I don’t know if you’ve heard of the phrase “self-initiated-brief”? I hadn’t. Then I came across Johanna Basford (via Bernadette) and I was inspired. A self initiated brief is pretty much a pretend brief that you set for yourself and then present it to your dream client. At Kish + Co, we have the longest dream client list, but we’ve always waited “for it to happen”. This whole idea of taking a risk, spending design time on a brief that may or may not come to commercial fruition and sending it out there, is awesome. I felt like it actually gave us permission to try. No expectations. Just effort.
So we put together a character series for a childrens product range. Based on the concept of “What I want to be when I grow up”. Against stereotypes, we had a girl DJ, a boy chef (I love a man in the kitchen so why not get the boys trained early?), a girl superhero and aimed for a mixed race combination (I don’t know about you, but I grew up wondering why Indians never made the cut to billboards). I’m ridiculously proud of the series, largely put together by Agnes (so much hard work from this lady) and assisted by Roe and our intern at the time, Sophia Banfield. We printed it into a book and sent it to our dream company a month ago. Last week, I gave them a ring and unfortunately, we didn’t make the cut. (I was debating about telling you that part). And while that hurt like a mother-father, I had a latte and a chocolate cupcake, dusted the dirt off my knees, put on a band-aid and got into the next brief. Cause thats what it’s about. Keep on keeping on.
Heres the design story, would LOVE to know if you like it (it might help soothe my ego) and if you want Agnes to do a childrens book / stationery / characters for you, then I’d love to give her a dream brief all over again. We started with looking into kids products, paraphernalia, colour palettes and techniques. This is the very first moodboard.
Then we broke it up into components. We wanted 3 girls and 3 boys. Each character had to be something children are familiar with and something which would look visually cool. Some of the characters are dreams of each of ours. Astronaut. Chef DJ Jet Setter Rock Star Super Hero Below is the moodboard for the astronaut.
These are Agnes’ initial sketches, she always starts with a pencil at this stage and goes from there.
Colouring it in and adding background elements.
Giving him a name: Rowen! Long for Roe. No guesses there.
The moodboard for the chef series was super fun. I can see an idea in the two top left illustrations already.
Sketches. I love that little tongue poking out. So CUTE!
Moodboard for the DJ. There really is a market for fresh design in the DJ sector. The graphics are so overkill.
Havana Brown would be pretty proud of us right now.
I’m wondering if Agnes took her cue from there or from Come Fly With Me…
Needless to say, I’ve wanted to be Sally in the passenger seat. Next up is the rock star character.
And the finale – the Superhero! I love how our moodboard has more male than female. Goes to show.
While I don’t know what is next on the drawing board for our dream clients, I definitely know we’re going to catch one of them soon. Huge thanks to the talented Johanna for inspiring us.
If you’re interested in talking about the characters, having something done along similar lines or just talking design, don’t be shy. Give us a call and we could do a latte and a cupcake! In the meantime, here are some posts you might like.