Big Top Collection Brings Vintage Glamour to the Circus

Roll up, roll up! Today we’re taking a closer look at Pennychoo’s new range of Big Top greetings cards. A superb celebration of the vintage circus, perfect for brilliant birthdays.

We got our first glimpse of the Big Top range ahead of the 2016 Christmas season; the collection’s Strong Man Art Print making it into our pick of Christmas Gifts for Men, before being highlighted as one of the Top Ten Gifts of 2016.

Now however we’re turning our attention to the range of matching greetings cards. Nine adorable birthday cards that bring the style and sophistication of the traditional circus to any birthday celebration.

big top elephant and monkey birthday card - pennychoo

While many contemporary greetings cards are minimal in design, or focus on repeating modern themes, the Big Top range aims to offer something a little bit more original. These birthday cards for design-led buyers who aren’t happy with just any old card.

Bucking the trend for throwaway design, retrophile publisher Pennychoo has created Big Top to celebrate the old fashioned; a range of vintage-inspired birthday cards recreate the joy of the travelling circus.

The birthday card designs depict charming, colourful characters from the world of the Victorian circus; animals juggle, wobble on unicycles and leap across the cards. The result is delightful greetings card designs suitable for big kids and little kids alike.

big top lion birthday card - pennychoo

Big Top Inspiration and Design Process

For the Big Top collection quality is key. All the illustrations are a labour of love, each one involving hours of sketching, refining, cutting out stencils with a scalpel, sponging and over-layering to create the effect of old lithographs.

The idea for the range started with an old biscuit tin that Pennychoo owner Sue Lee saw in a junk shop:

“It had animals dancing around it – dogs in ruffs, bears on bicycles, monkeys in fezzes – and I just loved everything about it: the humour, the charm, the simplicity…”

big top sea lion balancing balls birthday card - pennychoo

Sue says of the design process:

“Working this way is very satisfying, but it’s also a gamble. “The fashion is currently for immediacy – throwaway cards that reference very contemporary themes – but I’ve always been drawn towards the timelessness of old prints and posters. They do take ages, but I think the finished products justify the time I invest in them; I want a card to feel like a little gift in itself.”

big top dog with fez birthday card - pennychoo

Where to Buy Big Top Cards

Big Top Greetings Cards measure 5″ x 7″. They are printed on a high quality, FSC certified board and matched with a classic ivory envelope.

To see the full collection of traditional circus themed birthday cards, stock or purchase from the range please visit the Pennychoo website.

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