Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | 2023

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a staple in American culture for 100 years. I remember having it playing on the (very small) TV on Thanksgiving mornings at my childhood home. It was a privilege to work with my friend Ty Mattson to create the graphics and illustrations for the 2023 (99th!) parade. For this project, Ty provided initial composition sketches for many of these illustrations, making this a team effort. Kortney Carter, also at Mattson Creative, created the logo and typographic elements.

The idea of the illustration style and subject-matter was to create a sense of nostalgia, while not feeling "old". Our aim was to tell the story of the excitement and thrill of the parade, from the perspective of those participating in the parade (dancers, balloon handlers, etc). Often the parade is pictured from the perspective of spectators, but we wanted to tell the story of those who put in hours and years of work to have the privilege of being a part of this historic yearly event.

Client: Macy's
Creative Director: Ty Mattson
My role: Illustration


These illustrations were all created entirely in Vector, in Adobe Illustrator. The "air-brushed" shading texture was created using certain effects in Illustrator. I don't recommend this technique for certain production applications, but this was an instance where it worked great. Watch the below tutorial for more detail on this technique.

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