Well I studied as an industrial designer in college and I was drawn to the field of toys early on. However all through school and now several years into my professional career I still find it difficult to find tips, tricks, and techniques for designing toys. It’s so easy to find demos one how to draw everything from a car to electronics or even a piece of medical equipment, but when it comes to toy design I find that the pool of information is rather shallow.
I recently started this blog in an effort to not only help professionals like myself that are new to toys to learn and connect, but also to help those in college, or thinking of going to college, who are looking into the field of toys. My goal is to create a resource for toy designers to teach one another tips and tricks for designing toys. Think IDSketching.com but specifically for toy. I’ve learned a lot working in the industry so this is my attempt to bring everything I’ve learned or found on the web to you in one location! I also have lots of friends working professionally as toy designers and they have great techniques so I hope to get some of them involved.
If you’ve ever wondered “how do achieve that cute factor in my design?” or maybe “how do I render plush in Photoshop?” Well then this is the blog for you. So please follow me, spread the word to your friends, and make my efforts worthwhile! Thank you so much
I love the direction your going. I almost feel like toy design isn’t considered a serious design field by other designers unless it’s custom toys or urban vinly toys. I think us toy designers need some attension too. Thanks
@bpovich unfortunately I understand what you are saying.
I’ve met designers who come off as though they feel that designing toys is simple because a child doesn’t know any better and they are easily pleased, therefore it takes no skill. But when you get into vinyl figures and toys geared more towards adults who are design and fashion oriented or what not, it’s suddenly reputable.
Listen, I know plenty of amazingly talented toy designers, and I’ve known designers who do everything but toy that have no talent at all(and vice versa). There’s talent and talentless in all fields of design but for some reason designers like to segregate themselves.
I’ve known people I went to school with that felt they were a better designer than I was simply because they were into transportation yet they couldn’t draw a toy any better than I can draw a se xy looking car. Just find your niche, enjoy it, and don’t let it get to your head.
Often I feel that other designers think “those who can do and those who can’t design toys”. Hopefully this reply wont bring out too many internet trolls but if you love toy don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
And I always thought I was at the bottom of the design totem doing returnable packaging / material handling for manufacturing, something that will never be seen by the consumer. I don’t view designing toys as any thing lesser then anything else. Just my 2 cents.
The same insults fly about footwear just being fashion, or automotive just being styling… where does this all come from do you think? Having done a bunch of toys, I definitely found it one of the more challenging sectors to design in, combining the buyer’s request for more features and low costs, the parents perceptions, and the child’s play patterns into something with design integrity is a tough thing to pull off. A lot of conflicting parameters.
You know I’m not sure where it all comes from CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!?
falls to knees dramatically reaching for the sky
But seriously, we all share one thing…the need to create and solve. Whether it be shoes, fashion, toy, electronics, transportation, medical it doesn’t matter to me cause the principles at the core are the same. I love all design and designing.
Ultimately I think that we (humans) like to group ourselves together. We search for others with similar interests, beliefs, attitude, humor, etc. I think this basic human nature just seeps into our design lives. People get caught up in their own field and never stop to think about the difficulties, differences, but most importantly the similarities to other fields.
toy design is not always that easy. Alot of research goes into a single item. You can’t always get rational feedback from a 3yo. You also have the same concerns with marketing teams, engineering (this is more challenging than it seems as you have to design for the lowest common denominator and come up with ways that will still make it intresting), licensing and costing. Costing is really important. There have been lots of times were a couple pennies over cost has prevented an item from going to market.
Not to mention the super quick schedule. Typically we get about 6 months to design an item (from concept to tooling), realistically its alot shorter though.
In the end its still product and sometimes the perceived simpleness of the form does not relay entire process involved.
Great idea. I’m considering the job description of a toy designer at the momen so I hope to see some interesting stuff on this blog! Having a hard time coming up with self projects that could be feasible for the real world.