Lucid Agency spreads holiday cheer with a very special Christmas card
Christmas in July
Lucid Agency started planning our holiday card back in July – how’s that for foresight? We knew we wanted to focus on content and create an engaging experience. We settled on a re-telling of the classic “’Twas the night before Christmas” with a little Lucid Agency spin!
We gathered a team of our most clever wordsmiths. Sure we used our copywriters, but the content team also included developers, project managers, and account managers – we wanted the Christmas card to be something fun that would bring everyone together, so it seemed only fitting to get everyone on board for content-creation.
The team crafted the hilarious rendition in just a few hours. We weren’t yet sure how we wanted to use our poem, but we knew it was gold and were already eager to share it – alas it was still 100+ degrees and the holidays were a distant dream. We’d have to wait.
Pixel art comes back around
Last year, we had bandied around the idea of creating 8-bit “pixel art” that would be a rough recreation of the Lucid Agency office, similar to this example:
We never realized that vision, but always kept the idea in the back of our minds. We thought now might be the perfect time to give it a go!
Lauren J. (my project manager) and I started designing an individual “pixel person” for each member of our team. This was much more time-consuming than we imagined, but still great fun. We quickly realized that the trick when working within such small dimensions was to pick easily identifiable features (whether that be hair, eyes, clothes, or accessories) so that each pixel person would feel personal and unique. Some were a little too accurate – it was like looking in a mirror!
Along the way, we had the great idea to turn each pixel person into a cross-stich, and give them as gifts to each member of our team. Life got in the way and we never did get to that, but the idea would live on in our final design.
The card design
At the end, we had a veritable army of Lucid pixel people and a great poem, but didn’t know where this was going. I found an example of a great holiday card, created by The Richards Group in 2012. I drew inspiration from the “storybook” style and loved the sketches interspersed throughout the PDF.
Armed with that inspiration, our designer, Lauren S., set out to create a “storybook” of our own that would integrate our poem, our pixel people, 8-bit art, and cross-stitching into one beautiful, crazy mock up.
Well, at that point, I was ready to slap a bow on it and call it a day, but Samantha chimed in – “we are a digital agency. The PDF is beautiful, but we can do better.”
I knew she was right. We shifted around a bit of time and got a couple of free hours for our dev team to really flex their muscles.
Over the course of 2 days, Michael and Samantha sliced the PDF and used every tool in their belts to turn the design into an interactive HTML experience. Samantha really pulled out all the stops with “snow” that reacts on mouseover, and a Christmas tree that visitors could really decorate! The entire dev team learned SASS (a programming language) in just a few hours, to aid in creating the card.
To me, this was the coolest part of the project. The team was having fun, playing off each other’s specialties, and pursuing new technologies to make the card cooler and more interactive. I felt like Michael learned more new skills and technologies in a few hours making this card than he would learn in a normal week.
After setting up a hosting server, testing extensively in multiple browsers and devices, and creating a simple email template, we were ready to unveil our creation.
Unfortunately, we were not able to fit every pixel person in our card (Lucid is big!) so I emailed each member of the team a hi-res copy of their pixel person, to cherish always and forever.
I think the final result of this Christmas card is stunning, and it was probably the most fun project I worked on all year, as crazy as that sounds. It will live here at holidays.lucidagency.com – that is, until we top it next year 😉
- We can draw creativity from our team in unexpected ways – everyone is clever and creative in a unique way – when we come together, we can really take advantage of everyone’s strengths
- Sometimes “good enough” is the worst. A project really succeeds when it is pushed to the next level
- It is always worth the investment to spend time on a project that will teach team members new skills
- Thinking ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to plan is invaluable – but most of the work will still happen in the last 48 hours
- A holiday card can be a surprisingly wonderful tool for marketing yourself and showcasing your work