Royal College of Art Christmas Cards Mix Tradition with Festive Fun

Christmas is a time for giving, and the RCA are this year offering two designs to those of you who like to frame your festive messages with culture.

Sold in support of the Royal College of Art Student Fund, which benefits students who would not otherwise be able to pursue their studies at the College, the official Royal College of Art Christmas card 2014 has been designed by alumnus Jörg Schwertfeger (MA Visual Communication, 2014).

Printed in metallic gold and green with an embossed surface and foiled detail, the card takes the lion and unicorn (symbolic of the College’s Royal Charter) from the RCA crest and redraws them into a playful embrace within a festive setting.

Additionally, for the third year running, RCA students and graduates from the School of Communication have worked with Tate to create a series of designs that think outside Christmas gift box. Ten of the best designs have been selected and made into cards exclusively for Tate.

The designs were judged by illustrator and co-founder of Le Gun, Bill Bragg, illustrator and printmaker, Mark Hearld and Tate Merchandise Director Rosey Blackmore, and there is something for everyone – die-hard carollers and humbuggers alike.

Maria Ines Gul, Visual Communication student describes her card, Star: ‘In Poland we have a tradition to wait up for the first star in the sky before on Christmas Eve. I also wanted to use a universal symbol for all the holiday season, since not everybody is celebrating the Christian holiday. It’s all about the mystery of the long winter nights and the joy of the new upcoming year.’

From minimalist re-imaginings of Santa and Rudolph; a drawn illustration of a red robin; three baubles that use 3D modelling to play with optical illusion; two fat cats strewn with Christmas decorations; a skyscape of festive rooftops; a paper cut-out snowman in a garden; a friendly faced star; hallucinogenic graphic snowflakes; and a dystopian graphite drawing of a television.

Rosey Blackmore said, ‘With the competition now in its third year, the standard of entries was the highest it has ever been. The RCA’s students are hugely imaginative and creative, and the winning entries use a wide variety of media and approaches, bringing a fresh take on the traditional Christmas card. We are thrilled with the results.’

Official RCA Christmas cards can be purchased in person from the College shop, or via email here. Cards cost £2 or £7.50 for a pack of five.

Tate/RCA Christmas cards can be purchased in person from Tate Gallery shops or online here. Cards are sold in packs of six and cost £4 or £5.

Tate cards have been designed by the following students and graduates:

Rudolf and Santa, Hayley Warnham, Visual Communication graduate                       
Robin, Fee Greening, Visual Communication graduate
Rooftops, Tezo Kyungdon Lee, Animation student
Fat Cats, Rachel Wright, Visual Communication student
Star, Maria Ines Gul, Visual Communication student
Snowflake, Jade Rawling, Visual Communication student
The Illusion of Christmas, Signe Emma and Theodoulos Polyviou, Visual Communication graduates
Joy Together, Jiwon Jung, Animation student
TV Star, Billie Muraben, Visual Communication graduate