It’s getting very busy here in the creative department. We’re almost half way through the production of our annual Yearbook and I can already tell you, the 2011 Wilton Yearbook of Cake Decorating will be one of the best ever.
The whole Yearbook process takes around 10 months. It starts in July, with Steve Rocco (our very talented art director and cake designer) sketching out his ideas for cakes and treats. He draws his ideas based on inspiration from current party and seasonal trends, magazine pictures, pop culture trends and even local party stores. The overall goal is to create cakes for beginner to expert cake decorators. We also try to feature our new and most popular products in our projects. These projects are not only to replicate, but also provide decorators with inspiration and new technique ideas.
Steve’s priceless sketches are passed out to our very highly-trained and skilled team of cake decorators. Then the cakes really come to life. Every project is made to ensure it’s consumer friendly to create. Meaning anyone and everyone can make these treats in their own home. The projects can take anywhere from 1 to 40 hours to complete.
We fill the Yearbook with 200-220 projects, depending on the size of the projects and how we choose to feature them in the pages. A project can be anything from mini cookies decorated for the holidays to a 7-tier wedding cake, or even candy treats. We do it all. Decorating is usually finished in March. These cakes and treats are then delicately placed in our storage room to wait for their chance to be photographed.
While the decorators are hard at work on these cakes, our team of excellent copywriters receive write-ups (or notes) on the completed cakes and projects. They then write the final easy-to-follow copy that you see in the finished Wilton Yearbook. Steve and Carey Thornton (our prop stylist) set up each and every beautiful shot you see — keeping in mind what other projects will be featured on the same spread and how to best feature each one. Photography can start in November and go until April and even into May.
Then comes my part. I receive all images and copy, along with hand-drawn layouts from Steve to follow. And I begin to lay out the pages you will see. Every year we set a goal to make the Yearbook a little different and better than the year before. Once a section is complete, we route them to different people in the company to review. The more eyes the better. Then once it’s all approved, the files go to the printer in May to create the finished Yearbook. In June they are featured in select stores and our online store for everyone to enjoy.
This has to be one of the most exciting projects I get to work on, to see the project go from an idea that Steve sketched to the beautiful hand-crafted designs you see on the pages of our Yearbook is truly amazing. Every year it’s a team effort and hard work that gets this one-of-a-kind publication into your hands.
I can’t really reveal too much, but the idea on the cover is incredible. Any guesses on what you think 2011 Wilton Yearbook cover will be?