For Christmas 2017 I pitched a different approach from what we had done before. I felt that with full windows the posters behind displays ought to be simple and pretty, more like theatrical backdrops than the message-led posters we are used to producing.
When that campaign went down very well we looked at using what had worked and became interested in updating the existing basic creative/idea from campaign to campaign.
The basic idea needed to be redesigned into a slightly new form: for the Christmas campaign we had the luxury of producing separate suites for 'mass market' shops where we felt location and market meant to posters needed to be more eye-catching and message-led. Also the posters would take more of the weight of prettying up the windows outside of Christmas when less attention gets paid to display in a lot of shops.
I locked in the styling of the ground and sky and, more loosely, the layout of elements. Then for each new campaign I changed the look of the trees, the birds and the palette.
The advantage of this new look was the relative fool-proof-ness of it. There was no real focal point to the illustration so it didn't much matter how booksellers arranged books against them (barring them covered the copy) They would still convey the same vague sense of mood rather than trying to do anything clever.
Meanwhile we also took a look at what we were doing with the Buy One Get One Half Price posters. Traditionally we had devised separate creative directions for the Adult and Children's suites, and then further iterations of both of those for the BOGOHP offer within the sections. But I felt so many version were leaving shops - especially windows - confusing and overcrowded, and with everything vying for attention, BOGOHP wasn't catching the eye like it should. I suggested a new standard BOGOHP creative which remained the same in design but changed in palette to suit the season/creative it sat alongside.
I adapted an illustration or pattern I had previously used in various forms for my tote bag and a gift card, liking the idea of turning it into a go-to background for Waterstones when we want to be restrained and un-fussy but attractive in a piece of print material.