The Creative Minds and Magic Behind the M3 Holiday Cards
It’s no secret that we think we have the deepest talent bench in the region, and this season the evidence backing up that belief only keeps growing.
Each December, M3 Group releases its holiday card to our clients, customers and contacts. In past years we’ve typically tapped one of our exceptional creative visionaries for the task of designing the seasonal greeting of glad tidings. However, this year we were curious: What if we asked all four of M3’s visual virtuosos to come up with a design? A little creative competition can be a good thing to keep the skills sharp, right?
Well, that’s where we didn’t think things completely through. Our four designers have so much depth and natural ability — and each has a distinct and individual voice — that we couldn’t pick just one card. So, all four holiday card designs are going out this month.
Here’s a peek behind how each design came about, in the words of each artistic authority.
I like patterns, so that’s essentially where I started. I knew I wanted to do something within my style, which is more uncomplicated and geometric as opposed to illustrative. I usually start by scouring places like Pinterest or design blogs to find ideas and inspiration. The idea of a kind of tree really resonated with me, an abstract tree. Then I wanted to do something a little different than the run-of-the-mill Christmas colors. The red and off-white is kind of candy cane in a way, and the gold brings an interesting element to it. That was the catalyst of it all, then I started experimenting with different patterns.
Geometric patterns and repeating patterns have always been visually striking to me. I wanted to do something like a geometric, warm and repeating pattern with a little holiday feel in the center. I’m always pretty cold in the winter, and the holidays keep me warm. I wanted to convey that same feeling. If somebody feels a little bit warmer, a little bit more cheerful from looking at it, that’s good by me.
I have a pretty heavy fine-arts background, and I like to incorporate any sort of illustrative anything whenever I get the chance. When we had free rein to do whatever we wanted with these cards, I thought, “Well, I’m going to paint something.” I just wanted it to have kind of an old-school, vintage Christmas card kind of feel. When I think of that, I think watercolor — so I painted this little tree inside a snow globe. I wanted it to be whimsical and fun and not specifically Christmas. I didn’t want it to be geared toward any specific holiday because I wanted it to be universal for everyone.
The first thing I do is kind of like a brain dump — any image, any word that comes to mind. I like to grab pencil and paper and start sketching things out. Then I also like to hop on Pinterest and see color schemes that are popular right now or typefaces that are being used, so I’m staying current. This one was more of a pencil-to-paper kind of thing.
I would say this is an homage to a traditional holiday card. That’s how I wanted to feel — timeless. I wanted it to be realistic but also M3-branded with color. When I look at it, it makes me happy. It gives you the feeling of the holiday season. That nostalgic feeling you get, I wanted it to feel like that. I wanted it to be something that everybody can relate to and get a good feeling from. But at the end of the day, I want people to just look at this and smile.
I tried to find something that was more like the winter holidays, not just Christmas. It could be for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any of the other holidays that are going on now. I took our M3-branded colors and just tried to keep it simple yet creative since we’re a creative agency. I can picture this on a nice stock for the background, something of good quality. But, yeah, I just tried to do something that was simple and got the point across of the holidays and that people thought looked cool.
My thought was for it to be something like a snowflake, so it would capture and encapsulate the entire season instead of just Christmas.
I hope that the people who see this immediately think of M3 as a creative company and that sometimes simple is good, uncomplicated is good. I want them to get a good feeling.
I love Christmas; and this year, for some reason, I’m super into gingerbread houses. I was trying to think how I could incorporate that in my Christmas card. Then I thought, “Oh my gosh. I could turn our building into a gingerbread house.” Now, I wasn’t going to go the full step and make a replica and take a picture of it. So, I thought this was the better option. Something about gingerbreads is just so adorable to me, so I thought it’d be fun to bring our office to life in gingerbread form.
I think this is a fun take on the holidays. So many people go traditional routes. I wanted to do something a little different. You don’t see a lot of gingerbread on cards, or you see the houses people actually make. We don’t take ourselves too seriously here. I thought this would be cute, and our building is recognizable. People know it. And I know (M3 President and CEO) Tiffany (Dowling) is really proud of it.
I feel the magic of Christmas, from when you’re a kid, kind of gets lost a lot. I hope this brings people back to that fun of being a kid and building a gingerbread house. I hope it brings them more to the fun side of the holidays and not the stressful side that so many people think of now.