A Design Dilemma

October 25, 2012

I was talking to a woman recently who has a relative in prison.  “I wanted to send him a birthday card,” “she said, but I couldn’t find anything that was appropriate.  Those cards say things like, ‘Have the best birthday ever.'”  I suppose even happy birthday might sound a little strange to someone who is locked up.

With all those cards in the stores, I thought they had just about every occasion covered, but evidently not this one.  And what about the upcoming holidays?  Can one be merry in jail?  Her problem got me thinking about the design element.  What sort of image would a prisoner like to see on a card?  What would they want a card to say?  Would the design and message be different for someone in for a short term from someone in for years?

I think people send greeting cards because they have difficulty expressing themselves and are glad to let the professionals do it for them, which doesn’t make it any less sincere.  I have received some very touching cards from one of my daughters.  I could imagine her saying those words but the actual words were written by someone at a card company who didn’t know either one of us.  A prisoner’s loved ones might also need some help getting their message across.

It’s an interesting challenge.  Maybe I’ll try designing a card to send to a prisoner.  I’m open to any ideas.

If you live in the Lawrence area, don’t forget Lawrence Art Walk this weekend on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.  Local artists open their art spaces to the public and I’ll be participating.  Check the website for more information.

I took down my exhibit at the Douglas County treasurer’s office Tuesday and sold a painting of bittersweet on a fence.  Maybe the economy is improving a bit.


One thought on “A Design Dilemma

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