A couple of months ago I hosted an Instagram challenge called Improve Your Brand and to make things more interesting I put together a huge giveaway prize (read all about it here!) for those who participated. At the end of the challenge I randomly drew a name and Jennifer Blaine, of ToyiToyi Toys, was the first person I drew and thus began a cool albeit challenging design process.
Whereas I’ve designed brands and websites for online stores, I had yet to work with a toy company but since I like trying new things and challenges, I took on this project head on.
THE INSPIRATION BOARD
During our brand discovery week, I asked Jennifer to describe her brand in five words and she chose the words; fun, creative, simple, arty and playful.
After that I got her to pin images related to those five words, her target market and images she feels best reflects her ideal visual brand then I got to pulling selected images from that board into an inspiration board which you can see below.
You can see that muted pinks, greys and geometric shapes are prevalent in the inspiration board and I could see Jennifer was leaning more towards circular logos. With that in mind, I got to designing the logo and after a few revisions, we decided on a stamp-like logo with a brush script font. The brush script font lends a playful feeling while the circle border lends a feeling to arty and playful.
We designed the logo to be versatile; instead of printing it directly on the doll packaging, she could print it out as stickers which could then be reused by the kids. In addition to that, the logo works really well as a stamp.
After the logo was finalised we went ahead to design the rest of the brand collaterals. Inspired by the geometric shapes, I designed tiny gem-like icons to be used throughout the visual brand. The gems are also a play on the saying, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” which echoes what little kids feel about their dolls. I love it when brands have a little story behind them!
Here are the business cards...
The thank-you cards...
DESIGNING THE WEBSITE
With the brand collaterals completed, it was time to move on to the website and this is where things got more challenging. Jennifer had her previous website hosted on Shopify and she wanted to keep the new one on Shopify too. Problem? I’ve never designed a website on Shopify before!
I was determined to make things work for her though, so I made myself familiar with Shopify and its Liquid coding language. In the end I managed to design and code the brand new Toyi Toyi website and set things up so it would be easier for her to make use of in the backend side of things. Have a look at the website:
Hey, check out the world map header too! She didn’t ask for this one as part of her collaterals but I went ahead and designed headers for her website and social media, which she loved! The one with the logo over Africa can be interpreted as ToyiToyi Toys making its mark on the world. ;)
Screenshots don’t do the website justice though, check it out live in action over here.
Overall, I loved working on this brand and the challenge increased my skills, which is always very much welcome! Who knows? Perhaps I should introduce a Shopify design package.
What do you think of the new ToyiToyi Toys brand? I would love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave a little comment below. :)