It’s Christmas and don’t we know it. The Cog studio is filled with festive songs, all day everyday from 1st of December. This year, we’re sharing the joy (and our expert knowledge) with our ’12 Days of Playlists’.
It’s become a tradition that we play non-stop Christmas songs in the run-up to the big day. To quote the great Doctor Seuss: “now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason”. But we think we can trace it back to an innocent comment from a hapless Cogger, a decade ago, when someone mentioned how grinch-like our creative director Michael was being. Ever since then, Michael has insisted that we embrace the “whole Christmas season”, with or without sincerity, with all the trimmings. That means we are all Christmas, all the time.
While for some this feels like a punishment, many of us have come to love it. So this year we decided to commemorate and celebrate our month of yuletide tunes with a microsite featuring 12 playlists that will be revealed day by day in the run-up to the big day (or at least until our last day in the studio). You can also see what we’re listening to in the studio right now, and which jingles have had the most plays. Take a look at our site.
Putting this together was a job for the whole team, with different members taking on design, photography, website build and of course, playlist build.
We decided to create an album cover for each of the playlists, featuring the team and christmassy props.
Using physical props and paper craft got us away from our computer screens and allowed us to be collaborative. The Christmas card is a time for everyone in the studio to get involved in the making and to take the starring roles.
Once the twelve themes were decided on, we split them between the designers, who got to design three of them each. Using a mix of real objects, paper craft and cut out photos of the team we had a lot of fun styling each cover.
We needed photo shoot of all of us, so that we could be used alongside the props in the design of the album covers…
Melissa took the lead in getting the best from the models.
And everyone managed to feel festive (although this was back in November)
Whilst shooting and crafting was going on, Becca and Razvan developed the site, researching what could be done with the Spotify API. We discovered we could get better results using Last.fm which made it possible to display what we’re listening to in real time, and the top 10 from the week.
The design of the site took an iterative process, with Anna sketching rough ideas for Razvan to get building, so that it could be worked on whilst we were creating the content.
To make the covers themselves, lots of paper craft and glitter went into the mix.
Ben in particular has had lots of time practicing his scalpel skills.
Then it was a case of playing with the figures and props to achieve suitably Christmassy results.
We finished off the build of the site with a sprinkle of snow, and a colour fading background.
As we’re now immersed in festive tunes and cheer, and a drift of glitter that we suspect will linger well into the new year, we can agree it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
Keep an eye on the site as we release new playlists everyday until we finish up for the year.
We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!