The Gift Package


This phase of the project is all about a gift that the imaginary company will send to some of its more valued clients before New Year. Many companies, both small and large do this, and the idea is to use the gift as promotional material. Which means, of course that the logo and visual identity is to be displayed somewhere on this gift package.

The package will consist of 5 separate parts that will all come together as one cohesive system. These are:
1) The gift itself. Since this will be sent to hundreds of people you should pay attention to the following 2 things: The gift should not be a) too expensive (10 – 15 USD per item max) b) too heavy (500 grams max).
2) The container into which the gift is placed. (A box, bag, pouch, etc).
3) The wrapping of the container, which includes things such as wrapping material (paper, fabric, etc), ribbons and ornaments.
4) A tag which is attached to the gift and/or the container.
5) A New Year’s Greeting card which will be put inside the package together with the wrapped gift.

1) The gift: So, let us start by looking at some of the gifts that your friends from the previous years made in VA301, by clicking on the gallery above. As you will see some of these are things that a) were just bought and used pretty much as they were without being further manipulated, just placed in a nice setting – such as Sarp’s soaps, the items of the sewing kit of Özge, or the coffee ingredients that Gözde used.

Note: There are a lot of things which you can give to people that will always please them, and these things do not need to necessarily have anything to do with your company’s concept since they are things that most people like. Some of these are chocolates, candies, marzipan (badem ezmesi in Turkish) soaps, lotions, aromatic oils, natural products such as dried fruits, candles, incense, potpourri, calendars, notebooks, diaries, executive games, puzzles. And if the field of activity of the company is something that will fit this (such as a bar or a night club) then you can also give bottles of wine or beer (although with these you would probably either change the labels altogether or add your own logo, to what is already there, in a very professional way). 

b) But then you will also see that there are other gifts in the gallery above where the bought item was further worked on. The binoculars are a very good example to this: When they were first bought they were blue. Sinan painted them in black and silver and then applied his logo to the re-painted surface. Another example are the tongue depressors that Betül used to build her game. And another good example is the “executive game” that Koray used as the base of his gift for the logistics company.

c) A third category are the gifts that were also bought and then manipulated, but in such a way that the logo was applied to them as part of what was added. Buse’s pillow cases are an example, as is Ceren’s little clock hand that has the van of her logo on its tip. Berkin’s VR headset and Leyla’s coasters are other examples to this, as are Dila’s set of 3 transparent plastic beakers that come together to form her whole logo. Since this is a good way of integrating the visual identity to the gift, let us look at a few more examples by placing the actual logo next to its application into a gift:

d) And then finally, we have a 4th category which are gifts that were made entirely by the student. Mine’s 4 Santa Claus figures, Eda’s car cushion, Deniz’s cube game, and Pelin’s 3 ceramic critters in the big students thumbnail gallery at the top of the page belong to this category.

2) Placing the gift inside a container: Your gift will obviously not be floating around inside a box, it will have to be secured down so that it doesn’t break while it is being transported. So, you will need a filler material to secure the gift in place. A very popular material for this over the past years has been black foam which can be cut out to place individual items into discrete little areas. Below you see two applications of this – Özge’s sewing box on the left, and Duygu’s “lightbulb game” on the right:

Another great way to secure the gift inside the box is using shredded materials such as paper, strings, straw, or fabric, as you can see in Mirco, Ceren, Nesli and Meha’s filler materials below:


3) The wrapping of the gift container: This is an important part of the project since the wrapping is what will make your gift look rich. The wrapping material can be many different things: It can of course be paper, but it can also be other kinds of materials such as different kinds of cloth – from fine fabrics to coarse ones such as burlap – to plastic materials. The gift can be put into a pouch, or a bag, or can be wrapped up like a parcel and tied with string – it doesn’t always have to be a box! As for paper – again, this can be many different kinds – there are even some great usages of newspaper! There are already some very nice examples in the students work gallery at the start of this page, however here are some others that I found online which may give you even more ideas and inspirations:

As you can see in the wrapping examples above, it isn’t only the paper or the fabric or the pouch that is important, it is also all the other ornaments that have been used. These can be anything from dried flowers, to twigs, to different kinds of ribbons, leather pieces and figures cut out of cardboard or felt – anything you can imagine can become an ornament really.

