RETIREMENT GIFT FROM MICROSOFT - MEMORY BOX COMMISSION
This is a memory box commissioned by Microsoft. It was a retirement gift for a senior Communications Director and documented the memories and changes he’d experienced in his role over the years.
A member of the team at Microsoft got in touch, as they were looking for a retirement gift for a senior colleague, Tom. He was retiring after 25 years and they said they’d “love to make him an amazing leaving gift".
My client had put together a 'mood board' of objects they wanted to include (see below), but the main challenge was the timeframe. They needed the retirement gift for the next month, so I didn’t have a lot of time to get everything ready.
The timings were even tighter than normal, as many of the items were being collected by different colleagues and some were being shipped from America. This meant I had to gather rough estimates of sizes and leave spaces in the box while I was waiting for objects to arrive.
The idea of the box was to remind Tom of all the changes he’d seen during his 25 years at the company. We called it 'Microsoft technology through the ages'.
It was a huge team collaboration with lots of members of staff sourcing different objects for the memory box. Some of Tom’s colleagues even went digging around in their attics for an old keyboard.
As one of the team told me: “this box has been a labour of love for a number of people”. And that is the perfect description. There were lots of conversations back and forth to decide on the sizes, objects and layouts.
As well as gathering the right objects, Microsoft were keen to get the colours spot on too. They wanted the colour of the box to fit in with the decor of Tom’s house. I suggested going with black so we could make the objects and colours 'pop'.
Rather than a plain background, I created a background from printed Microsoft screensavers, home screens and old advertisements. These little details all helped to make the memory box extra special.
Once I’d received the last item from America, I added the final touches to the box and couriered it to my client's house. The team then presented the box to Tom in person.
The objects in the memory box included: floppy disks, Xbox, mouse, cables, CD Roms, ctrl + alt + delete keys, as well as more personal items such as the mini boxing gloves and items from business trips he’d made over the years.
It also included personal jokes, including the keys: Windows > Escape > Home to represent his retirement from Windows. Plus, the iconic paperclip character which was saying: “even I can't save you”.
"Congratulations on an amazing piece of art!! I can't tell you how impressed my wife and I have been and how much I will treasure it for the rest of my life"