Graphic Design senior Amanda Choong creates College’s New Year greetings

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Sunday, January 8th, 2023

With a swooping blue peacock and stylized red branding, senior Amanda Choong has created PCA&D’s New Year’s greeting card for 2024. The project, which has its roots in her senior Design class, also has deep roots in Choong’s heritage. 

The cards will be sent to hundreds of supporters and friends of the College — a way to ring in the New Year with art that represents, in its way, the best of PCA&D creativity. 

For recipients similarly enchanted, the card was printed and designed to be easily framed. 

“As we unveil this year’s captivating holiday greeting card designed by the incredibly talented senior student Amanda Choong, our college mascot takes center stage,” says Michael Molla, PCA&D President. “At the heart of it all, the styled genuflecting peacock, embodying grace, beauty, and cultural significance. 

“Amanda’s creation transcends the conventional, inviting us to appreciate the fusion of tradition and modernity in a visual celebration of the New Year spirit.”

The final design was then printed by Typothecary, a Lancaster-based letterpress and graphic design studio operated by Megan Zettlemoyer, a former instructor at the College. 

“This assignment started as my Senior Show & Celebration branding project ….where I proposed I would create original artwork of a Chinese calligraphy-styled peacock” for a giveaway, says Choong, a Graphic Design major. Later, after presenting the concept as a finalist in the branding project, she was approached by PCA&D President Michael Molla and Daina Savage, Vice President of Strategic Communications, about using the peacock design as the basis for the College’s holiday greetings. 

“I was super excited that my design, which has ties to my Chinese culture, would be used for the New Year’s greeting card,” says the Westminster, Md., native, who also carved a Chinese chop (stamp) with the College’s initials for the piece.

Vertical white New Year's greeting card with image of blue peacock and red text.

The College’s official New Year’s greetings, by Amanda Choong ’24.

The process

As Choong began the project, she also was tasked with creating 15 originals to be given as gifts by the College. She determined that raw edges on the paper would make the pieces stand out, “and I also created a stamp that mimics the stamps used in Chinese art to mark each piece with ‘PCAD,’” she says. 

I went to Curio (Gallery & Creative Supply) for the paper, and I was seeking cold-pressed paper so the texture on the surface was rougher. I painted the peacocks with some blue Chinese calligraphy ink and a Chinese horsehair brush, and I carved the stamp using the technique used in lino printing. 

Choong took time each evening after returning from classes to paint. 

After the pieces were finished drying, she says, “I carved a stamp the same night. For the actual stamping, I waited till I was on campus to use the professional printing ink we have in the printing studio.” At the time of creation, Choong adds, “it felt like a long process but overall I feel it was done in a timely manner. My schedule was crammed as I was also preparing for (an America250 competition) in Harrisburg with The Agency as well as being a commuter, and a senior, but I liked being able to balance and juggle all of that together.”

The card’s design theme, Choong says, was a combination of factors. 

“I was thinking about what community and art had in common, and I came up with street art. That then reminded me of Malaysia, which is where part of my family is from. There is a city in Malaysia called Penang that is known for its street art and community. So I merged the urban graffiti in street art and the flowing ink of Chinese calligraphy. That’s how the peacock design came to be.”