Have you started decorating your home for the holidays yet? We started getting into the holiday spirit this past July! Our Holiday Card creation process starts in the middle of the summer to ensure that everything we create is ready in time for our delivery deadline the first week of December.
I’m sure you’re wondering why we need to start so early? Well, we respect the fact that good creative results don’t happen overnight and often time creating our own holiday cheer happens after hours. So as the person charged with leading this internal initiative, I want to give you a glimpse behind the scenes, start to finish, of how the magic happens.
Brainstorm & Sketch
The beginning process of creating our holiday card starts with me coming up with as many fun and creative holiday card ideas that we haven’t done yet at Pathfinders. Next, I bounce those ideas off our Executive Creative Director, Richard Abbott, and Office Manager, Nancy Ball. I try to come up with ideas that range from a bit of the ridiculous to the expected. Usually, this helps me find a happy medium like our Warm Wishes holiday card we did this year.
Check out some of my early ideas and sketches that got us to this year’s card.
Execute the Idea
Once we finally landed on the Warm Wishes idea, we had the next challenge of actually executing it. The accordion folded holiday card would show the whole staff side by side, wrapped up in one long scarf.
Nancy Ball and I started brainstorming about how we would create a scarf long enough to wrap up the whole staff. Nancy bravely took on the challenging task and made a 100-yard long red scarf out of fleece.
After the photos were shot at Scott Bourdon’s large studio space, I went through and selected the best ones that displayed everyone’s personal character best. Sometimes we don’t get everyone’s “best” within one image, so in this case, I decided to pick the best sections of groups, cut them apart, and link them together into one large image within Photoshop.
Produce & Distribute
I wanted to use illustrations that would later became a scenic backdrop behind our Pathfinders. We rendered the drawings and applied them, as well as a texture, throughout the entire photo.
The final touch was at the production stage, working with Lori Stickler, our Production Manager, in executing the best way to physically present the Pathfinder team surprise inside, with the accordion fold out. We worked together to select paper weights and page finishing.
Lastly, we mail dropped the card the beginning of December so our clients could enjoy our smiling faces ALL winter long.
View the final product of our 2014 PF Holiday Card!
Reuse Holiday Materials with Purpose
After finalizing the design and print of the card, to wrap up the warm wishes theme, we also decided to put our holiday card efforts into a community charity.
Knowing we were going to have a 100-yard scarf as a result of this years card, we thought it would only be fitting that we pass on our warm wishes. By cutting the 100-yard scarf up into real scarf sizes we are donating them to two community service programs that are near and dear to our hearts at Pathfinders. These charities are Center for the Homeless and La Casa de Amistad.
Pass Along the Warm Wishes
We hope you have enjoyed seeing and reading about what it takes to make our holiday card. We would love to see you pass on YOUR warm wishes by taking a selfie in a fun and creative way with your scarf. Bundle up, snap a #scarfselfie, and tag us on Facebook or Twitter! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Thanks for taking the time to read about this year’s card creation. With warm wishes, have a fun and wonderful holiday season!