Christmas is coming, and the festive season calls for spreading the joy and cheer far and wide.
A time-honored tradition for doing it with flair is sending out Christmas cards.
While this used to mean composing a handwritten letter or jotting friendly notes in garden-variety, mass-produced cards, times have changed. The modern tradition calls for beautiful Christmas card design ideas that match your own personal style and artistic sensibilities.
Luckily, there are a plethora of good Christmas card designs to choose from online. From artists and designers to small paper goods businesses, there are fantastic cards out there to suit any taste.
17 Wow-Worthy Christmas Card Design Ideas and Examples
Whether you’re sending out cards to the entire family or mailing merry messages to coworkers or clients, here are the best Christmas card designs and ideas to help you choose cards with just the right touch.
Some are traditional, some are modern, and some are a little bit cheeky, but any of them would make a worthy vehicle for the warm wishes you want to send this Christmas.
Classic and Simple Christmas Card Ideas
A traditional, classic Christmas card is perfect for any type of recipient. They’re lovely for sending to family, but they’re perfectly appropriate for clients and partners, too.
If elegant, sophisticated, or classic is your preference, these design ideas are for you.
1. Traditional Motifs
Send a card that speaks to time-honored holiday traditions. This traditional card features a simple design with Christmas trees that are both formal and elegant. To top it off, send a traditional card like this in a stylish, matching envelope with a colored flap.
2. Hand Lettering
For a truly classic way to send Christmas greetings, combine elegant hand lettering with a traditional, religious message that speaks to “the reason for the season.” This card from Laura Bolter Design is a perfect example.
3. Traditional Typography
Wow your recipients and send a classic Christmas card that brings to mind copperplate etching and calligraphy. To really make it pop, choose one traditional, standout color, like this deep red card with gold accents.
4. Swirling Lines
There are so many words associated with the season – “joy,” “hope,” “merry,” “peace,” and more. Choose one of these powerful and uplifting words as the focus for your Christmas card and set it off with a cursive font and swirling lines.
Put your family front and center on your Christmas cards and spread the smiles. Choose your favorite, recent portrait (candid or posed) and use a text overlay to send a simple yet heartfelt message.
If you want your recipients to grin from ear to ear when they open your card, consider printing your design and message on a unique material that stands out.
If you want to step completely outside the box, print your cards on wood. Print a cool or interesting design so your recipients can display it like an art piece all winter long, like this card designed by Elly Ang.
7. Kraft Paper
For a unique look, print a pretty yet simple design on Kraft paper in white and red font, like this example from Clevery. Kraft paper has a thicker weight and a slightly different texture than regular paper, so it feels and looks special.
Letterpress is a traditional printing method that has a long history. It uses higher-quality paper and has an embossed look. For beautiful cards with a handmade feel, you can’t beat this unique material. For an updated look, use traditional typography with modern design and colors, like this example from Matthew Wong.
Modern Christmas Card Designs
If modern is more your style, these design examples fit the bill. They’re bold, colorful, quirky, and fun.
9. Simple and Graphic
Zeppelin Graphics created these fun, simple, and graphic cards that feature interesting color schemes and punchy design. What says “warm wishes” better than a steaming cup of hot cocoa? Get the same look by choosing a few distinctive symbols of the season and pairing them with faded green or red shades.
10. Illustrated and Colorful
This illustrated card by Iisa Mönttinen is modern yet whimsical with its dancing pattern of colorful Christmas stockings.
11. Quirky and Bold
If you can, make them laugh and send a card with a quirky, whimsical design. This little Santa owl by Sarah Russell is both funny and clever.
12. Modern Lettering
For a modern card that pops, choose a fresh font and modern colors, but pair them with a classic message from your favorite holiday music or films. These modern Christmas card designs by Katrina Sutton check every box.
Creative and Cool Christmas Card Designs
If regular folding cards don’t speak to you, use your imagination and come up with creative Christmas cards that make a statement.
13. Holiday Ornament Cards
Lots of people receive stacks of lovely Christmas cards but don’t know how to display them. Solve this problem for your recipients and send cards they can proudly hang on their trees! These particular cards from Minted are cut into classic, elegant shapes and include ribbon for hanging.
14. Laser-Cut Cards
Laser-cut cards are an interesting and unique way to send season’s greetings. These cards feature elaborate cutouts that let you play hide-and-seek with design and color.
This corporate Christmas card idea by Zipeng Zhu is a perfect example. Show off your business’s flair and impress your clients with a creative card design like this one.
15. Pop-Up Cards
The intricacy of pop-up Christmas cards will make your recipients “ooh” and “aah” with delight. These designs are ones they’ll want to display all season long, like this fantastic example of Santa with his reindeer soaring over a Christmas village by Mike Malkovas.
16. Vintage-Style Christmas Cards
Get creative with your card design and go retro. In particular, midcentury modern design is having a huge moment and will make your older recipients reminisce about the ‘50s and ‘60s. This design from Rifle Paper Co. is a little bit retro and a whole lot of fun.
17. Fun Shapes
Don’t get stuck inside the box for your X-mas greeting card designs – think outside the rectangle. This bright red, merry card is cut into a simple folding mitten shape that takes it a step above regular cards.
Send Your Warmest Wishes with These Christmas Card Design Ideas
The best Christmas card designs hit all the right notes for merry greetings.
If you’re sending Christmas cards this year, make them personal and special. The right design will impress your family, friends, colleagues, clients, or customers. Whether you choose a classic card or one with creative flair, your recipients will appreciate your thoughtful gesture.