Jays Workshop | Character Development

In todays workshop with Jay, he introduced to us our new project. The aim is to create a character that represents a new brand of breakfast cereal. The character will be used on packaging which means we will have to design mock ups. The focus here is on character design as it relates to brand; packaging design and prototyping. Within this project we will create:

  • Character sheets
  • Packaging Layouts
  • Net Templates
  • Printed Mockups

When developing character sheets, we should pay attention to form the character and make them interesting to look at. When considering the brand aspect we need to make sure it is interesting to the consumer. We must document our sketches, and development on our blog so that it can be graded at a later date.

I began by thinking about existing characters in which are popular with kids. Characters such as Spongebob Squarepants, Scooby Doo, Sonic the Hedgehog etc. I then inquired to jay whether or not we were allowed to use existing characters and incorporate them within our cereal design. Jay said it would be absolutely fine as long as a still design and create them character myself on Illustrator, Therefore I sketched out a couple of minions from Despicable Me. I know that the film is very popular with children, as well as adults and that some people are obsessed with the minions. Therefore I felt that it would work quite well with a cereal brand.

Character Drawings2

To create variation, I sketched other characters such as a Lego man. This is due to how popular the Lego movie was in 2014, and again I felt that it would work well as a cereal. However, I began to feel unimaginative by using existing characters, and therefore decided to draw my own. I decided to choose animals because it is quite the norm in cereal characters, and choose to illustrate a frog and monkey. For each animal, I had a cute drawing and a more playful drawing that would work better for the cereal. The monkey was my final choice as I think it was better executed and had more potential. Although I would have liked to designed the minion cereal, I felt obliged to create a character from scratch.

With the animal decided, I attempted to draw another version of the monkey but from a different perspective. I wanted it to look like he swinging, but was captioned front on so that you can see his legs behind him. However every time I tried to draw it, it kept going disastrously wrong- therefore I kept with the original.

Layout thumbnails

The next thing we had to do was to sketch out some layout thumbnails. By doing this, it will give us an idea about how we want the imagery working with the type and visually show how the packaging will take place. Using the rule of thirds, I quickly jotted out different variations of using the title with the imagery of the monkey and a bowl of cereal. As it is a monkey, I also quite like the idea of having trees, plants and leaves in the scenery to show that he is in a jungle.

With the basic sketches done, my next intention is to create a more finalised version of the cover and packaging which I can take to illustrator and rely on. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t drawn properly because it can be changed on illustrator, but ideally you want it mocked up and realistic as possible as it will make it easier when going digital. Overall, I thought this workshop was okay. When it comes to drawing, I much prefer still life, such as Portrait, therefore I struggled to draw cartoon characters. It was difficult to ensure I didn’t draw the images too detailed, like in still life and I think I lacked the natural flair of drawing cartoons.