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By Mark Careaga

Earlier this month we sent out our annual holiday mailing, something the firm has done since the end of its first year in 2019. This year, through the graphic design and the messaging, we celebrated the life and legacy of my friend and mentor, Tom Payette. The graphic is based on the entry portals at the Aga Khan University, in Karachi, Pakistan, a project that was the cornerstone of Tom’s long and fruitful career. Based on precedents found throughout the history of Islamic architecture, particularly in Isfahan, these marble-lined portals are liminal spaces. Each of them announces a point of entry to the building complex with a monumental gesture before transitioning to the human scale as one passes through and enters into a courtyard. While Tom’s design is more abstract and employs far less ornamentation than its antecedents, it creates an equally powerful and memorable spatial experience.

Photograph of the entry portal to the hospital complex at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Hospital entry portal at the Aga Khan University, Karachi (photo: Mark Careaga)

Below are some sketches and final production artwork for a small batch of printed notecards that were mailed to a select list of clients, colleagues, and friends, as part of this year’s mailing. As we did for the firm’s graphic reboot earlier this year, we went to MOO for printing – I highly recommend them for high quality and fast production at a very reasonable price point.

At the end of this post is a gallery of previous years’ holiday cards. Wishing you peace and prosperity for 2023!

Four initial thumbnail sketches for the holiday card graphic design
Above: initial thumbnail sketches for the 2022 email graphic (see top of this post)
Back of notecard, showing graphic illustration of the Aga Khan University entry portal with text, "Season's Greetings!"
Front of notecard, with MCA's "Architecture for People" motto, firm address and logo, and description of the holiday card
Above: production artwork for a small print run of physical notecards.
Below: previous years’ holiday cards