One of the seminal moments in comedy history was a Parks and Recreation episode where Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) went all out for Galentine’s Day, where women celebrated each other during the Valentine’s Day season. While the initial spirit of the fake holiday was to poke fun, its impact gained steam after the episode originally aired in 2010.
These days, brands are getting on the bandwagon for the unofficial holiday that takes place today. And in a crucial corner of the agency world, a group of female creatives came together to create a series of Galentine’s Day cards designed to give women in the industry a chance to celebrate all of the ways women show up for each other.
Fellow, the first app-based professional community for women in advertising, released “Forget Her Not,” an initiative that takes the tried-and-true method of doling out love through cards through the app and site, and does so in a way that brings together beautiful design and powerful messages.
There are playful nods to Cannes and other awards shows, typography, social media and breaking the industry’s patriarchy. But the cards go beyond puns and wordplay and are inspiring reminders of the cumulative power of so many established and up-and-coming female industry leaders.
HiRoad creative director and co-founder of the One Club’s Next Creative Leaders, Laurel Stark Akman, had been looking for a way to partner with Fellow and its founder, Aisha Hakim, a senior art director at Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco.
“We came up with the idea a few weeks ago and put out the call on social media,” said Stark Akman. “Most of the card concepts started out as headlines I wrote with Aisha’s input, and the designers helped bring them to life.”
At the heart of the project, however, is the sense of community spirit and immense gratitude that the project engenders in a public way.
“We have feelings of appreciation for those who have lifted us up throughout our career, but sometimes we don’t vocalize those feelings,” said Lauren Meadows, a Birmingham, Ala.-based art director at Lewis Communications. “Everyone needs reminders of their positive impact on others—especially those that face adversity in our industry every day. It’s important that we communicate our appreciation to those who have helped us.”
In addition to cards being sent, the work is on Fellow’s Instagram feed and according to FCB Health art director Steph Zmuda, the acceleration of the content has been both surprising and rewarding.
“The most rewarding part has been seeing how far the advertising community and even others have taken it,” she said. “I’ve seen people on Twitter and Instagram sharing the ecards with women who inspire them–inspiring others to do the same.”
“I love seeing how much the messages resonate with everyone,” Emily Kurek, an Atlanta-based designer at Edelman, said. “And I was especially surprised by receiving a few cards from my coworkers.”
The show of admiration is a perfect connection between the spirit of the holiday and the platform itself and a reminder that support along one’s journey is not meant for one moment but, rather, each day.
“Fellow is doing a wonderful, much-needed service [by] providing a community of supportive, mentorship-minded women,” said Kurek. “It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, no matter what your role is, we should all be on the same team.”