’ uses a vast array of colours inspired by South America.


The second KIAD design, from 2004, boldly uses the barcode as its central theme.  The card cleverly combines a festive message while also making a sly comment on the season’s commerciality.  It was designed by Maxime Herr, BA (Hons) Graphic Design.

herr 4

Three designs within the collection were official UCA Christmas cards.  The first by Ruth Taylor, Foundation Studies in Art & Design at Rochester, layers images of fruit and the natural world in a rich colourful scheme.


The second UCA Christmas card by Heather Wheal, BTEC ND at Rochester, is a fun reworking of a familiar Kent seaside image.  The unexpected addition of a bright pink tree brilliantly contrasts with the black and white photograph.


The third UCA Christmas card was created by Lawrence Simpson, BA (Hons) Digital Screen Arts (2008), and designed by Melanie Ray, BA (Hons) Graphic Communication.  This glossy digital image alludes to the themes of light, the Star and the festive colour red.


These Christmas cards can be accessed at the library archives, Rochester Campus.  Other collections of Christmas cards include Queen Mary’s Collection at the British Museum, and the Word & Image department of the V&A which holds the first Christmas card by J. C. Horsley from 1843.

 This year, our Vice-Chancellor Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr lent his expertise to help judge a Christmas card competition for primary schools.  To read more, click here:

 These cards are accessible in Rochester

Reviewed by Lynsey Blandford, Library Advisor at Rochester


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s