Season's greetings are annually released K-pop box sets that typically contain stickers, photobooks, calendars, and other collectible items. For the past few years, I’ve tried my hand at creating my own season’s greetings concepts for Stray Kids. My 2021 project included branding, an outer box, a calendar, a behind-the-scenes disc, polaroids, a sticker sheet, washi tape, a photobook, and a photocard holder/luggage tag.
While I personally like the design of SKZ's official 2021 season's greetings, I’ve seen a number of fans call it “boring.” SKZ is a colorful, high-energy group, but the original design doesn’t convey that. I saw this branding gap as a chance to make something that might align more with their aesthetic.
I took inspiration from Stray Kids’ SKZ-PLAYER, a series of solo/collab songs and dance covers initiated by the group members. The title gave me the idea of a retro-style arcade game theme. I pulled elements from the group’s recent music (i.e. a ghost from the EX music video, the photography and styling from Mixtape: Gone Days) to flesh out the arcade concept in coordination with Stray Kids’ style.
While I can’t use sales to show the project’s effectiveness, I can show the target market’s response to the concept I presented. The most frequent comments I received on Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram were along the lines of “I thought this was the real design,” “I like this more than the original,” and “I’d be ready to buy this right now.” Although this isn’t critical design feedback, it does show that SKZ-PLAYER connected with the target market.
This was one of my earlier attempts at making a mini-brand and applying it to a mix of deliverables. Through trial and error, this project made me more comfortable with jumping between Illustrator and Photoshop. I live-streamed some of the design process on Instagram, and it was interesting to share that experience with a small audience.