Anything that is really worth doing will definitely test you. I would have to say that this past year has been one of the most challenging of my working career.
Armed with an idea backed up with passion and a decade of industry experience I set out on a path that has changed my life and helped to push me way beyond my comfort level.
Sitting down and trying to define the building blocks for what has become the 1st edition was fun to say the least.
Giving what I had envisaged as a starting point to Cindy for design and graphics and watching her develop something outstanding really cemented us as a great working team.
In early February this year we laid down the first outline of what the calendar package would look like and how it would function. Seeking a production partner to deliver a high quality calendar that would look and feel substantial was a challenge all on its own.
We tendered out to companies across the globe and were really hoping for someone close to home to come through.
Alas the Canadian efforts were summed up in two words “epic fail”. One young talented Chinese producer “Michael” really took the initiative in a major way. Within a day we had a 3D graphic of a mockup he had made which looked extremely impressive. Within one week that prototype was on our doorstep.
Michael continued to bounce ideas back and forth with Cindy as they added more and more detail and “wow” into what was going to become the finished product.
Different than a traditional Advent calendar our version has two doors that open to reveal the secret numbered whisky alcoves. These doors are held in place with hidden magnets and allow for space on the inside to hold “extras” like a keepsake brochure with room for personalized tasting notes and other special items.
It was during this time that the graphics really came together. After many rounds of initial mockup design we settled on a Charles Dickens Edinburgh, with lamp lit cobblestone alleyways and a panoramic view of the city. The back of the calendar looks up to Edinburgh Castle in an age worn sepia, complete with smudges and whisky stains from drams consumed long ago. Barely visible in the dim evening lamplight of the Edinburgh alley is a whisky poem dated 1795. Trust me when I tell you that you might need a good flashlight to help you read this historical piece. Lamplight was pretty dim back then.
Next week we will delve more into how the whiskies were sourced and more of the extras that made their way into the final version.
Don’t worry there will be no spoiler alert. We will not be posting a complete list of whiskies till Boxing Day.