News / blog
Vivid Stories the story so far... on RTE News
Ireland's Nationwide programme features the entrepreneur behind educational jigsaw puzzle brand Vivid Stories in a 7 minute slot Monday 30 January. A new venture with imaginative ideas, successfully selling Irish language educational jigsaws into schools and the home, supported by innovative reusable velcro closing packaging designed by Hutton & Partners.
Product design development concepts
We're increasingly invited to get involved at early stages in new product development, and often provide the very first product visualisation, inspired by just the client's verbal description of an idea. Years of drawing and an understanding of draughtsmanship come to the fore, as those skills have been ignored by many in favour of only digital solutions. Our approach is actually a combination of manual drawing, digital image manipulation and an understanding of great products, enabling us to fast-track ideas from dreams to convincing prototypes.
Brand Licensing Europe – Olympia
Interesting trip to Olympia yesterday, although I wish there were more meeting facilities for visitors. Thanks to those I met for putting up with huddling in a noisy bar or crouching over my laptop by the fire exits!
Great tradition of toy designers
Recently distracted by this site http://www.rogerlimbrick.info/120 reminding me of Galt Toys stylish design heritage. Roger Limbrick's products and Ken Garland's graphics were so sophisticated I wrongly used to think Galt was Scandinavian. We're very proud of the work we've done for them too, designing over 80 packs for the Colour & Craft range with lots of fun applications to the products as well.
Environmentally minded packaging
'Oobicoo' the doll with eco credentials, (from the inventor of the successful 'Totseat' portable highchair). The same size as a 6 month old infant, Oobicoo is designed to be dressed up in children's outgrown clothes, like a loved little sibling or best friend. 'Environmentally sound' was the key phrase of the packaging brief. As well as creating a unique cardboard pack shape as a retailer option, we also proposed the idea of a patterned fabric 'pod' reminiscent of a carry cot or papoose, replacing cardbord packaging all together. With it's added child play value, minimal packaging bulk, the fact that it doesn't bend or scuff and looks great on shelf, the 'pod' is a success with retailers, parents and children alike.
Innovative packaging shapes – design development and construction
'Thinking out of the box' could have been the heading for the brief from Rudolf Stein jewellery and their Scarlett & Crimson licence gift sets. We were specifically briefed to be inventive and imaginative with shape and construction, based upon our experience in packaging engineering and shape design. Plus we also had to interpret and develop the early 'mood' of the Scarlett & Crimson licence. The resulting packs add edginess and appeal to the girls' early teen gift market.
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Reusable protective packaging
Sometimes environmental packaging can be a pack designed to be kept. Vivid Stories jigsaws, based in Ireland, are made of durable wood and developed by educational experts inline with the school curriculum. Sold in stores as well as to the educational market, the brief demanded packaging with shelf appeal, adding value, communicating quality and durability. Our simple solution: a zip up bag with a single sided printed insert provides practical storage, communicates quality and commands attention.
Doodling for fun I discovered I can be reduced to a few flicks of a pen... or just 5 font characters. Caused much hilarity amongst friends for its accuracy (supposedly). This version is Franklin Gothic font but changing the typeface is bizarre and a comment on the font's personality as well perhaps?
Ironically given the previous technology post, our last two projects started with sketching as the most flexible way of showing ideas to the client. We're fans of Wacom digital drawing tablets too and bringing drawings into the computer is often irresistible. But the straightest route between brain and paper is still via a pencil.
Hello Snow Leopard, welcome Time Machine
Spring at last and time to take the leap into Mac OS 10.6.7, 'Snow Leopard'. We've learnt through experience it doesn't pay to welcome an OS immediately. But now we're really enjoying state-of-the-art technologies like 'Time Machine' which give us the added security of automated back up with the ability to return to any date/time and recover even deleted files – ingenious.
It's easier to say than it looks on the page, but I admit I hadn't heard the word 'mumtrepreneur' until Adrian Chiles used it on an ITV Player clip. He was introducing a mumtrepreneur a day w/c 11 October on the Daybreak show. As if it wasn't tough enough bringing up little children, these energetic women also take on the stress of launching businesses, with just a laptop and a great idea. Still without knowing the name of this phenomenon we've been aware of its rise over the past decade, as we work with entrepreneurs seeking our services. They're not all mums though, some are dadtrepreneurs!
Playplax retro toy relaunch
Design Week ran an article on the bold relaunch of a 70s/80s construction toy. Do you remember Playplax and its brightly coloured interlocking perspex squares? The aim is to tap the nostalgia of kids of the 70s, now they're parents themselves. I wonder if the marketeers considered researching how many of today's star engineers, architects and designers were inspired by Playplax as kids? A chance for impressive pack testimonials; who could resist the idea of their child as the next Norman Foster or Richard Rogers? Wrong generation – Meccano would be their favourite, – but you know what I mean. So good luck to Playplax, a visually appealing toy encouraging creativity.
Sequoia Films brand identity
Imaginative design attracts various other business sectors to our door too. Set up by an award-winning team whose credentials include working with directors Ken Loach and John Pilger, Sequoia Films makes 'thought-provoking films that engage, move and entertain'. We've created a new brand identity for the company, animated it for end credits and produced their new website.
Jill Fenwick Garden Design on telly again!
What a star, despite being filmed in the pouring rain of the 'summer' of 2009. Award winning garden designer Jill Fenwick features on the Channel 4 TV show 'The Landscape Man' [Sunday 23 May 2010 7:00pm], to be repeated on More 4. She comes across brilliantly and looks good even if blown about by the weather, as does her beautiful garden design. See the final sunny results on her news page along with the website and identity we designed.
Designers on TV
Have you been watching the TV series with Jo Malone, 'High Street Dreams' [8:00pm BBC 1], where she guides entrepreneurs through the development of their business and brand? As toy packaging design experts, the production company called us with a new series in mind. I don't know how good the PR from such TV exposure is for designers, so far I've had difficulty catching the name of the design firms involved or a good look at what they did, so fleeting was their appearance. But of course, the programme is for the general audience not just design nuts. It's another good opportunity though, to get across the importance of effective packaging design to the strategy of a new venture and it's bottom line.
HUTTON & PARTNERS
brand communication, packaging
+44 (0)1202 849976