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December 20, 2019

The gift of presence

Meaningful moments happen face-to-face, not when scrolling through your Instagram feed, or diving into the latest trending topic on Twitter. Unfortunately, facilitating those moments can be incredibly difficult – for everybody. Luckily, the holiday season gives us a chance to take a break from our regular routines to reset with the people that we love most and enjoy priceless time together. This year, as you’re making your way to your parent’s place, or visiting family in far-off places, we want to encourage you to bring something to the table beyond just your phone and create meaningful memories with your loved ones.

“Be Present” Schaefer Playing Cards

Every year, the Schaefer team creates a Christmas card to help celebrate the season and share some holiday cheer. But, the thing about cheer is that it’s an infectious feeling that can’t be contained into one card. In the spirit of spreading cheer, we approached the 2019 Christmas card asking ourselves “how can we make a card shareable?” So, we created a deck of playing cards that encourage people to gather their family and friends and play some card games together.

Inside The Package

Each box of cards comes in a small package that is marked with a Schaefer acorn sticker. Inside the package is an insert that explains the intent of our playing cards: to be fully present in the moments you share with your loved ones. The reverse side of the insert contains the rules and instructions on how to play four classic card games: Crazy Eights, Slap Jack, Squirrel, and Rolling Stone.
The box of cards is adorned with the classic Schaefer squirrel, which is also shaped into the letter “S.” The back of the deck instructs people to “Be Present,” and encourages them to take the cards wherever they travel this holiday season.
The cards themselves have been designed to represent different personalities found inside the halls if Schaefer Advertising. You’ll find the detailed designer checking her fountain pen for ink; the meticulous production manager measuring projects with his many rulers; the Jack of accounts, staying in constant contact with the client; the developer magically riding his unicycle and balancing his laptop upon his knees amidst a flurry of flying papers; and you’ll also spot the art director conceptualizing the next great idea, creating light and energy with his fingertips.
Each of these archetypes are loose interpretations of some of the very real people that make Schaefer the magical place that it is today.

Making Life Better

At Schaefer, we come to work every day and use fun as a tool to explore new creative ideas and create compelling strategies; as a way to connect with our co-workers, break down barriers and discover the best ideas together. We aim to make life better every single day, and we hope that we can use our work to bring joy to others and facilitate more meaningful moments between people. This holiday season, we’re using our Christmas cards to encourage you to put away your phone, gather your loved ones around a table and give them the gift of your presence.
Happy Holidays,
– The Schaefer Team

No matter the season or circumstance, we believe Christmas time should be special. We try to convey this with our Christmas cards. This year’s Christmas card prompt was to share our Christmas experience.
Our first idea was to surprise our recipients inside their home with homemade cookies– but our lawyer advised against it.
The next best thing is to encourage people to prep ovens, and create Christmas magic. We thought: we want people to get excited about making things–especially tasty Christmas things, how do we send that? We arrived at Christmas cookie-cutters. And not just any cookie cutters. Squirrel shaped cookie cutters. (They make tastier cookies.)
A lot of mystery surrounds the Squirrel; We have a squirrel on the building next to Schaefer, squirrel anniversary pins, a squirrel nut-cracker in our entry way. The list goes on. But the squirrel has become the unofficial mascot of our agency. The squirrel is resourceful, cunning and a little quirky. So this year we wanted to share in your Christmas tradition by sharing a little part of us. May your days be merry, and your cookies find dairy!
And if you’d like to try your hand at the official Schaefer Christmas Cookie, the recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

 
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Icing

 
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
 

Directions

 

  1. In large bowl, beat butter until creamed and smooth – about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Turn mixer to low and add half of flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add restof flour and continue mixing until just combined.If dough still seems too soft, add 1 Tbl more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
  3. Chill for one hour.
  4. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll out and using your limited-edition Schaefer Squirrel cookie cutter,cut into shapes. Transfer cut cookie dough to baking sheet. Re-roll remaining dough and continue cutting
  5. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly coloredon top and around the edges. Allow to cool on bakingsheet for 5 minutes, transfer to wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  6. For icing, combine all ingredients and beat for two minutes. Decorate cooled cookies and share with @schaeferadco!

 

 
 

Is singing loud for all to hear!”
Or in our case, calligraphy quotes from classic holiday films—you definitely don’t want us to sing. And while our collective voice may not be pleasant, we did join together as an agency for a special edition calligraphy class from the the lovely and industrious Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye. We were provided custom name cards, ink wells and calligraphic pens from the seasoned letter-smith, and taught through practicing the calligraphic alphabet. After hours of baselines, stroke-variances and ink splattering, we attempted penning a few of our favorite Christmas movie quotes. While some of our attempts may be more stink than ink, we finished the whole ordeal a whole lot jollier.
 

