Robot Character Upgrade 3.0

After years of loyal service, it was time to retire my old mascot character and replace her with a new and improved design. Whilst I liked her overall look, in practice I found the proportions and details too rigid to work with in a dynamic way.

This redesign addresses those issues by using bolder and more expressive lines, reduced detail, longer limbs, as well as a colouring style that’s more in line with my current work.

Process and Results

Stina Jones Character Design Planning

My process always starts with a planning and sketching session. I made a few notes about the colours and placements so I could better align the new character with my branding and collateral. I then used Procreate App on my iPad to sketch up some ideas, playing with different proportions and stylisations before eventually settling on a little square faced robot with a messy hairdo.

The sketches were then exported from my iPad into Adobe Illustrator for inking and colouring. I’d considered how often the character would be viewed on mobile, so I decided on a bold minimal colouring style that would work well at smaller sizes, whilst still being impactful at a larger scale.

SJCharacter_WIP_1000px

After finishing up the digital inking, I worked up a few different variations to use across my website and social profiles. I’ve kept a working Illustrator file to hand with all the grouped elements and layers intact, so I’m able to produce extra variations more efficiently as I need them.

Stina Jones - Character Design

Stina Jones Twitter @stina_jones

Evolution

My little robot character has undergone a fair few stylistic and structural changes over the years – from the simple single layer linework I used in 2012, through to the more colourful layered iteration I’m using now. It’s been a fun opportunity to experiment with different approaches to using character illustrations as a brand asset.

Stina Jones Character Evolution

There are a few more things I’d like to try with this one too, such as animation and large format prints. As always, I’ll be sharing the results on my Instagram for those interested.

If you’d like to commission a character of your own, please get in touch

Collab Nation: Experiment 5, Stage 3

I’ve been catching up on some doodling for Collab Nation this weekend – adding my mark for the next stage of a mash up piece with Czee13 and Bunny Boiler. I thought I’d keep the bunny theme going, so I’ve incorporated a character from my #BunnyInvasion series.

The piece is now on its way to the next artist to add their mark. I can’t wait to see what gets added next!

To see the rest of the submissions and watch the collabs unfold, head over to the Collab Nation Facebook page or follow the project on Twitter and Instagram.

Celebrating 10 Years in Business

My little design business is celebrating its 10th Birthday this week!

It’s been an amazing journey so far and I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of it – for all the commissions, collaborations, referrals, advice, and just generally being awesome and supportive over the years. I wouldn’t be in business without you!

Here’s to the next 10 years and beyond!

Infohackit: Communicating Science with Infographics

One of my favourite things about designing infographics is that I always get to learn something new! This was very much the case whilst taking part in Infohackit Manchester. The hackathon style event, hosted by Made Agency, invited participating Designers and PHD students to create compelling infographics, all within a timed 12 hour period.

Soon after arriving (and fueling up on complimentary tea and and pastries) I was paired up with Students Ross Grant and Tabitha Pearman, and tasked with working alongside them to create an infographic based on their chosen topic.

As my design style is on the more playful side, we decided to target our infographic at Primary School (KS1) kids and teach them about how Seismic and Sonar equipment can be used to look beneath the ocean. This was something I knew very little about, so hearing how it’s done was fascinating.

Infohackit Manchester - How to look beneath the sea

After roughing out a layout on a flipchart, we all got stuck-in creating elements in Adobe Illustrator, whilst piecing it all together in a master document as we went along. The design process was fully collaborative from start to finish.

As the infographic was aimed at KS1 kids, we kept the message straightforward and the language simple, using analogies and exaggerated scale and proportions to help communicate the concepts.

Infohackit Manchester - How to look beneath the sea

We presented the finished results and received some good feedback from the judges and attendees, including a few requests to make it available as a printable teaching resource after the event. We’ve decided to do just that and have uploaded the high res version to Dropbox for anyone who wants to use this as a free educational resource.

The PDF can be downloaded using the link below. It’s fully scalable too making it suitable for showing on everything from a mobile device to a large scale poster.

Download Here

Big thanks to all the organisers and attendees for the awesome day! I had a blast and will be keeping an eye out for the next event!