A Very Merry Willoughby Holiday Countdown

We’re counting down to the holidays with 25 clients for giving (and receiving) tips.

cheese tray

Very Merry Day #1: Say Cheese!

Green Dirt Farm, a woman-owned business located in Weston, MO, creates 100% sheep’s milk cheese deliciousness. Sold on their website and in local grocery stores. We never get tired of sampling the goods.

Product info: Green Dirt Farm, in Weston, Missouri, is dedicated to nurturing the earth to make yummy grass so curly sheep can make delicious cheese.

Very Merry Day #2: Get Sauced

Do you have an epicurean on your list? If you know what that means you probably do. We collaborated with Williams Sonoma on packaging for several varieties of Demi-Glace and Stock Concentrates that are le finition parfaite to any dish. We’re almost sure we know what that means. 

Product info: Add some joie de vivre to your Holiday feast with Williams Sonoma

Very Merry Day #3: Urban Planning

Who knew when we branded The KC Stockyards District it would become the new home for our hive? Not only an inspiring place to work or live, the restaurants, galleries, wineries and breweries are perfect for a boozy, noshy Holiday adventure. 

Product info: Find your Holiday hideout at the KC Stockyards District.

Very Merry Day#4: There’s Room in The Inn

Branding The Inn at Meadowbrook in Prairie Village, KS, was an exercise in elegance and Midwestern hospitality. This gracious boutique is sure to delight visiting friends & family. Or plant the kids at grandma’s and book a weekend getaway for yourself.

Product info: The Inn at Meadowbrook is waiting for you. 

Very Merry Day #5: Girls Will Rule the World

KCGPA is the first and only public, single-gender school in Kansas City. Supporting education and advancing women are both passions of ours, so it was an honor to help them design their brand. Take a look and give the gift of a donation if you feel compelled.

Product info: Give a gift to educate girls in KC.

Very Merry Holiday Day #6: Three Generations. One Passion.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without André’s Confiserie Suisse. To honor their heritage, we anchored the design system for this legacy brand with a custom scherenschnitte pattern that goes from everyday to holiday with ease. Simply delectable.

Product info: Find your confection connection at André’s.

Very Merry Day #7: Not Your Father’s Aftershave

Zingari Man uses all-natural ingredients for today’s well-groomed man. Product names have a gypsy theme after the explorers, troubadours and lotharios of the world who yearn to live free — while maintaining good hygiene along the way.

Product info: Zingari for the gypsy in your soul.

Very Merry Day #8: A River Runs Through It

We helped Heartland Conservation Alliance create the “Humans Need Nature” capital campaign to fund the Heartland Overlook Preserve “HOP” — 40 acres of oak and hickory forest overlooking the Blue River in south Kansas City. This group works to protect our waterways and preserve nature within our city limits for all to enjoy.

More info: Visit Heartland Conservation Alliance for more information, an opportunity to donate to their cause and even pick up a cool t-shirt.

Very Merry Day 9: Say Yes to Pets!

We have loved working with KCCAC, home of KC Pet Project, and hope we all remember our furry, fuzzy and cuddly citizens this holiday season. 

More info: Visit KC Pet Project to volunteer, shop or adopt!

Verry Merry Day 10: Voice of the Land

The TerraVox label echoes waves of sound as they rise and fall in the Missouri River Valley where rare American Heritage grapes are grown. We recommend a stop by your local wine purveyor to find a bottle and enjoy the fruits of our region this Holiday season. Cheers!

Product info: Shop local! Terra Vox is available for purchase online or in your favorite KC purveyor.

Very Merry Day 10: Next Stop: Progress!

Experience the Holidays in KC with a jaunt on the Streetcar. From River Market to Union Station it’s a scenic trip with stops for fun, food and frivolity. We love working with KC civic brands and the Streetcar was one of our favorites.

More info: Wanna ride the KC Streetcar? Find your stop and jump on!

Verry Merry Day 12: Don’t Wait. Vaccinate!