4) One very important item of the system is the tag, which is also a very good place for us to put the logo, although the logo can of course be placed on the gift itself (as we already saw above), or on the wrapping. And you can also have multiple tags – one for the logo and others for other visual elements:

Other attachable ornaments: You can also make other ornaments that would not actually be tags, but could be attached to the gift package very nicely. Here are some examples below:

Making the Visual Identity a part of the wrapping: Obviously a very easy way to do this is with the tag. However, you can also use the wrapping material for this by having special paper printed as the wrapping paper by creating a seamless pattern from your logo icon, or even by “faking” a ribbon on which your logo icon is printed. In the big student gallery at the top Kira actually has a very nice example of both such a repeated logo icon wrapping paper as well as broad ribbon. You can also have stickers that you stick on the wrapping – these look especially nice if you secure the ribbons with them. And, of course, your identity colors can and should play a very large part in the selection of your wrapping material.

Here above on the left is a very nice usage of ornaments that also carry elements of the visual identity by Gülçe. And on the right is another good implementation by Gülşah, when she put the ears on her logo on top of her gift container box as an ornament:

5) The Greeting Card: We now come to the most important part of this project in terms of graphic design – the greeting card. While every part of this package is important since all of it has to work together as a visual system that also reflects the visual identity of your company, the card is the one component where the most graphic design skill is brought into play. So, let us first look at some of the cards that your friends made in the past years first, and then take it from there.

Quite a few of the greeting cards that your friends made above were based on info that I had given them in a “how to make a typographic greeting card” tutorial on Facebook. I have transferred what is there to a pdf file which you can read by clicking here >>>. And here are some other greeting cards that I have collected for you to help get you more inspiration:

Now, after we have looked at greetings cards, both by your friends and on pinterest ( and looked at a typographic tutorial on one of the ways of structuring seasonal greeting card typography based on traditional Christmas cards, I want to take you through a series of slides which will go into some broader specifics on greeting card design, from formats, sizes and margins to different folds to different material usage. Click on the first image (top left) in the gallery below and follow the sequence:

When it comes to the visual subject matter of New Year greeting cards  – be these vectors, illustrations or photos – we can see that this is largely traditional: Lots of snow flakes, Christmas trees, tree ornaments, reindeer, stars, pine tree branches, and snowy landscapes.


What is important to note however is that in cards where we can identify immediately that they have been “designed” by graphic designers these elements are usually abstracted and/or geometricised. So, although the visual subject matter has not changed too much over the years, the overall feel of contemporary greeting card design is quite a bit removed from the sweetness, glitter and nostalgia – and quite frankly kitsch – of the traditional seasonal greeting card. And this is quite an important point to remember for anyone who starts to work on such a design.


But then, aside from the visual material there is also a strong typographic element in these cards – and again, if we are talking about “designed” cards that came out of the hands of trained graphic designers we can see that for the large part this typographic usage is quite contemporary in nature, although designers often also utilize contemporary versions of the traditional typographic Christmas card stack which I showed you in the tutorial above, and which you can see again by clicking here >>>

Resources and Tips: As a resident of Istanbul, your first stop should be Tahtakale where you will find the most wonderful stuff – fabric, beads, toys, paper, ribbons, laces, plastics, cork, all sorts of boxes from cardboard, to wood, in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Most of this stuff will be wholesale but my experience is that merchants will be happy to give you samples. Use your imagination when you are there. Do not be single track visioned, keep all your antenna open because the things you will see will give you new ideas that may be better than what you had in mind before you went there.

You will need a good laser printshop when you are assembling this stuff. The one most recommended is Cemil Ozalit in Kadiköy where they will be able to print everything you need, on all sizes of paper, and a lot of surfaces (including acetate, transparent stickers, fabric, glass, ceramic). What is also important is that the people there will also help you stick things together, and so on.

You may want to check out the haberdasher (tuhafiyeci in Turkish) in your neighborhood because these shops have a lot of interesting things, especially in the way of ribbons and so on. Again – keep your mind open! Shoelaces make wonderful ribbons, for example. ;-)


You can find a lot of good gift material (soaps, lotions, aromatic oils etc) in a traditional spice shop (aktar, in Turkish). There are some excellent ones in Kadiköy çarşısı. And snack shops (kuruyemişçi, in Turkish) will also have things, such as dried fruits and nuts, that you may want to use. There are very nice chocolate shops in Kadiköy çarşısı and Moda. And there is a really great marzipan (badem ezmesi) shop where they make fruit shaped marzipans, right next to Beyaz Fırın in Kadıköy çarşısı. Just a few of those, put in a well designed box with a tag and a good looking greeting card, would make a great gift. In fact this is so nice that I put a photo of it right here above. ;-)