Exercise 33


Brief: produce a series of illustrations for packaging to be used for a new range of organic biscuits for children.

3 varieties in the range : raisin, chocolate chip and ginger.

3 illustrations featuring extinct animals interacting in some fun way with a biscuit to be used on the boxes.

Full colour drawings and the colour reflects the biscuits.  When researching, decide on whether ‘pester power’ is important or the packaging should be aimed at the parents.

Firstly I began by inputting my new sheet to keep things together better.  This system worked for the previous exercise so I wanted to continue with it.


The key words were identified, in this case extinct animals and fun were the main focus.  Colours were very particular so the colour palette would be earthy or warm.

The ideas generated were aimed at giving the idea that the biscuits were something to fight over or play with.  The quick sketches were demonstrating a playful aspect of the animals and the food.

Pinterest was used to create boards for the reference images needed related to dinosaurs and extinct animals.  It was also helpful to use as a source for a variety of illustrations on dinosaurs.  The colours and textures used for some gave me an idea on what media to use for this exercise.

I felt that a mixed media approach would be best and that the aim would be to get childrens attention and then ‘pester power’ for purchase.  A linocut background would give it a clear individual style and the sketched dinosaurs could be imposed on that and a layered textured style would be built upon to give it a very distinct look.

A range of packaging sought in various shops in the area, yielded very few amazing results.  Most of the packaging aimed at kids were often processed foods, sweets and high sugar foods.  The packaging was often using the ‘pester power’ approach for marketing.  Organic foods were most often paler in colours, a fresh green palette and the fun aspect was low key with kids often featuring on the images.  Any animals were often depicted as ‘characters’ rather than the real characteristics of the animal.

Playing on this I drafted up some ideas on what the dinosaur would look like in a character form.  I wanted to explore what type of personality to depict on the packaging.


I liked the type of familiar dinosaur template used here, I had some idea that most t-rex dinosaurs were often depicted as aggressive and running in images.  The quick sketch above could be good for a dynamic image but may be too strong.  The right image was too simple and the lower image felt it would be better suited to an under 6 years old market.   It felt like a character of a dinosaur but not so much a fun aspect of it.

Next I tried out what type of line weight I wanted my character to be drawn in.  I wanted to go for a character type feeling with the dinosaur so a quick sketch in a variety of pens gave me a sense of what would work best.


The 0.7mm posca pen in black felt like a good choice to go with.

Next a reference board for my style of background and the animals being considered was created.  This helped me to stay true to the style of the animal while allowing for fun characteristics to come through.


For a coloured version of the images I went with the colours that would represent chocolate chip and raisin.

These sketches would be used in photoshop as a layer on top of my linocut background to give the stronger focus on the clean lines of the character drawings.

Next I sketched out two ideas for a background.  The idea was to have a volcano shooting out biscuits from it that the animals would then catch and eat.

These images are my sketches that were then scanned in and reversed and printed out so that my reference image for the linocutting would be the right way around.  I then cut out the details on the lino and printed the image in 3 shades of blue and a black, for contrast and variation.

These were then scanned in and placed as a background layer in photoshop.  For more fun elements I decided to create 3 x A3 images of watercolour effects that could be used with the background too.  These were simple experiments to provide myself with some variety for textures rather than using google sourced ones.

The sketch of the animal was then scanned in and a clipping mask of a texture I had designed using watercolour was used for the skin.  The cookie texture was created using a parchment paper background.

This worked as a familiar image of an extinct animal and it would sit on the background in a good way and be recognised easily by anyone shopping.

Variations in colour were made for the purpose of allowing the image to be adapted to any of the ‘flavour’ types needed.  The pink would be good for raisin and the red would work in either raisin or ginger settings.

I then put the background and textures together and adjusted the layers to see what effects I could get.   A cartoon type vibe was the aim and bright colours from the raisin range of flavours were being used in the image.


For some type of variety, a simple brush stroke effect created a candy like strobe on the image so  I went with it to see what would happen.  This image was saved as a jpeg background as I like the purple tones and the green that came through.  The sandy coloured sky was a good effect and resembled a sunrise or sunset, but it was strange looking in some way so I left it in.

The first draft was simple with the dinosaur on the background but it looked too simple.  A second draft produced something that resembled more of a cover for a childrens book rather than a cookie product.  As the colour was close to choc chip colours I felt it was a good match for that, but not for the brief.

Organic cookies1

So I tried it again with a more structured image in mind, taking into account that the biscuits would most likely be featured on the packaging with a photograph.  With this I then created a more angled image approach and toned down the background in an effort to focus more on the product.

Some images from google of stock free biscuits were included for the purpose of context.  The colours are good and they echo the raisin flavour well.  The dinosaur definitely has a character and a slightly fun ‘my cookie!’ vibe going on so I am happy with that.

Organic cookies final
Google sourced png free image of cookie

I think I hit the brief for the colours and type of image they were looking for.  The main aim for this exercise for me was to try and stay away from digital until the very end when the images were being layered.  A revisit on past ideas was needed and lincutting was something that had been really fun to do so I wanted to revisit that.

The background turned out great and that was something that made me really happy.  The images of the extinct animals were okay and were not exactly a caricature of them but did express a ‘fun’ type of personality.  Perhaps a cleaner image could have been achieved by simply spending more time on sketching them.  The packaging wasn’t calling for a character design but it kinda was asking for something like that in its aim to have the animals interacting in some fun way.

Are they interacting?  Not with each other but they are interacting in a message conveying ‘my cookie’.   So the brief was met about 80% of the way I reckon.