Behind the Design: Snowglobe Advent Calendar

November 12, 2019
Behind the Design: Snowglobe Advent Calendar

Advent calendars, in their current form, date back to the mid-19th century. So they’re undoubtedly a capital T tradition for Christmas.

But tradition doesn’t have to mean traditional. Our Snowglobe Advent Calendar is a fun and whimsical design that’s a tasty experience for everyone of all ages (we don’t judge around here).

Our talented designer Kaeley is the mastermind behind it:

We asked Kaeley to tell us more about her design process, her favourite design trends and how she made the tough decision of which critters to keep on our Snowglobe Advent Calendar.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer?

Pretty much always. I was one of those art kids for sure, spending most of my time drawing—but I originally wanted to be a video game artist/designer. It’s just not the most stable of careers so in my early 20s, I made the switch to become a graphic designer.

Q: What was the advent calendar design process like for you?

A lot of fun! Cute things are my jam, so it’s always nice to get to do what you really love doing at work.

Once we (the design team) decided on a direction, I began drawing out bears in different styles, starting with rough sketches on paper and then moving into Adobe Illustrator to tweak and finalize them.

Once the style was hammered out, I illustrated several more animals, giving them different hats and scarves and sweaters.

After that it was a matter of layout, really: numbers had to be legible, animals couldn’t be on the perforations where you open the calendar, sizing and spacing of elements and all those considerations that mean a lot to the cohesion of the overall design.

Q: How did you decide on the snowglobe theme for the advent calendar?

We were looking at reference images and saw some concepts with things/animals inside of ornaments, which was like, super cute, so that was my main inspiration/direction. I was given a lot of free reign so it naturally became a bunch of cute critters getting ready for a party in the snow.

Q: How did you pick which animal characters to draw?

I had a few ideas, like a bear, cat, and penguin and for the rest, I asked for ideas from the creative team and that’s where a good bunch of the ones I illustrated came from.

Q: How did you decide which animal characters made the cut into the final design?

With extreme prejudice. There was not a lot of space and too many good ideas. The hedgehog had to stay because it’s such an iconic thing for our brand. The rest had to fit the scenery. For example, the polar bear didn’t stand out very well in the snow scene (white on white!) and the narwhal can’t live on land so they were cut. Visually, it was really important to me to have a good variety of animals and styles of winter gear.

Q: What are some holiday design trends you like?

I’m flipping between warm, cozy and rustic and ultra contemporary, clean and icy.

Q: Have you ever designed an advent calendar before?

Never! It’s certainly not something very many designers get an opportunity to do.

Q: What’s something else you worked on recently?

I designed our 2020 Lunar New Year collection and I’m pretty excited for it to come out. I was really able to push myself artistically to create illustrations that are really outside of my comfort zone and the final products are just gorgeous. I’m really proud of them.