This Mother’s Day, Give Mom Flowers—By Design

harlanwestblogphotoBy Harlan West, Design and Marketing Professional with more than 25 years of experience designing materials for major healthcare organizations, municipalities and large corporations.


The other day, I was at the car wash and discovered an interesting photography effect using closeups of flowers which appeared on greeting cards. I felt that this effect could be duplicated and modified using layering effects from Adobe Photoshop. It gave me an idea for this coming Mother’s Day.

Here’s (3) samples of what I came up with…

Yellow-Mothers-daypattern Pinkflowerpattern Purple-flowerspattern

I took some artistic license with some very close-up shots of flowers. These photos can be taken using a high-end digital camera or purchased from a royalty-free stock photo house. Then I knocked out the backgrounds and superimposed these onto a larger blowup of the flower. The background contains added noise, and patterning, along with the use of the “liquefy” filter. But the overall color is the same throughout.

Rich color and shadows can be added to make the flowers jump out of the page to give a more 3-D effect.

Some other suggestions to try:

  • Add shapes behind the flowers.
  • Duplicating or clone the flower, then flipping and rotating it
  • Twist and turn the background.
  • Add translucent layers of color and patterns.
  • Add giant capital letter or word to the design.
  • Add a frame to help unify the image
  • Add a type message to the layout.

The result is a rich and elegant design. These have a resemblance to the art of Georgia O’Keeffe.

“Now, what does this have to do with corporate communications?” you might ask.  Well, these techniques can easily be adopted when creating beautiful backgrounds, patterns and montages for corporate reports, collaterals and news magazines.  Go ahead knock yourself out!

Give mom a bouquet of color and make her Mother’s Day blossom with these elegant design ideas for cards, posters or banners.


If your company or organization needs an innovative or unique design solution for a greeting card, invitation, newsletter or website, please contact HWDS at hwdesign@west.netWe make beautiful things happen. To find out more please visit

Harlan West is the author of and has been working as a creative director and design professional for more than 25 years and has designed and art directed hundred of publications for both print and online purposes.

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