Design projects that use characters to communicate ideas really excite me. I think it’s such a fantastic way to make a project relatable on a human level, whilst having the capacity to appeal to different audiences. I want to share with you 3 design projects I particularly love that primarily use characters. So let’s get straight into it!
The Great Indoors project
I came across this campaign accidentally and instantly fell in love with the characters. From dogs, to bees and everything in-between this project for The Scouts by Young Studio is just a brilliant example of how to use characters to communicate messages. The simple, but really relatable group of characters provide plenty of scope to easily be adapted into various different scenarios, and it has a gorgeous colour palette to keep you engaged. From my perspective, it just works.
As someone who practices Mindfulness on the regular, I’ve been a fan of Headspace for a super long time. I think it’s one of the best and most accessible options for helping many of us consider our mental wellbeing. But that aside, Headspace also has a great brand all based around quirky characters. What Headspace does particularly well in my opinion, is it brings humour into the characters. Many of the short videos are designed to make you have a little giggle, which is amazing given that Mindfulness can be a bit of a heavy going topic. There’s a real sense with the Headspace characters that the possibilities are endless and as a long time fan, I’ve enjoyed watching them increasingly become part of the overall brand.
Ghosts by Studio Arhoj
This one’s a bit of a curveball as it’s not technically a graphic design project. But I absolutely adore the Ghosts by Studio Arhoj and I think they are a great example of how you can use characters in all aspects of design. These simple but fun characters that are all individual in their own way just make me smile. As a self confessed minimalist, being intentional about what I have in my living space is really important - and these colourful little characters bring me a lot of joy. They're an absolute triumph!
Let's wrap this up!
I’ve worked on a few character based projects recently, including my most recent one using Darwin inspired animals to highlight the 2 metre social distancing rules - so I really do see the value in character design.
For me, using characters breathes instant life into a design project. It’s a fun, colourful and eye-catching way to communicate a message - but don’t dismiss these type of projects as ‘just a bit of fun’, they can also communicate important messages in a more gentle and reassuring way. So whether you’re a startup business, a charity organisation or even a lawyer, I think it’s definitely worth considering the power of character design.
If you know any other brilliant character projects, please give me a shout on Instagram - I’d love to see them!
Until next time - stay simple!