LOGO/BRAND DESIGN | BIGCHILD CREATIVES | AUGUST 2015
Bigchild Creatives is a creative studio based in Madrid. They used to make miniatures for third parties, but in 2014 they started a crowdfunding campaign to release their own first product: a collection miniature line called Black Sailors, depicting a crew of pirate orcs. After its huge success, they contacted me to design the packaging, and I ended up delving a little bit deeper, making some mistakes and learning a couple of lessons. This is a story about good men, bad orcs, optimistic planning and some pretty cool graphics.
00. The briefing
First of all, this is a miniature collection. It’s not a game -not yet anyway- so there’s not many restrictions apart from it having to look as cool as possible. Also the target audience for this line is not quite the typical teenager who plays wargames but a bit of an older audience who likes highly detailed figures and want to collect and paint them just for the fun of it. These are a lot bigger figurines than the usual wargame product (60mm scale instead of 28) and Bigchild and I really believe in the quality of the artwork and the sculpt as the big selling points.
I went to the crowdfunding campaign and started reading through all the flavor texts. I found out a bunch of things:
Before starting with the packaging itself, I wanted to make a visual representation of the Black Sailors brand, separate from Bigchild Creatives. I had to respect the groundwork that was already made because the Kickstarter was already funded, but it needed a more distilled and clear personality.
01. Research and inspiration
02. Early sketches
Unused idea: This was starting to look great, and it would have made a great brand and really stand out in the miniature store. I ended up reusing that skull later on, but just not for this because it’s not thematically adequate. It looks more like a sports club of some sort. Design is also, as designer and painter Alberto Corazón says, about knowing which paths not to follow.
03. Playing with letters
04. The flag
05. Client feedback
On hindsight, the aggressiveness of the font (which is Quahog BB Bold, by the way) is going to work great in stores. The miniature names look like this:
You’ll notice I updated the skull too. I also traced some brush strokes on Illustrator so I could make a vector version of the logo. Which ended up being in vane because we decided that the concept artist Adrián Prado should redraw the whole thing just to make it visually more simmilar to the character portraits and give the whole brand a more unified look, but at least I got to reuse the strokes later on too. So this is what the Black Sailors logo is looking like right now:
The packaging is already designed too, and that’s a whole new process with some whole new lessons learned…