Gimme shelter

Shelterbox Christmas cards

When I was editing Stranger magazine, one aspect I really enjoyed was working with some incredible illustrators from all over the world. Although we do still tap into these networks with some of the Stranger Collective client projects we produce, I had a hankering to do a project that got some of our favourite players back together – alongside fresh talent from the last couple of years.

We decided it would be great to invite some of the UK’s best illustration talent to create some unique Christmas cards to raise money for Shelterbox, a Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity I had recently become a voluntary aid worker for. It was the biggest provider of emergency shelter after the Haiti earthquake, and one of the first aid teams on the ground after the Japanese tsunami.

Geoff McFetridge card

Geoff McFetridge card design

We figured it would be a fun way to raise some money for a serious cause, as well as helping raise awareness of Shelterbox’s work all over the UK and beyond – via thousands of cards landing on people’s doormats far and wide.

As well as persuading the likes of Jon Burgerman, Marcus Oakley, Jenny Bowers and Frootful to contribute designs for free, we were thrilled when multiple award-winning US designer and art director Geoff McFetridge (who illustrated the credits for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are) offered us one of his designs too.

The card packs were to have two copies of six different designs, so we ran a competition for the sixth spot. Over 200 people sent in designs, from as far afield as Australia and Argentina, and it was featured in Design Week. In the end Neil Keating was chosen as the winner, for his brilliant Santa Claus on roller skates design.

Neil Keating card

Neil Keating card design

Sales were so good that we did it again the next year, getting Darren Whittington and Steph Ginger on board too.

We’re just starting to think about the 2012 project now, and are inviting contributions from writers and designers before 22 August. Find out more and how to submit


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