After a couple of months of planning, we’re delighted to be able to reveal that we have produced our very own, unofficial Tranmere Christmas card for 2018, and it’s available to buy now.
The card can be purchased on our online shop, which can be found from the main menu, or by clicking the link below.
We thought we’d explain why we have produced the Christmas card, where the inspiration came from and how the process unfolded.
Firstly though, just what is going on in the image?
The story: What’s going on in the card?
We settled upon a snowy Birkenhead Park as the setting and Micky Mellon giving the squad a day-out in the snow as the scene. As Micky proudly parades the play-off promotion trophy against the backdrop of a snow-covered park, the squad let the festive fun get the better of them!
A snowball fight is escalating around Micky, while central defensive partners Steve McNulty and Ritchie Sutton settle down to a spot of turkey. Young loanees Jonny Smith and Harvey Gilmour are up to no good as Jay Harris drags them across a frozen lake and Ben Tollitt tries his hand at a spot of skiing.
James Norwood takes some time to snap a selfie for social media with a snowman he has expertly created, and Connor Jennings can’t resist that trademark leap on to his back as if they were celebrating a goal!
Elsewhere, Olly Banks is trying to decorate the Christmas tree, Scott Davies, Shamal George and Zoumana Bakayogo work on a huge snowball and Larnell Cole helps Rover the Dog to wish us all a Merry Christmas.
That’s not all either; Paul Mullin, Liam Ridehalgh, Dylan Mottley-Henry, Cole Stockton, Luke McCullough, Mark Ellis, Franklyn Akammadu, Jake Caprice and Adam Buxton are all up to no good.
And who’s that fishing for an alternative to the turkey?!
We hope you love the card as much as we do!
Why produce an unofficial Tranmere Christmas card?
One of the beauties of having an unofficial website is that you are free to do things a little differently than football clubs would be. We vaguely remember Tranmere producing a Christmas card in the early-to-mid-1990s which had some sort of cartoon-style. It was playful, fun and memorable to the point that it’s still in our minds today.
We miss this fun angle to football and wanted to produce a card that perfectly marries Christmas with Tranmere, as well as including a nod to our local area.
So, we took some time to look around the internet at what other football clubs in the UK do. It turns out that there is very little beyond a club badge with a bit of snow, and many clubs do not seem to produce a card at all.
Outside of the Premier League, this is understandable. As we’ve found out, it’s not that cheap to produce a short run of cards with a bespoke design on. Clubs are then under-pressure to sell the stock, otherwise they have wastage sitting in their inventory – more so if they add a year to the card.
We are able to be much more agile in how we work, and if the project fails and we don’t sell a single card, then it’s merely been a labour of love and we will never have to buy Christmas cards for loved ones again because we will have a few boxes left over!
How the card was produced?
Knowing that we wanted to create something with a local angle, that was fun, festive and different, we set about coming up with some basic design ideas. We thought about settings and style of card, and what we could put together that also wouldn’t alienate young fans. For example, we avoided including a pint of beer or a glass of mulled wine!
Once we had the design and style of card in mind, we spent considerable time searching the internet for an artist who may be able to translate the idea that was in our head in to something on paper. We needed the artist to understand the light-hearted feel we were looking for, as well as being able to recreate the first team squad in a variety of fun poses.
After an exhaustive search, we found a digital artist that was willing to do the work a lot cheaper than we initially feared! We signed off on an initial sketch of the layout for the card which you can see on this page.
After that, it moved in to a further design stage with the first characters being drawn, and then the rest were filled in.
Specs, costs and proceeds.
As we’ve hinted, producing the unofficial Tranmere Christmas card isn’t cheap. It’s bespoke design and a relatively small print run means that we’re not going to be able to sell this for 99p – as much as we’d love to.
The RRP for the card will be £3.50 – it’s an A5-sized portrait card, printed an industry standard, high-quality greeting card material. The card is supplied with an envelope and is packaged in a cellophane sleeve to protect the card until you’re ready to use it or send it.
Production costs for the card mean we will have to shift around 70 to break even. As we said at the outset, the card is about fun and festive spirit rather than making money, so if we come up short, that’s fine.
At the moment, you will need to order the card online from us with a small charge for posting – again, we’re only going to charge what is required for a hard-back envelope and postage.
If any profits are generated, then these will be pumped back in to the website. We recently launched a forum which has added additional license and hosting costs to our monthly bill which we need to cover, and we’ve also got lots of plans for 2019.