Friday 20 December 2013, 10:24
Ever wondered what it’s like to design Christmas? We spoke to Julia Berthelemy, who works for International Greetings, to find out who is behind the festive wrap and sparkle.Julia Berthelemy, designer and design manager at International Greetings.
“We start Christmas in February and don’t finish it until January. It’s really all year round for us as we start researching trends for the following Christmas in February. So next February, we’ll be working on Christmas 2015.
“We’re at the peak of designing wrapping paper in July. We need to be in the mood for Christmas in the height of summer.”
Julia explains what her daily work as a designer and a design manager entails: “My job involves seeing customers and then designing wrapping paper to suit their requirements. We build a range of Christmas-themed designs for them and I take them to the buyer and we make any changes to the design. I also design myself.
“Whatever you do, it’s related to Christmas and fun. Even if you’re very busy you can look at what you’re making and realise that it’s fun.Christmas crackers from International Greetings.
“We have a reasonably big team, but it’s a relaxing atmosphere because of the nature of the work – doing things geared towards greetings and Christmas keeps everyone smiling.
The time taken on the creative process depends on the complexity of the project. For wrapping paper, Julia explains, “If it’s ornate or particularly ‘trendy’ it takes longer than kids’ wrapping paper. Usually it’s six to nine months from the design to production to the shelves.”
The big trends for this year for gift wrap include chalkboard wrapping paper.
What happens at Christmas time when you work on Christmas all year round? Julia says, “When it is finally Christmas, we go all out. We have started Christmas songs in October in previous years - we’re so desperate to get there! We put festive lights up and decorate our desks.Products from the International Greetings range.
“Even though we work on Christmas all year round, we try to make a point of celebrating. It’s hard to design Christmas when it’s August so we really need to push the boat out when it’s actually Christmas to keep the feeling going through the year!”