Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to work with Luquire George Andrews and S&D Coffee & Tea to help develop a series of characters for their new MilkSplash line of products. The challenge was to take an existing series of characters, that were only featured on product, and bring them to life, allowing them to exist within other applications.
Two of the final characters, Sir Strawberry Swirl and Jammin’ Banana
The image above shows two of the final characters I developed for the MilkSplash line. I wanted to keep the shape of the bottle (you’ll notice the color of the tummies match their original bottle… Care Bears anyone?) but also build these characters in a way that let them exist as their own, appealing personality… allowing them to help expand the brand awareness through other executions. MAN! That was SO marktingspeaky! I know you liked that.
Existing MilkSplash packaging, supplied by the client
This shows the process of evolving the existing package into a full character
With this project, the first piece of business was to simply take the existing bottle, and put arms and legs on it. From there, I began to flesh out the rest of the body… what does the head look like? How tall is the character? How do they move? Some characters came to life quite quickly, while others took a bit more time. The chart above shows a typical process in my character development… moving from the existing package (1) into sketch (2) and all the way into the final produced artwork (6). The end result for all the characters had to evoke the look of the package without actually copying it.
Ultimately, the group worked best when everyone was of a similar height
Another challenge with this type of project, where you’re working to create a group of characters, is that the whole group has to work individually and as a whole. My original idea was to have the characters be different sizes, but this decision made the smaller characters insignificant. Designing the characters to all share a similar size and proportion helped give equal weight to everyone, and helped them feel more like an established group.
Some buildings were pretty straight forward… others took a bit more work
The other really cool part of this project, was that I was asked to design where each character lived. I love matching a building to a characters personality… treating the building as a character itself. Like the characters, some buildings came to life much quicker than others. The castle, for example, was pretty straight forward from day one… while the tiki hut slowly evolved into a music studio tiki hut. Can you have electricity in a tiki hut? Sure you can!
Welcome to a land of flavor, you guys!
Finally, after all of the characters and buildings had been approved, the final step was to put them all in their own little village… surrounding a river of milk! Personally, I would not go swimming in a river of milk… unless I had a cookie raft. Mmmmmmmmm… cookie raft…..
I invite you to check out more of my work on MilkSplash, including larger images over on my portfolio site. If you’d like to learn more about the product itself, visit MilkSplash’s website! Now… go drink your milk or else. OR ELSE.
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