As a freelancer, it’s a fun treat when I get the opportunity to bid on a project, win that bid, and then work on that project from concept to completion with a team of other creatives (versus working solo or only on one facet of a campaign’s design).
I presented ideas to Applied Underwriters (a workman’s comp insurance agency (which has a GIANT St. Bernard for a logo)) for their annual wine promotion, an incentive program for sales reps to get more quotes and deals through their company. They have been doing these pretty elaborate direct mail campaigns for a number of years, so have a history of high quality, thoughtful designs under their belt.
The conceptualization process starts out many months in advance of when the program starts (technically, I think they are already thinking about the next year’s as soon as the program is just finishing up for the current year). I was given an overview of what the mandatory requirements for the promotion were, samples of things they’ve done in the past, and a brief idea of what “might be cool” this year. Amusingly, the initial concept was about pairing wine with chocolate, which is the concept I presented for, and then won the bid for, but as so many things go, issues with that concept arose afterwards, and we all had to then pivot and create a new concept after a few weeks worth of work had already gone into plan A.
Unfortunately, this promotion would be mailed out in August, which for most of the non-fog-bound-San Francisco parts of the country means melty times for chocolate.
But that’s ok, we played with a few other ideas but then eventually moved on to a concept of sending custom Govino glasses (those plastic ones with the little notch for your thumb) for the first mailer, and then a wine tasting game for the second mailer (basically, magnet poetry for your wine). Because it’s fun to look back on how things evolved, here are 2 of the very initial sketches for both of those pieces.
Over the course of a couple more months, we refined, rewrote, reimagined, and then finally designed the 2 final pieces. I worked with the team up until almost the very end when their in-house design team took my files and cleaned them up for print production. A few more changes were made that likely were the result of seeing in-person mock ups and working out issues or cleaning up the design (like the outside of the box was supposed to be a scene from Napa, but I think it must have been a technical nightmare to line up AND looked very busy compared to the toned down, no image option they ran with for the final).
Fun to have played a big part in that process and guided the overall design work, and then see the final product turn out so well. A very great experience! Shout out to a very great art director and creative writer who were both so thoughtful and detail oriented throughout the whole process. It’s always a pleasure to work with such smart people. Also, a shout out to the highly technically scratchboard illustrator, Steven Noble, whom they have been working with for ages, for his contributions to the piece.