With so many of us stuck at home right now, some are rediscovering the fun to be found in board games. One of the most fun and creative I’ve come across lately is actually a client gift with a playful ski theme, played on a board you can wear when the icy winds begin to blow.
The Slopes & Lifts Game began life in 2018 as a different type of gift – a “thank you” crafted by the employees of Ellen Bruss Design (EBD) and given to Ellen herself in gratitude for the annual Ski Day team-building event she puts on. Everyone there enjoyed it so much that last year they decided to create a holiday gift version for EBD’s clients.
Long an admirer of EBD’s design work, I honestly didn’t know what to expect when this stylish black and white canister arrived. Needless to say I couldn’t twist off the lid fast enough to have a peek inside.
Serving double duty as both mailing tube and holder for the game pieces (nice touch), the canister, when opened, reveals an understated printed cloth rolled up and secured with a black ribbon from which dangles an equally understated black and white hangtag. (This was printed on sample sheets that EBD had on hand using their office laser printer.)
Untying the bundle I soon discover that the printed cloth is actually:
- A whimsically illustrated game board screen printed on black cotton fabric
- A bandana you can wear while you ski should the mood strike you.
As the designers observe, “gifts that are useable AND fun are hard to come by!”
- A pair of dice
- A copy of the rules printed on 70 lb. International Paper Accent Opaque [Get Swatchbook]
- 6 laser engraved game pieces
These last items are particularly striking in person, the sanded, unfinished wooden chips reminiscent of the comfy ambiance of ski lodges everywhere. Each also features an appropriate design, including a snowflake, a pine tree, the EBD logo – another nice touch – and Hermann the wiener dog, the company’s mascot. (What Hermann made of this we can only imagine.)
As anyone who has tried to work a mailing tube into their overall design can attest, it’s a lot easier said than done. [Check out our PRO Tip: 5 Tips for a Triumphant Tube]
“Because the tubes feature an overall slopes and lift wraparound label,” the designers explain, “it created diagonal lines that made it difficult for labeling as there were no straight lines to use as a guide when hand applying the address label.” (Had they required a larger quantity, the labels could’ve been printed on the tubes directly.)
The objective of the Slopes + Lifts Game is to be the first to travel from Square 1 to Square 100, which isn’t as easy as it might sound, what with Lifts (that lead upward only) and Slopes (that drop you down). As the rules explain, “The Winner may celebrate with a cocktail of their choice or by rubbing it in their opponents’ face. Winners may also continue reminding their opponents about their victory for as long as they wish. They’re winners.”
Win or lose, I hope this clever mix of materials, printing techniques and good-old-fashioned creativity gave you an inspirational lift, too. Now shouldn’t you be supercharging your print design knowledge with our free “5 in 5” on-demand presentations? Click here to get started!
Mailing label and game instructions: Hampden Press
Game pieces: Method & Madness
Bandana: One Feather Press