View Full Version : Design Creates Whimsical Back-to-school Campaign For Mervyn’s

09 September 2008, 12:43 AM
San Rafael, CA – (September 18, 2008) -- Motion, print and interactive design company Design was recently tapped by Mervyn’s to execute an ambitious back-to-school campaign, which includes colorful graphics-driven branding and promo spots.

“ Design is a true gem!” says Julie St. Clair, Mervyn’s Associate Creative Director of Broadcast Media, who also directed the campaign. “A very unique partner in that they are capable of taking a client from conception thorough production – planning, plotting and partnering every step of the way - ensuring a final product that is beyond expectations. Super creative and tech talented – they’ve raised the level of our work, year after year.” Design was tasked with creating three branding spots, one in English and two in Spanish, as well as 24 unique :15 promo spots. Fusing hand-drawn-style fonts and colorful graphics, the spots feature real children as they interact and dance with illustrations of cityscapes, birds, flowers and paint splatters.

To view the Mervyn’s campaign, please go to

“Mervyn’s came to us with initial ideas derived from their overall back-to-school print campaign, such as the hand-drawn fonts and flower graphic elements,” explains Lisa Berghout, Design Creative Director / President. “The scripts were in place, but we worked with them in advance of the production to determine how we would shoot and layout the graphics for the spots. The illustrations had to carry out the idea of the campaign in a kid-friendly and narrative way.”

With a tight timeframe of five weeks and over 50 versions of spots to create, the Design team did not have the luxury of time to plan every scenario and create elaborate shooting boards for the three-day shoot. Berghout provided on-set supervision, working closely with St. Clair to discuss the shoot and tracking elements needed for the design.

“Julie and I understand each other, which made our process much more fluid,” continues Berghout. “We were shooting a spot every 45 minutes, so we really had to be in sync creatively. While we were shooting, we made spontaneous decisions about the volume of graphic elements we were going to achieve in post.”

Once the shoot was completed, detailed storyboards were created to determine the editorial flow and animation layout. collaborated with the editors at Radium to ensure the graphics worked cohesively within each spot.

“This was a fun opportunity for us,” concludes Berghout. “Mervyn’s is such a great client, and we’ve been doing retail campaigns together for a long time. This project wasn’t about typical sales promos. We were able to take it to another level, using graphics and animation to bring the stories to life in each spot. We enjoyed the creative collaboration immensely.”

Adobe After Effects was the main tool used in the campaign for VFX, design and tracking.

Project: Mervyn's Back-To-School 2008 Campaign

Client: Mervyn's
VP: Neil Ptashkin
Senior Writer/Producer of Broadcast: Kay Streit
Associate Creative Director, Broadcast Media: Julie St. Clair
Manager, Broadcast Production: Jennifer Girard
Hispanic Agency: Rod Cervera

Production Company: Roaring Tiger Films
Director: Julie St. Clair
Executive Producer: Tom Ruge
Producer: Lisa Ewald

Concepting, Design, Animation & Post Company: Design
Creative Director: Lisa Berghout
Executive Producer: Anastacia Maggioncalda
Producer: Valerie Tuffy
Designers & Animators: Ed Apodaca, Mont Watanasiriroch, Kevin Head, Ryan Berkey, Adam Patch, Adam Hicks, Peter Sharp & Cameron McEfee

Editorial Company: Radium
Editors: Alan Chimenti, Mahoko Kuramasu & Quan Tran

Audio Post Company: Crescendo

About Design is a digital studio that combines art and technology with elements of type, photography and cinematography to create award-winning motion, print and interactive graphics. From commercials for Mervyn’s and Trilogy Homes to opens for Oracle and Wells Fargo to animated billboards for Kyocera in New York’s Times Square,’s team of passionate, artistically talented and technical savvy designers and animators know how to translate any idea into multiple mediums.’s high-end work has been recognized with numerous Broadcast Design Association and Type Directors Club Awards.

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