This annual Core Group Christmas contest promotion was sent out to clients and potential clients. The contest changed every year but was always a fun and playful holiday theme. The object of the contest was for the participants to guess which celebrity was retouched into the image and if they guessed correctly they would receive a prize. The contest was a collaborative effort of the Core Group team, art directors, management, retouchers, and illustrators. The contest was sent out as an email blast close to the holidays, it consisted of multiple parts; a teaser, the contest challenge, a reminder, clues, details, rules, the contest webpage, the contest answers, the winners notification, and a holiday card with the prizes. This promotion gained notoriety over the years with clients and always had a great response from participants. Three of the five contests are shown below.
middle east awards
This illustration was created for the Middle East Business Awards. The art was used as large backdrop mural for the awards event, promotional material, and website banner. Responsible for managing and art directing the project, concept collaboration, researching inspiration and styles, creating the layout comps.
Chris Grant and Kevin Fales
- THE PROCESS -
Stage #1 - Inspiration for Continuous Line Concept (Jonathan Calugi)
Stage #2 - Initial Digital Sketch for Business Subjects by Natalie Jean
This sketch was compiled together with various stock and source imagery and uniformly put together in Photoshop. This was for subject and business themes, not for style, the final would be more whimsical like inspiration sample. This illustration was meant to represent the 17 countries participating in this award event; Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Stage #3 - Rough Digital Sketch by Natalie Jean
This sketch was compiled together with the artist's sketch elements and freehand line in Photoshop.
Stage #4 - Pencil Sketch by Kevin Fales
This is the first sketch created after narrowing down the Middle East business themes.
Stage #5 - Art Direction by Natalie Jean
Created this comp from the artist's sketch in stage #3 to visually express the direction moving forward. The direction included adding more professional business themes, adding at least one more woman, removing the teamwork puzzle with people holding hands as its too trite, replace that area with a subject that represents professional business, update the business men in upper left to be one in traditional middle eastern dress and one in modern western dress, simplify and revise icons as pictured in comp provided.
Stage #6 - Revised Pencil Sketch by Kevin Fales
This is the sketch created after receiving art direction in stage #4. This sketch was then presented to the client for approval to move onto final vector rendering. The client wanted to add English and Arabic type throughout the piece, and we strongly recommended not adding type, that it would compete with the simplicity of the continuous line. We explained that if he wanted to add type into the art we would need to rethink a new concept to incorporate it properly. After agreeing not to move forward with incorporating English & Arabic type, the client sent the sketch to their representatives in the Middle East for feedback. They wanted to add more landmarks that represent the Arab world, like an image that depicts the Dubai financial hub and remove a few elements that may represent the western world.
Stage #7 - Art Direction by Natalie Jean
Created this comp from the artist's sketch in stage #5 to visually express the direction moving forward. Taking in the feedback from the client and their team to include more depictions of the Arab World and their professional businesses. The art direction recommended was to add a prominent financial building from Dubai behind the men in the upper left, adding a doctor in the lower left, change out the miner to be a more modern construction worker, add a mosque. Also revising all the icons to be more uniform, smaller, and all represent general business themes.
Stage #8 - Revised Pencil Sketch by Kevin Fales
This is the sketch created after receiving art direction in stage #6. This sketch was sent to the client and sent on to their representatives in United Arab Emirates. The team in UAE wanted to add depictions from Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), which is the northern most emirate of UAE. They sent us a promotional style video of RAK to pull inspiration from.
Stage #9 - Rough RAK Comp by Chris Grant
This comp was created after receiving new direction to include the logo and various themes and landmarks from the RAK video. The landmarks represent both the ancient and modern dichotomy of RAK. We also decided to include the cargo/shipping industry as RAK is renown for it's prosperous port.
Stage #10 - Revised Pencil Sketch by Kevin Fales
This is the sketch created after receiving art direction to incorporate the RAK landmarks and business themes.
Stage #11 - Art Direction by Natalie Jean
Created this comp from the artist's sketch in stage #9 to visually express the direction moving forward. The art direction recommended moving the logo into the base of the trophy so it is not floating, removing the number one and replacing it with a starburst that is reminiscent of the fireworks from the RAK video, including mountains behind the ship because thy were emphasized in the RAK video, refining the icons to they feel they are part of the same family, and making all the line weights thinner and cleaner in the final.
Stage #12 - Final Art Rendered by Kevin Fales