Since 2012, we’ve been using our annual holiday email to showcase innovative design techniques and advanced inbox interactivity–with plenty of festive flourishes to boot. You may remember our 2017 card, which gave viewers the ability to trigger four different animated scenes featuring BrightWave’s Chief Client Officer as Santa Claus, or our 2016 card for its long-scrolling animation, done entirely with CSS. These cards were certainly hard to top but we think we came pretty close with this year’s chalk art creation, shown here:
Chalkin’ in a Winter Wonderland
To create this year’s artful holiday email, we first had to hire an incredibly talented Atlanta-based chalk artist to do his thing on our office’s chalkboard walls. Just before December, local designer/illustrator Josh Jameson paid us a visit and sketched out some incredible new murals. In the end, we had an excellent graphic for our all-important holiday email as well as some fun messages to enjoy every day at the office. Finally, armed with photos and videos taken during the drawing process, we were ready to digitize the chalk art experience.
We decided to make a simple script gif for the main headline to add visual interest above the fold. The real showstopper, however, was the special roll-over gif for our “behind the scenes” secondary section. This section looks like a regular photo until the user mouses over the image to magically bring it to life. We created the animated hover state by combining multiple video clips into one gif. By splicing together shots from different phases of the drawing process, we achieved an eye-catching stop-motion look.
What made this design particularly challenging was getting multiple interactive elements (the headline and the behind-the-scenes gif) to look cohesive, so it didn’t feel like there was too much movement happening. Adding a hover or “roll-over” effect was the perfect solution.
But Did It Wow the Email World?
One of our top goals when we create our holiday card, after thanking our clients and spreading good cheer, is to show off for our fellow email nerds. This year, we were excited to see that a few of our most esteemed colleagues were impressed enough to publicly give us props on social media. Here’s what they had to say:
Proud email geek Kristin Bond, who is also a co-founder of Women of Email and former EiQ speaker, loved how the animations looked in her email client of choice:
Litmus Research Director and long-time influential email pro Chad White appreciated the interplay of snazzy design features and relevant seasonal content:
Thank for the kudos, y’all!
Now that 2019 has officially begun, we can’t wait to see how other brands are integrating engaging design features like these (and much, much more) at EiQ this March.