How collaborative design is like a good Halloween costume

Using all the resources at your disposal

Prior to launching Après Creative, the three of us worked together at a property management company. We were the reigning champs of the Halloween Cube Decorating Contest and proud of it. The Halloween before we left, we had to defend our title – and we put our collaborative design expertise to the test!

The year we won, we dangled a huge, homemade spider above our cube and projected a video of hundreds of spiders running up the walls. We definitely scared some coworkers and/or their toddler children (or two, or three). The following year, we collaborated in a more refined way to create a family-friendly Garden Gnome theme (see accompanying photo – we were proud little gnomes).

Here’s how we applied collaborative design best practices to that Halloween display:

Discovery and Brainstorming

It all starts with a good, old-fashioned brainstorm/discovery session. If it’s over a happy hour, that’s a plus. For the Halloween display, we considered:

  • What are we going to be?

  • Who’s our demographic – impressionable children who will scare/scar easily or mature adults who you can handle a little more fright?

  • What’s our theme? Fun and playful or dark and intimidating?

  • What’s the goal of the costume? To win of course.

Agreement and Delegation

Once there’s an agreed-upon direction, we divide and conquer based on each individual’s strengths:

  • Who has mad hot glue gun skills?

  • Who can sprint through a craft store in 15 minutes and find supplies on a shoestring budget?

  • Who knows someone in the training department to procure a projector?


Each member of the design team starts the work on their task and utilizes his or her unique skill set.

Revise and Refine

The team discusses progress, makes adjustments to the plan and works on finishing touches:

  • Does the costume fit okay?

  • Do you have enough beard hair?

  • Is your hat pointy enough to pull off an authentic gnome look?


It’s time to show off your collaborative efforts and win that costume contest.


Winning the office costume contest gives you serious bragging rights, plus a six pack of Pumpkin Beer.

Our collaborative efforts are always seamless. All points of view are incorporated throughout the entire process, and the results speak for themselves. Speaking of results, check out Après Creative’s award-winning brochure for L45  – just one more example of our collaborative design process in action.

To learn more about how collaborative design can work for your design and branding project, contact us today.

Posted By

Sara Bess