advent calendar – day 8

December 8, 2009

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STAND OUT

Until recently, I spent my days as a graphic designer, working at, what they call, a boutique advertising agency. Last holiday season, whilst I was still employed at said agency, we excercised our yearly, wait-till-the-last-minute-to-figure-out-the-theme-of-our-holiday-card mind melt.

It was beginning to look like, in the interest of time, the old cheap, stock photography route was going to be taken. That is, until one of the other designers and myself finally snapped out of our Thanksgiving-induced tryptophan coma, and shouted, “Wait! If we are supposed to be assisting clients with catchy advertising campaigns and original, clever collateral, shouldn’t we at least take a stab at a semi-interesting, original holiday card? Otherwise, why not just go to Hallmark. Don’t you think?”

We all agreed and commenced brain-storming.

The thing is, when you distill it all down, there are really very few icons that truely symbolize the politically correct, watered down, homogenized “holiday” theme advertising firms crave. That is, there are few that have any whimsey or design potential. However, the one thing all winter holidays have in common is snow. Right? That leaves us with snowflakes, snowy landscape scenes (yawn), snowmen, and…penguins.

Penguins a little too cutesy, you say? A bit overdone these days?

Well, I submit, who is more elegant in a winter wonderland? Who comes complete with their very own, non-rented, formal wear? Why, the penguin, that’s who. And, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty certain, penguins do not subscribe to any sect or creed that might render them offensive as a holiday icon.

It almost has to be penguins.

So, being that my ex-agency’s website, launching soon at the time, bore the tageline “Stand Out” I spent some time trying to tie that idea in with our card design and…well…penguins.

Short story long, the penguin card idea, much like the flightless fowl itself, did not fly, (something about being too cutesy and overdone). But hey, I ended up with this sketch and I am now able to use it months later for my cutesy, overdone Advent Calendar.

Everything happen for a reason, eh?

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Be sure to check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7.