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zulily 7th Birthday

 

 

zulily's 7th Birthday 

 When the creative team first gathered to choose a theme for zulily's 2017 birthday treatments, we threw a bunch of fun ideas on the table. 70's roller disco was a strong contender. Animals in funny hats. But a marine-themed idea got a lot of attention. Someone pointed out the connection between the 7 seas and our 7th birthday, and our idea set sail.

 
 

 

 


 

THE PROJECT

I was tasked with creating the responsive site and app experience including concepting, photoshoot art direction, retouching, design, and technical implementation. I had three days for concepting, two days on set with one prep day, and about a week for post-production edits and uploading.   

 
A designer on our team created the illustrations and a color palette, providing me with a head start.

A designer on our team created the illustrations and a color palette, providing me with a head start.

 

 

 

 

 

The IDEA

In previous years we ran a few birthday deals that had minimal custom creative, but this year merchandising wanted to make our birthday a bit more special. We ran 45+ birthday events grouped into three main types: 7 deals of the day, brands who have been with us for 7 years, and deals under $7. 

 
 

 

The PLAN

My concept for the birthday creative was to take the illustrations and create scenes out of cut paper, giving them more dimension and life. I tracked down one of our Merchandising DIY buyers who let me borrow a Cricut cutting machine product sample to make the cutouts — cross-departmental collaboration for the win!

 
 
 

 

THE PROCESS

I designed all the layouts digitally first — homepage tiles, event bios, email banner, jump page header, storyboard, event images — each with a desktop, iPad, and iPhone version. I also simplified the illustrations, removing patterns and reducing the amount of colors to make cutting and assembly easier. 

 
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I took the placements and pulled apart all the digital shapes, determined my largest piece that would fit the 12"x12" scrapbook paper, scaled all pieces proportionally, and organized them by color in order to cut them out in groups. It took about 12 hours to cut all the shapes and I ended up with over 330 individual pieces.

I took the placements and pulled apart all the digital shapes, determined my largest piece that would fit the 12"x12" scrapbook paper, scaled all pieces proportionally, and organized them by color in order to cut them out in groups. It took about 12 hours to cut all the shapes and I ended up with over 330 individual pieces.

The photographer, stylist, and I spent nearly 8 hours assembling the characters and building the backgrounds.

The photographer, stylist, and I spent nearly 8 hours assembling the characters and building the backgrounds.

 
 

 

The EXECUTION

After the shoot I did extensive retouching and recoloring — we didn't have all the right colors of paper, pieces needed to be moved here and there, and a general cleanup was needed. 

 
Because I needed the same cake in 6 colors, we shot a neutral gray and I applied the colors in post to save cutting and shoot time. 

Because I needed the same cake in 6 colors, we shot a neutral gray and I applied the colors in post to save cutting and shoot time. 

iPad homepage placement: digital layout // un-retouched raw image // final retouched asset.

iPad homepage placement: digital layout // un-retouched raw image // final retouched asset.

 
 

 

THE placements

The final site and app placements for our birthday took over multiple locations on our homepage including a link to a jump page that had all 30 birthday events. I also created a graphic background pattern for the site, a special app loader on iPhone and iPad, and a featured banner for our daily email.

 
 
 

 

THE EXTRAS

In addition to the creative for the events, we also had time to fit in a few just-for-fun shots for our social media channels and annual birthday party.

 
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Illustrator: Brittany Kolar. Photographer: Austin Tott. Stylist: Angela Chillberg. Copywriter: Kendra Hayes.


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