 
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Special thanks to Cockrell Enovation for executing this project to specification:

CHRISTMAS CARDS: 5×7, printed 1/1, PMS 877 / PMS 877, 100# cover Curious Red Matter, qty. 500 of three different cards
VERTICAL BELLY BAND: 17×4.125, Desert Storm 70# text, black and white ink/white, two scores, qty. 500
ENVELOPE: A7 Finch, printed 1/1, PMS 877 / PMS 877, qty. 500

 

Schaeferites are inspired by all kinds of things. One look at our desks will tell you that: toys, baseballs, elephant figurines, mugs from places we’ve been, etc. The nature of explorers is that we go out into the world, gather inspiration and bring it back. However, sometimes that inspiration comes to us. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Moondream, the paper that turns translucent when you emboss it.

“Oh. Hey. Christmas card.”

But what should we emboss? How about our building? Yeah, our building. From our home to yours? Yes. Christmas or holidays? Christmas. Candle to put inside? DO IT. Wait, too expensive. It’s okay, people have candles. What if they burn their houses down? Include instructions. Who’s going to fold and stuff and stamp them? We are.

And that’s the brief but accurate history of this year’s Christmas card. Hope it finds you well.

Schaeferites are inspired by all kinds of things. One look at our desks will tell you that: toys, baseballs, elephant figurines, mugs from places we’ve been, etc. The nature of explorers is that we go out into the world, gather inspiration and bring it back. However, sometimes that inspiration comes to us. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Moondream, the paper that turns translucent when you emboss it.
“Oh. Hey. Christmas card.”
But what should we emboss? How about our building? Yeah, our building. From our home to yours? Yes. Christmas or holidays? Christmas. Candle to put inside? DO IT. Wait, too expensive. It’s okay, people have candles. What if they burn their houses down? Include instructions. Who’s going to fold and stuff and stamp them? We are.
And that’s the brief but accurate history of this year’s Christmas card. Hope it finds you well.

December 8, 2014

Schaefer Christmas Retreat

The annual Schaefer Christmas party is always preceded by several months of planning, intrigue and lies, resulting in something of a cat-and-mouse game between the party planning committee and those who get off on ruining surprises.
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After a concerted effort to make us all think we were flying somewhere (convincing many), we loaded up on Thursday morning and drove to our destination: a 16,000 square foot mansion on Lake Travis near Austin.

Arriving earlier than expected, the party planners called an audible – a wine tasting and tour at nearby Flat Creek Estate. Not a bad way to kill an hour.
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After unloading the trailer and exploring the enormous house and grounds, we began the business of the day. This trip was to be part year-in-review, part looking ahead and part Burning Man. That is, a tamer, fully-clothed Burning Man without all the costumes and glitter.
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Nicknames were earned, lingo was added to the already expansive Schaefer lexicon and we all came away with a clear vision of our goals for 2015. Some people also left with a headache.
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Stay tuned for big things next year. Thanks for being a part of this one, even if it was just by reading this blog. There are a lot more photos to look through on our Facebook page, so head on over there now, please.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Schaefer.

December 17, 2013

A SchaeferMade Christmas Card

This year, every single Schaefer employee had a hand in creating our Christmas card. 400-plus hand-stamped cards later, and this didn’t seem like such a great idea anymore. Take a look at how it all came together, and don’t be surprised if next year’s card is store-bought.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Schaefer!
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December 2012 was four months ago and last year, but I’m going to take you back to the most wonderful time of 2012 and discuss the office Christmas party of a lifetime.
A little background: Every year our Christmas party is a surprise. The exclusive planning committee — it really exclusive I’ve tried to get on if for years — keeps plans under wraps until the party time.
Instructions we were given for this party:

  • Don’t schedule any meetings for Friday, December 7th. We will leave the office at 10 am.
  • Make sure you have your driver’s license, I know that seems like a give in, but you can’t get into the evening festivities without it
  • We will wrap things up Saturday around 4:30 pm

Packing list we were given:

  • Cocktail attire for dinner and going out, IMPORTANT: guys MUST wear a jacket to dinner (we will have time to change and freshen up before dinner)
  • Pajamas
  • Phone charger
  • Sleeping bag & pillow
  • Dress shoes
  • Walking shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Contact lenses/glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfy clothes for Saturday

After months of teasing us, trying to throw us off we pulled up to DFW, got on a plane and landed here:
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Yes. We had our office Christmas Part in New Orleans and it was INCREDIBLE.
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