Christmas may still be months away, but with print deadlines looming, the time for designing and illustrating Christmas-themed projects is almost over. We caught up with design studio Form to discuss its work for the Taste of Christmas food festival.

Form's work follows its creation of a 'hero' image for the Taste of London food festival in the summer, where it decorated the an extruded version of the word Taste with elements of a champagne picnic.

For the Taste of Christmas, Form was tasked to repeat the formula almost exactly, but with a Christmas pudding, robin, present and bauble -- even changing small elements such as the bushy leaves on the 't' into holly leaves.

We sat down with Paula Benson, partner at Form, to find out more about the project.

DA: What was the brief from the client for 'Taste of Christmas'?

PB: "Build on the loyalty formed with the summer campaign, keeping a 3D render of the logo as the hero, and changing the props and background to have a festive feel ... Taste Festivals loved the fact they could continue the theme but rework it for the Christmas event, but with a whole different feel.

"They are happy with the brand consistency and that they can build on the loyalty that’s already been built. They were pleased that it looks festive and inviting, and cosy, without looking too tacky which some Christmas campaigns can tend towards."

DA: What was your concept for the illustration and how did you develop this?

PB: "Taste represents foodie heaven. [Our strategic objectives were] to maintain the positioning of Taste as market leader at a time of increasing competition; to deliver the luxury food & drink event in the Christmas consumer market; and to attract an audience interested in high quality food and drink to attend the event.

"Working with the existing logo and brand guidelines, and building on the summer identity, [our creative objectives were to] build brand awareness and drive ticket sales by designing a creative campaign that will reflect the luxury feel of Taste of Christmas. The creative needs to be bold but sophisticated -- embodying a great foodie day out with a a hint of quirkiness.

"We built brand awareness by projecting the logo as the hero. We created a fresh, energised, and confident yet sophisticated feel by creating a 3D world around the letters. The cherry, christmas pudding, sauces, robin, wrapped present and bauble are signifiers of Christmas and together with the glittering background all communicate the messages of delicious food, celebration and a cosy feel. We ensured the concept would work well over both visitor and exhibitor promotions, as well as print and digital comms.

DA: How did you build the 3D elements?

PB: "We worked on a rough illustration in-house to lock down the exact props (which went through many stages of approvals with the client). [We] then worked with 3D artist Chris Labrooy to create the final image, and dropped into a background created by ourselves in Photoshop.

"Details like the robin were added in Photoshop but most of the logo and foods were created in 3D. We had the image rendered from a few different angles for use across the campaign and also created a single ‘t’ for smaller ads (below) and promotions that need strong immediate impact.

"We created the main library of images, and designed the first ad (above) and an ad-design styleguide. The rest of the campaign will be rolled out inhouse by our client to bus hoardings, signage and tube posters."