Santa’s here, bringing a host of wonderfully creative Christmas campaigns to make us feel all warm and cosy.

It’s that time again. A time for imagination and magic to take flight. This year we were challenged with creating a new Christmas campaign for our wonderful clients at Ordnance Survey. But what makes a winning creative Christmas campaign? 

We wanted to capture the wonder of the season and inspire people to explore the OS gift store, seeking out the perfect gift for their nearest and dearest. Gifts that last beyond the twelve days of Christmas and inspire real experiences, exploring and adventure!

The campaign is eye-catching, charming and magical with a nostalgic, tactile feel that recalls the mountains of wrapping paper that accompany any good Christmas – and speaks to OS’ 230 years of paper map heritage. Miles from the standard tropes of outdoors brands, OS stand out with clear territory marked in the competitive Christmas gifting space.

Thanks to the endless talents of artist Nicola Dobrowolski, we lovingly built a handcrafted paper masterpiece of miniature walkers and explorers. Hiking through a landscape of snowy mountain scenes, these seasonal paper people gaze out at the winter wonderland we can  discover with OS. 

We fell in love with the craft from this campaign and wanted to speak to master artisan Nicola, to understand her creative process in more detail. We caught up with her recently to find out how she does it – and hope this interview inspires you to get creative yourselves this Christmas!


So Nicola, how did you bring the creative Christmas campaign into full, two-dimension life?

The idea was to have layers of set that could be manoeuvred into different positions to accommodate the varying size of product that needed to be shot. The layers were made more obvious by grading the paper in colour to accentuate depth and location. We wanted to keep the angles within the mountain ranges fairly simple and clean so that they didn’t distract from the products being photographed.

The human narrative developed throughout the design process as a means of connecting the products to the buyer. I was able to play with extreme detail with these little characters, all the while keeping the colour pallet in theme with Ordnance Survey branding.

Are you as pleased as us with the results?

I am thrilled with how the final shots look. I’m so pleased that human narrative was included in the shots. It really helps the OS Christmas Campaign stand out from the crowd. The film gives meaning and a point of connection for the public, rather than just being about the products. It helps to introduce a sense of adventure and play and once you tap into someone’s curiosity then they’re much more likely to linger and look a little closer.


We love your work (obviously). But in such a digital age, we’re curious what made you stick with this tactile medium?

Paper is one of the most versatile materials out there. The paper artist community is quite close knit. We all use paper differently and it never fails to amaze me what can be done with it!

It’s a very quick medium to work with, strong yet malleable. Paper transforms from 2D to 3D with a single score of a knife. It brings me such joy to see a flat sheet become ‘something’. Pure Joy.


Thank you Nicola!

What a lovely way to wrap up a wonderful year of festive creative. To see more of Nicola’s enchanting work in action, check out her website.