Texas Tech University System

Chancellor’s Council Gala

Capturing the classic feel of winter without cliches

Winter is a magical time of year. As the world shelters indoors, holiday celebrations bring a sparkle and warmth wherever people gather. Focusing on this essence helped create event collateral that set the mood as the Texas Tech University System honored a special group of donors.


Each year, the Texas Tech University System holds an event to thank Chancellor’s Council donors, who include some of the organization's most committed alumni and benefactors. Our design needed to feel high-end and stylish while meeting a budget appropriate for a public university system. For the February 2018 event, we wanted to create an invitation suite and event collateral that embraced winter’s festiveness and steered clear of red and green tropes that would be inundating mailboxes. Inspired by the conifers that color the university’s campus during the coldest months, our design uses themes of evergreen boughs and sparkling snow to highlight the season and avoid well-trodden holiday motifs.

Chancellor’s Council donors give to support the vision of the chancellor, the chief executive of the Texas Tech University System. To reinforce this connection, we used the company’s brand identity guidelines as a departure point and prominently featured the organization’s official seal.

Chancellor's Council Gala invitation card
Invitation card

Working with a mix of finishes, the design balances shimmer with an understated design to achieve a high-end feel. A visual vocabulary of pine cones, branches, needles and seeds unified the entire collection and provided enough variety to make each piece feel distinct.

Chancellor's Council Gala response card and envelope
Response card and envelope

To maximize the project budget, we used digital printing methods to deliver a high finish and engaging design. Dimensional printing combined with a subtle, four-color tint gave the invitation band the tactile feel of embossing. Using the same technique on text echoed traditional thermography.

Chancellor's Council Gala banded invitation and lined envelope
Banded invitation and lined envelope

Smart paper selections also contributed to the design’s efficiency and impact. We limited the number of paper stocks to leverage volume pricing and reused paper leftover from a previous job for the envelope liner. The subtle glint of the invitation paper gave a bit of whimsy to the design. Choosing an announcement envelope created an opportunity to make a square envelope liner without die cutting. Metallic accent stock added some of the character of metallic foil, and leftover trimmings were repurposed to mount the escort cards and place cards.

Chancellor's Council Gala escort card and place card
Escort card and place card
Chancellor's Council Gala program
Event program with menu


By mixing wintertime elements and earth tone metallics, the Chancellor’s Council Gala event collateral inspired an evening that celebrated the season without directly referencing the holidays. The crisp, elegant design cut through the year-end commotion to connect with donors, resulting in one of the highest event turnouts in recent years.


Silver Circle of Excellence Award, Invitation Design

Council for Advancement and Support of Education 2019

Gold Award, Special Event Invitation

American Advertising Awards, Lubbock chapter 2018

The Power of Print: Inviting Invitations

CASE Currents magazine January 2020