What kind of gift do you buy someone who is obsessed with burgers and loves to build toy contrstuction sets? That was the question I was posed with as my three year anniversary with Brian approached. The answer was simple, something so unique that you can’t buy it – you need to create it yourself. You guessed it, a burger made from toy building bricks.
I began creating the burger structure in early August. This posed a major challenge – I was not a “builder” and had no idea where to start. So I decided to create the bottom bun first as my base then work my way to the top. Out of all the layers, the burger was the simplest section to figure out. The toppings took many hours of re-building so that it would look just right. By the time I finished the top bun it felt as if I were a pro.
At this point I said to myself, awesome I actually built a burger, now what? I decided to take it one step further and design instructions. My current full-time job is to layout product guides every day so this didn’t seem like it would be a major obstacle. What I didn’t realize was how time consuming it would be to create every single build step image using only photoshop. After all 40+ graphics were created, it was time to design branding for the book.
While thinking of ideas for the burger’s branding I had another idea – let’s take it a final step further and create packaging for this product too. I deconstructed a Big Mac box and created my own die line in Illustrator. After many trial and error designs, it finally occurred to me how I’d like to brand this product. I was going to truly re-create the Big Mac box and add unique elements to play up the toy. For the instructions I’d use signature McDonald’s colors and design elements.
By mid-Novemeber, I finally refined my product and designs. Even though at times I felt like I would never finish this gift, I also didn’t realize how much fun I would have creating it from start to finish. I was able to take a concept and fully develop it – from the product, to the packaging and instructions. Being actively creative is extremely important in the design field – wether the project is personal or work-related.
This present proved that you do not need to spend money to make someone understand how much you care – if you love them it is always the thought that counts. Creating something unique might just be the best gift you can think to give or receive. It really shows how much time and effort you put into making the gift special, rather than picking something off a shelf. Remember that this holiday season!
Also, good luck to my future self on topping this.