Le Mark and Roscolab, both based in the UK, have decided to send their Christmas greetings via email and advertising respectively, instead of traditional Christmas cards, with the money saved going to Light Relief, the UK-based charity that helps out designers in need.

"It was a simple flash of thought just before LDI that prompted me to call Tony Gottelier", said Stuart Gibbons, managing director at Le Mark. "When I saw the cost of our Christmas cards I was amazed at the high price and thought it would be much better to donate the money to the industry charity Light Relief, where it would definitely be put to good use."

Gibbons says, "When I considered that a Christmas card has a life of one or two weeks before it's disposed of, my suggestion was an e-card to send either via email or, even better in my opinion, to use on an industry news site to create something along the lines of a virtual Christmas tree whereby companies sponsor a fairy light and post their cards or messages."

Duncan Smith at Roscolab says: "Light Relief has enjoyed a high profile recently, especially at PLASA 2002, and I wanted to add to that. As we usually buy charity Christmas cards anyway, as well as taking every opportunity to give something back to the industry, I thought this year instead of cards we should make a donation to a charity related to our own industry--a small way of giving something back to benefit people amongst us. This year Roscolab has taken out a couple of 'Merry Christmas' adverts, in which we've included the Light Relief logo to add to the publicity they receive, and donated the money we've saved to help the charity."

"Personally, I see no reason why this shouldn't become an annual event", adds Gibbon. "The more people we can get involved, the more I hope it will stimulate some truly dynamic ideas for 2003 and next year Le Mark as a company will be considering promoting a Christmas initiative at the PLASA show".

For more information about Light Relief, check out the charity’s website at www.lightrelief.org.