Before & After: iloveRobots

by First name Last name on 02/23/2010 | 4 Minute Read

Old Design Top, New Design Bottom.

Editorial photograph 

We haven't really featured too much toy packaging over the years, but the new I Love Robots packaging designed by Perspective: Branding is worth a mention:

"A new U.S. toy brand to debut at the internationally renowned Toy Fair in New York City, iloveRobots, crosses the robotics genre into the children's world at a time where the toy industry is overrun with manufacturer-originated and formulaic boxed products.  This with the unorthodox help of internationally renowned packaged goods design and branding firm Perspective: Branding.

Pittsburgh-based Bossa Nova Robotics, iloveRobots' parent company, commercialized advanced robotic technologies from Carnegie Mellon University into innovative and entertaining consumer products. Having individual models created specifically for the children's genre but needing a competitive edge at retail, Bossa Nova Robotics reached out to long-time collaborators Perspective: Branding to create a unifying brand and genre-distinctive packaging.

"Bossa Nova's CEO Martin Hitch knew we had considerable success with food and consumer goods packaging.  He wanted a totally fresh look from the outside on the formulaic approach the industry uses on packaging and branding," said Perspective: Branding's Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder Cal Walters.

"A manufacturer looks at their products differently than we do," continues Walters. A manufacturer doing packaging usually just thinks whether it will be fun for kids - using lots of wacky type and colors.

Breaking through the toy industry's packaging clutter meant creating a unifying global brand identity for both boys' and girls' toys. Perspective: Branding's Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Simon Thorneycroft explains how.

"In the branding and packaging design world, you either have to stand out or go home. At a toy store, there's an overwhelming amount of flashy products competing for both parents' and children's attention. When we studied children and how they react to various things in life: they either love or hate everything---their latest friend, teacher or toy. There isn't any lukewarm feeling. Children have 100% commitment to everything. So we created a visceral brand that reflects the ultimate fantasy of how story-book robots make a kid feel, rather than revolving around the functionality of the product. The brand name iloveRobots is an idea and visual identity that both parents and children can relate to."

Continue reading about iloveRobots and more images of the new packaging after the jump.

Thorneycroft continues: "In order to carve out space from the multicolor noise on the retail shelf and create a dominant appearance, we wanted to use a single, impactful color to blanket the brand. This is often the approach we would recommend for larger consumer brands, but it can work very well for the smaller companies too. We chose the color of a category leader... red. Red not only served the practical application of imposing visibility, but can be transformed into the conceptual idea of love (for girls) or power (for boys) depending on its application."

According to both Thorneycroft and Walters, rather than detailing product features on the back, the iloveRobots' rear and side packaging have emotionally captivating, visual worlds each reflective of the unique personality of the robots, showing how the kids could interact with the robots in their imagination. Perspective created a dreamy 'cloud-like world' for the sweet Penbo and a 'powerful rugged world' for the guardian gorilla robot, Prime-8.

"Often so much emphasis is placed on the design of the front of the pack, little care is taken over the detailing of the rest, which is a missed opportunity," explained Thorneycroft. "There is so much real estate on these boxes to build out additional brand messaging and explore visceral stories about the products. We attack all sides of the pack with the same creative energy as the front."

The iloveRobots packaging again goes against trend by allowing the images to transcend the need for language and still communicate simple concepts globally.

Thorneycroft sums up this specific collaboration between Bossa Nova and Perspective: Branding by saying "Fresh eyes can really change the game."

iloveRobots' Prime-8, Penbo, and other soon-to-be-unveiled toys will debut at the Toy Industry Association, Inc.'s Toy Fair 2010 in New York City, NY February 14-17, 2010 before major retailers begin stocking them on the shelves. Other iloveRobots projects are scheduled. Perspective: Branding will debut other design works throughout 2010."

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