colour my edinburgh

university of edinburgh

Original illustration designs for the various christmas cards

The time-honoured tradition of sending Christmas cards has been around in the UK since the 1840s, and is a tradition that is still upheld by many today – including the University of Edinburgh.

The University sought a unique card design to be produced for both print and digital formats that evoked immense feelings of nostalgic festive spirit.

The approach was simple. Design and create black and white illustrations of key University buildings in a festive setting, and let the audience add their own artistic flair through colouring in.

Creating the definite illustration lines from a sketch

Interactive christmas card showing the colour in feature on the website

Full view of how the colour fills in on digital interactive christmas card


The refined and final designs created to show the university buildings in festive scenes

The printed card was mailed as a thank you to the supporters of the University with information on where to find the other designs. This featured a link directly to the digital cards available for download.

The digital Christmas card was mailed to the entire University of Edinburgh Alumni mailing list as a festive enewsletter, directing recipients to an interactive card that could be coloured directly by dragging the mouse over the image.

Printed downloads from the website being coloured in

The self-colouring element truly evokes a child-like, nostalgic feeling and inspires all supporters and alumni to interact more with the card rather than opening and leaving it.

The website also included some key achievements for the University, keeping the alumni and supporters up to date while still engaging in some festive spirit!

The final printed Christmas card with season's greetings