Invite for Tribune Content Agency holiday party

Tribune Content Agency holiday party invite

How to fit 100 columnists, 15 comic strips, and 50 employees into one holiday invite.

This year I was asked to design the invite to our company holiday party this year. Normally, this would be finding some nice holiday stock art on our photo service. But this year I wanted to have a little more fun with our invite.

I was recently at the dollar store and saw these really cool transparent plastic ornament balls.

clear plastic ball ornament dollar store

Since they are so plain, they would be perfect for decorating the outside—or better yet, decorating the INSIDE of the ornament! The top can pop right off, revealing a one-inch diameter hole. You can shove any sort of items or printouts into the ornament!

At where I work, we have a TON of talent that we syndicate. Wouldn’t it be fun to jam them all into one ornament? While I’m at it, why not shove in photos of all our employees too?

Nobody asked me to include all this, I just thought it would be fun to have everything about us residing inside one ornament. A little world of content and employees.

All the images are little half-inch squares on strips of paper. The final result turned out pretty nice.

Here’s the email:

TCA Holiday invite: email

Yeah, not ALL of our talent shows inside the ornament photo. And not all of our employees show up either. But this is just an internal project, so I didn’t have to be particular.

The bottom of the email has a fun little extra bonus. One of our comic strips, with the last dialogue balloon edited.

The appetizer/desert sign-up sheet syncs up nicely with the email, using the same header image and comic strip footer:

Tribune Content Agency Appetizer & dessert sign-up

When I was creating this invite, this was our 5th month in our new building. We moved out of the Tribune Tower this year. Our new workplace didn’t have any Christmas trees up in our new workplace. Which was a bit of a change for us, because we had an annual tradition of having 15-foot-tall Christmas trees in our building lobby.

This year we had some nice poinsettias in our cafeteria, and on the stairs.

Christmas poinsettia in the Chicago Tribune cafe for Christmas

Christmas poinsettia in the Chicago Tribune stairs for Christmas

Christmas poinsettia in the Chicago Tribune cafe for Christmas

I really needed a Christmas tree to photograph this ornament. Thankfully, our new building had some Christmas trees in the lobby.

Christmas tree in the Prudential Building lobby, Chicago

The lobby is technically not the Chicago Tribune’s lobby. It’s the Prudential Building lobby. But I figured I could just go down there, and quickly photography my ornament on the tree. This lobby is part of the Chicago pedway, so there is plenty of foot traffic walking through.

A security guard stood in the lobby. Knowing how security guards can be, I knew that should approach the guard and inform her what I was doing. As soon as I start taking photos of the tree, you know she will come over and tell me to not be photographing.

I kindly approached her and told her what I was going to do. She said I had to get the permission from building management. I was a little surprised. I work for the Tribune, the building’s new star tenant. I’m a photographer taking a simply photo of a small ornament. But whatever. That’s is what security does. They follow the rules. They make sure the rules are enforced. They keep us safe, because they are hawks. That’s fine.

Besides, it gave me an opportunity to visit the management office our our new building. The Prudential Building management does an amazing job scheduling fun events throughout the year. Seriously. I’m not just saying that to be nice. For instance, they had the Score radio station do a Cubs postseason day-long festival. I got my photo taken with a World Series trophy and got to chat with Ryne Sandberg about my scorecards.

And now with the building management’s permission, I was able to photograph as long as I liked. I didn’t have to try to be quick and get outta there. I shot a decent range of photos.

contact sheet for christmas tree ornament

Ok, that’s pretty much it for this blog post about the holiday invite. I also took this same idea with the ornament and applied it to my own Christmas card. Check out the blog post with the preview of my family Christmas card.

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5 years ago

Love the ornament, Matt. You are so talented and did a wonderful job. Thank you for your personal ornament/card as well. Love it and hope 2019 is a fantastic year for your and your beautiful family.

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