Baileys may be your idea of a Holiday shot but how about a Covid vaccine? How about both! We created this campaign for Come Back KC to encourage 2 million residents of KS and MO to protect their communities and get vaccinated.

Product info: Get the vax facts and protect yourself, your family and your community!

Very Merry Day 13: Escape to the Park

We love to eat so naturally we love to brand restaurants. Tucked inside the Inn at Meadowbrook are Verbena, for fine dining, and The Market, for delectable bites and such. We happily vouch for both as Verbena was the perfect host for our 2021 Holiday fete! 

More info: Relax, Explore and Enjoy

Verry Merry Day 14: Play On, Dog!

Meet Gus, one of our newest Willoughby pups. Gus likes Play On! for more than just our branding and wants you to know that he is accepting any and all of the toys in case you are shopping at Pet Supplies Plus. 

Product info: Pamper your pets at PSP!

Very Merry Day 15: A Fresh Take on Frozen

Did you know frozen veggies can be as nutritious as fresh? Frozen right after harvest at the peak of nutritional value, Heart and Soul is changing perceptions in the frozen food aisle. Now you can have premium veggies on hand all winter long. 

More info: Find your Heart and Soul

Verry Merry Day 16: It’s a Good Look!

Lauren’s Hope believes that the best medical ID is the one you want to wear. We’re working with them to show the world that ID jewelry can be a beautiful, fun, tough or bold reflection of your personal style. Because healthcare can also be self-care. And that’s a good look.

Product info: Find your new LH Look!

Very Merry Day 17: Keep On Campin’ On!

Rock Springs Ranch, located in the beautiful Flint Hills, is home to Kansas 4-H Camp. They are a joy to visit and to work with. We get to unleash our inner s’morer and gaze up at the stars. It’s not too late to give a little summer this winter!

More info: Take a trip to RSR.

Verry Merry Day 18: We Play for KC

Women’s soccer made a new name for itself this year in KC and it’s just getting started. Throughout 2021 we worked closely with the leadership of what began as KC NWSL and, in October, was christened Kansas City Current. Merch up now for the 2022 season. KC Baby! 

Product info: Get your merch for the 2022 Season!

Very Merry Day 19: Be the Squirrel!

Ziplining through the treetops is amazing and terrifying and you should definitely try it. Of course we did because you can’t do your job without doing the research. A giftcard to ZipKC is an easy and exciting way to stuff those stockings. Also, clean underwear. 

More info: Get Zipped!

Verry Merry Day 20: Easy Elegance

Enjoy more cheer and less mess with the Dixie Holiday Collection! This is our 4th seasonal surface design partnership with the paper goods brand and we’re thankful to them for keeping our workflow merry. Available at retail nationwide. 

Product info: Find your Holiday favorite.

Very Merry Day 21: Let’s Play!

We’re old-school Galaga fans at Willoughby and that’s just the tip of the iceberg at Main Event. Like the logo, this place is bursting with fun and games, good food, crazy desserts and adult beverages. A staycation destination for the whole family. 

More info: Press Play!

Verry Merry Day 22: High-End Loews

The KC skyline continues to grow and the Loews hotel is a beautiful complement. Wayfinding is one of our mainstays. We love the challenge of creating signage that’s both beautiful and functional. Stop by for a Holiday cocktail amidst the beauty of our hometown downtown.

Product info: Find your Holiday destination.

Very Merry Day 23: OMG It’s Almost Christmas!

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer, teacher, mailman, babysitter, co-worker, or dog walker “Thank You”? Head to Panera, get a bagel, a coffee and a handful of gift cards! We had a lot of fun this year working with them and we plan a last-minute stop ourselves. Because OMG, it’s almost Christmas!

More info: Get Carded!

Very Merry Day 24: Happy Holidays from the Bees !

Creating our daily December countdown has been fun and we hope we gave you some inspiration, a little cheer and maybe introduced you to a future favorite product, service or food. All of us at Willoughby wish you Happy Holidays and a bright and hopeful 2022. 

