Design | Project Management | Advise
Before I became a mother in 2005, I had no idea the world of birth announcement cards (geboortekaartjes) was such a hot topic. Yes, I’d received some myself, but never realised it was such big business. Becoming a mother and being a designer meant I designed my son’s card myself. Doing this gave me a creative impulse so I decided to delve into the world of babies to discover a booming business model. I started designing my own collections, built a website and sold my own cards under the name DG Cards. What does it stand for? Designer Geboortekaartjes.
Before long I’d developed 6 collections with over 100 cards per collection. Each card was customisable where you could change the font, and colours or even add a photo of the newborn. I had sample packs available with paper and colour swatches to help people decide what to order.
That question was bound to come along and sure enough, I was asked if I also designed wedding invitations and thank you cards. So, I added another 5 collections to my website, again with the possibility of customising each design.
In just 5 years’ time I made over 1000 cards for babies, couples and unfortunately a few mourning cards. One, in particular, will stick with me forever. My phone rang and on the other end was a father of a little girl for whom I’d designed a birth announcement card only 8 months earlier. To celebrate her short life, they requested a mourning card in the same style as her birth announcement card. I was honoured to be able to contribute and designed the card for them. For once I wasn’t waiting for a good news phone call, so when the call came that she had passed, I filled in the details, sent it to the family to confirm the information and said a little prayer for the little girl. The card was then printed and delivered. Not long after her death, another angel came into the world, her little brother, for whom I was again asked to design a beautiful and meaningful birth announcement card. These are moments I cherish where I was allowed to be close to a family in good and sad times. A memory not quickly forgotten.
On a happier note, another special moment of mine was the time the phone rang, and I heard a familiar voice say, ‘There’s no way you’re telling me that our fifth child gets a card designed by someone else, are you?’ Of course not! By this time, I’d stopped designing cards but there was no way I would leave this family in the lurch. And so, the sixth card for this family was added to my collection. Sixth? Yes, the parents had decided to get married before number five had arrived and again had asked me for my design skills. All six cards are created in the same style giving the family a series of cards unique to each child and themselves displaying a uniform whole.
After five years of designing cards for over 1000 people, it was time to stop. Five years of continuously being on standby was enough. Even my honeymoon was spent working on cards. This doesn’t mean I never designed a card since, fortunately, people still know where to find me for a personalised card.
Yes, that’s right. DG Cards is still part of the Emdesign brand today, so it needed a logo, identity, and website. I advertised in baby magazines, left flyers at midwifery practices in the Netherlands, and to be honest, most orders were generated by word of mouth. My Google score was extremely valuable as well and I was fortunate enough to rank at the top of the list when you searched for geboortekaartje (birth announcement cards).
Today the brand is dormant but who knows what the future has in store for her.