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A gift from Macy's

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
It began in the usual way, with an email query about designing  a gift card for Macy’s men’s store. I responded promptly including links to my best work.  
 
Thus began my hopeful adventure to create something that would not only be widely viewed but, also facilitate the admirable practice of gift-giving.
 
I proceeded on the journey by spending a pleasant afternoon on 34th Street in the world’s largest department store going from register to register scoping out the variety of colorful and festive gift cards.
 
Although I was sent sample of my previous work as inspiration, I dilligently sketched out a variety of options. It’s always useful to provide choices and, you never know...
 
Their choice 
from my b/w roughs, made it clear I should not veer too far from the sample. Since it was a piece that I had always likeed, I proceeded happily to appropriate my own work.
 
Art Director Alexis was very helpful to work with. She asked for only a few moderate explorations following the first color sketch. I can only imaging the torturous meetings from which she shielded me. Illustrators who complain about the adjustments or modifications need only attend one meeting with the “powers that be” to be forever gratful for the interference frequently run on their behalf.
  • It began with an email query about designing a gift card for Macy’s men’s store. I responded promptly including links to my work. When the answer came back that we were good to go, they included an image of mine that they liked.
Thus began my hopeful adventure to create something that would not only receive wide exposure but, also facilitate the admirable practice of gift-giving.
I proceeded on the journey by spending a pleasant afternoon on 34th Street in the World’s Largest Department Store going from register to register scoping out the variety of colorful and festive gift cards.
Although I was sent the sample of my previous work as inspiration, I dilligently sketched out a variety of other options. It’s nice to have choices and, you never know...
Their pick from my b/w roughs, made it clear I should not veer too far from the sample. Since it was a piece that I had always likeed, I proceeded happily to appropriate my own work.
Art Director Alexis was a pleasure to work with. She helped me stay in focus and showed the encouragement and trust that allowed me to do my best work. She asked for a few moderate adjustments but, they were minor and made good sense. I can only imagine the torturous meetings from which she shielded me. Illustrators who complain about changes need only attend one meeting with the “powers that be” to be forever grateful for the interference frequently run on their behalf.
On the left the kind of email nobody doesn't like to receive. On the right a sample they chose as inspiration for the card.
A roundup of roughs following the inspiration sample but, also exploring a other options I felt might work.
The selected rough placed as a template in Adobe Illustrator, the beginnings of exploring typographic options and refining into a tight b/w sketch.
A final tight sketch in b/w with and adjustment to the typography inspired by another previous job and a color sketch.
Refining the palette and a few more color/design options resulted in these six versions from which the final choice was made.