Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Making of the Dreambook

Kevin Dilmore, a Senior Writer II at Hallmark was recently the speaker at our Local Keepsake Ornament Club. He writes text for greeting cards and children's books and has been a member of the "Dreambook Team" since the 2006 Edition. He writes all the text in the dreambook except for the small print ornament descriptions.
 
Kevin shared with us information on "The Making of the Dreambook"

* The Dreambook sets the tone for everything in the Holiday Line-up including all the signage in the stores and elements in all the Holiday promotions. It is approved all the way up through the Vice-President Level...so yes, it's very important!

* The 2014 Dreambook is already in the early stages of development and will take aprox 10 months to complete.

* The Dreambook Team consists of members of Hallmark's Marketing Studio and Photography Studio plus representatives from the Marketing & Keepsakes Depts.

* The first step is establishing the Goal/Theme. For 2013, the goal of the KOC edition was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Keepsakes.

* Next, a "Design Style Guide" is created. It contains the exact colors, type face, patterns used as a background on the various pages, ect.

* Once the Style Guide is complete, the team begins working with the "Gray Box". "Lifestyle shots"(shots that contain people) and concepts for picture backgrounds.

* The Gray Box shows all the ornaments laid out on each page with a simple light gray background. A digital photo of each ornament is carefully placed on its page. Every page tells a story and each page segways into the next with several layers of messaging throughout the dreambook.

* The first section is typically "Memories and Traditions". An initial ornament is featured and then ornaments are pictured in an order that represents a flow of story.
Section two has a focus on "Family and Friends," while section three is "Characters and Interests." The story throughout the book is roughly "What represents Christmas to all of us" then "What represents Christmas to the people closest to me" to "What represents Christmas to me."

*Once the pages are laid out, every page is pasted on to a wall to visualize the page flow once again. Great attention is given to even the smallest of details.

Questions & Answers:
Why aren't all ornaments in the Dreambook?
Marketing...spreading out the excitement of the offerings of the season.

What percentage of the ornaments pictured are prototypes?
100%

How is the Canadian Dreambook different?
No crown rewards program, some USA ornaments not included (such as USA patriotic ornaments), prices shown in CA$. The 2013 Canadian Dreambook was assembled in Canada.

Why are some ornaments pictured with ribbon hangers?
Every 2-page spread in the dreambook shows at least one ornament with a hanger attached. This is to emphasize that these are ornaments, not action figures, toys, or figurines.

Our thanks to Kevin for a really interesting and informative presentation, that gave us an all new appreciation for the Dreambook that we all enjoy!

Nicki Pierce

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