Getting Punchy for the Holidays

For the past few years we’ve created Holiday cards with shareable gift tags ready to punch out and pop on a present. It’s a tradition that our friends and clients look forward to as much as we do. This year, we’ve created classic ornaments, changed up the colors and added some foil accents for a fun, festive and vintage feel.

Willoughby Design 2017 Holiday Card - Tags
Willoughby Design 2017 Holiday Card - Closeup
Willoughby Design 2017 Holiday Card - Overhead
Willoughby Design 2017 Holiday Card - Closeup

Of course, one Holiday Punch deserves another, so pair your celebration with a colorful libation!

Happy Holidays from your friends at Willoughby.

Bee Merry Holiday Bubble Punch

  • 5 cups 100% cranberry juice
  • 2 (750 ml) bottles very dry sparkling wine, such as champagne, cava, or Prosecco
  • 2 cups sparkling apple cider
  • 1 ½  cups (12 ounces) ginger ale
  • 1 ½  cups (12 ounces) dark rum or brandy
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced into rounds or just peel the skin into strips
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries for garnish (we like to freeze them into tiny red ice cubes)
Willoughby Design 2017 Holiday Card - Drink Recipe

Chill all of the ingredients. Fill a large punch bowl with ice or create an ice ring to bob merrily on top. Add the cranberry juice, sparkling wine, cider, ginger ale, and rum (or brandy). Stir gently. Fill cocktail glasses and top with an orange slice (or peel) and frozen cranberries.


Pets, Paper, Parks and Punch at A13

We were recently honored by the Kansas City Chapter of AIGA with four awards at their 13th Annual Design Awards, otherwise known as A13. Many thanks to the jurors and to our peers. This year we were recognized for work that is very close to our hearts and confirms our joy in what we do every day.

Raise the Woof

In anticipation of an upcoming vote to fund a new animal shelter for KC Pet Project, we created Raise The Woof to encourage a Vote Yes. We’re very happy to report that the bond issue passed by a huge margin and the new shelter is well on its way to completion.

Raise The Woof - KC Pet Project - Campaign DesignNeenah Paper

Paper is, and always will be, a designer’s friend and we were delighted to be asked to help design the materials for Neenah Paper’s CLASSIC® line. Working with some of our type heroes we demonstrated the many ways that type loves paper.

Neenah CLASSIC - Premium Paper DesignZipKC

If you’re hired to create a brand for a zip line park in the midwest you must work a tree-dwelling, fun-loving flying squirrel into the identity. You just must. And then they will name him Zippy and love him and adopt them as their own.

ZipKC - A Zip Line Park - Recreation Brand IdentityHoliday Card 2016

For the past few years Willoughby has created a Holiday card that includes punch-out gift tags, because punch-out gift tags are fun and you can pay the greeting forward. 2016’s edition was a group effort with an agency-wide painting party to create abstract art for our tags.

Willoughby Design - Holiday Card Design 2016

Ad Agency vs. Design Firm, what’s the diff?

Ad Agency vs. Design Firm - Brand Design Kansas City

Say “advertising agency” and the immediate reaction will probably be thoughts of Mad Men. Name any movie or TV show from the past 60 years that required a main character to have a cool job (with no actual work done) and I guarantee they worked in advertising. And were also uncannily attractive.

Vote Yes To Pets on April 4

“Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test… consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.” –Milan Kundera

We love our pets here at Willoughby. On any given day you can find KC, Gordon, Colby, Fritzi, Annabelle, Wiggie, Beck, Buddy or some other pooch roaming around the office.

Willoughby Votes, Learns and Gets Squeezy at AXII

We were recently honored by the Kansas City Chapter of AIGA with three awards at their 12th Annual Design Awards, otherwise known as AXII. Many thanks to the jurors and to our peers. We truly love our design community. Where else can you win awards for dabbling in politics, advancing education and drinking wine?

Living Blue in KC

On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon, I dragged my hubs and 7 year-old son with me to take a family yoga class at LiveBlue KC, the new health and education wellness center, located in Zona Rosa, a busy shopping center in northern Kansas City.