Celebrate the coming of Christmas <span class="h1-sweet">as a community.</span>

University of Notre Dame
Freelance design services:
Graphic design and art direction
Tools used:
InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, XD, Lightroom
The Challenge

How should this meaningful holiday event be <span class="h1-sweet">visualized?</span>

In 2014, the McGrath Institute for Church Life began partnering with the Marian Library at the University of Dayton, to bring an exhibit of crèches, or Nativity scenes, from around the world to Notre Dame’s campus. This annual event became known as the Notre Dame International Crèche Exhibit & Pilgrimage.

Surrounded by carolers and festive lights, community members walked around the campus from one captivating nativity scene to the next. For those who attended, the beauty and impact was undeniably ethereal. Notre Dame’s ask: How can we share this coming-of-Christmas joy to engage even more people? How can we show the meaning and magnitude of this pilgrimage?


Create an immersive experience that <span class="h1-sweet">starts with marketing.</span>

We got to work in July, reviewing photos of all the crèches to be featured that year. As a team, we chose the one that best represented the theme and used it to drive the visual campaign.

Pre-event, I designed posters, postcards, emails and advertisements to build awareness and excitement in the community. During the event, programs with maps were handed out to guide attendees around the campus, from one exhibit to the next. Each scene had a place card with a picture and description that gave insight into the artist’s creative process.

Post-event, downloadable coloring books were created to encourage kids to celebrate at home. This content offer also allowed the McGrath Institute to gather feedback and grow their audience.


Let <span class="h1-sweet">everybody</span> enjoy Christmas at Notre Dame.

Since 2020, this sacred art has been shared in a different way, through a digital Advent and Christmas Crèche Calendar — featuring a beautiful selection of scenes from the previous six exhibits, as well as crèches never before seen on the Notre Dame campus.

Now the Notre Dame community — in South Bend and beyond — receives a daily email during the Advent & Christmas seasons with an image of a crèche from a different part of the world, accompanied by a reflective description and a brief prayer.

Visualizing a meaningful annual holiday event on campus — and beyond.

Bringing <span class="h1-sweet">new life</span> to marketing!

As a longtime partner to Notre Dame, I get to support the big picture — always ensuring consistent, attractive design and marketing materials for their many initiatives. Just like the annual nativity event represents the celebration of Christmas, it also represents another year of new possibilities for community engagement.

University of Notre Dame

So much effort goes into an annual event like this, and graphic design is at the center of our marketing. Between promotions and the event itself, Tara executed every deliverable seamlessly from start to finish. She's also super organized and a great collaborator, which is essential when you're managing a large project.

Ciara Kanczuzewski

Ciara Kanczuzewski

(Former) Communications Specialist
McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

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