The Making Of: The Charles Holiday Extravaganza

  • 10 Min.
  • Culture
  • By Sianna Stewart



From fresh faces on the team to strong partnerships with long-admired brands; it seemed only fitting to break in the custom-made bar in our new office with a Holiday Extravaganza to celebrate.

For this year’s event, we were inspired by our entryway monolith art piece - a display of icons and imagery that we felt represented The Charles. The monolith mixes whimsy with edge, the modern with the classic, and the British with all-Americana. This all-white piece of art inspired a recreation of a miniature version for this year’s invitation.

Though mini-monolith cards were tempting at first, as a digital creative agency we realized we could push the boundaries of the experience further by taking it online. We decided to create not only a moving invitation you could view on-the-go, but a website to extend the experience beyond your inbox.

The Charles Monolith

A physical and artistic manifestation of our brand and our culture.

First, we started with the stop-motion animation video. Stop motions look easy to do, but they aren’t. It takes concentration, technique, and gentleness to strategically place and photograph props frame after frame. And not just any props — miniature holiday props.

In order to capture the spirit of the holidays, while still maintaining a minimal composition, it was important to pick objects that would remain recognizable, even when painted in white. Jacob Burnstein, our Visual Design Intern, was charged with building and shooting the miniature holiday card. "I found myself in some pretty niche corners of the internet looking for miniature champagne bottles, gift boxes, skis and poles," said Jacob. "Thankfully you can always count on New York to have what you need. After visiting the wonderful Tiny Doll House on the Upper East Side, I collected a slew of miniature objects and began to paint a simple monochrome white on them."

We converted the office into a suitably small photo studio to capture the animation and manipulated the tiny items to life. The final video lives on our party invitation, Instagram feed, and on our holiday party webpage — where you can view our hopes, dreams, and strengths as well as share in the joy of our new beginnings.

All illustrations for the website were created by David Freiman, our Visual Designer, and inspired by responses from our team to an internal questionnaire — as diverse as the people themselves. The collaboration between the Dev Team and the Creative Team throughout the planning of the Holiday Extravaganza made the execution of the party flawless.

Reflections from The Charles

We asked the team to complete a questionnaire about successes from this past year and what they are hoping for in 2016.

From Dev Team’s expertise with coding custom sites, to the Creative Team’s extensive knowledge of “Trap” Christmas songs, everybody had a hand in making the best of the Extravaganza.

See the spirit of The Charles this year on our Holiday website.

*As of December 15, 2015, our Holiday Extravaganza website has been featured on Webcreme and in The French Design Index.

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Iconic Brands Embroidered in Full Bloom One Fine Day 2015