Full set of cards - digital version
Printed set of cards
'Knowing' printed on recycled paper
Close-up of 'Floating' printed on recycled paper
Close-up of the 'playing' card printed on recycled paper
FortForge at work on character 'K'
Test set of characters in fontface Béla Monkeytail Script
Full illustration (without the baby's name typography)


To celebrate the birth of a new being in this world and spread the word among friends and family we designed a card that doubles as an offering for baby visitors, much like the traditional sugared almonds. The illustration for the main birth card contains all sorts of elements important for the child or the circumstances of his birth. These elements were then lifted out of the context of the card to appear as central figures on a set of eight gift cards meant as an offering for friends and family. Each card has a word that is a wish for both the visitor and the newborn baby boy. We designed the characters for every word and produced a typeface called Béla Monkeytail Script, referring to the name of the baby and the year of the monkey 2016 in Chinese astrology.

Tools and methods

All illustrations were made with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop Creative Suite 6. The basic shapes were drawn in Illustrator and exported as flat shapes on transparent layers. These were then imported in Photoshop for further editing. To achieve an organic richness of textures and colours many groups, layers and masks were used with custom brushes, mimicking vintage halftone printing techniques. The source material, however, was never touched in order to maximize editability during the process. The characters were drawn freehand in Illustrator and imported in FortForge for font creation.


The paper version will be spread among closest relatives and friends but most of the recipients will receive this card by email. We made sure that the digital version was a nice surprise in the inbox. The paper version of the card was printed by inkutlab.com in Brussels. They offer graphic solutions, digital fine art printing and lasercutting services. Although they could attain a higher printing definition on shinier paper we decided to go for a white recycled paper with little specks of grey and a matte finish. We wanted to attain a vintage stationery feeling rather than a high fidelity print. The cards were cut with some padding around the image so the quality of the paper could be appreciated.