Monday, 15 March 2010

Communication is a Virus - recipe books charts and products

Looking at existing children's products gives me a better understanding of the language to use to reach out to them best.

Yeo's is a well known brand which parents would recognise as being yogurt and the characters attract the children with the flavour of the yogurt the only writing which stand out on the packaging.

Nice colours and visually explanatory packaging.

Recipe books for children - need to look interesting and healthy at the same time. Drawing an visuals of the end product are vital. Children may not know what some of the recipes are and so therefore need images which look tasty to interest them.

A food chart is one of our group ideas. Aiming to interest children with the food enough to not feel like they are eating something they are unfamiliar and turning it into an exciting game. A chart gives a goal to reach of 5 a day and keeps the child focused on this goal and not so much on the actual act of eating the fruit and veg. It is a nice design, with rewards at the end if you complete the task, giving the children an incentive. If the mat was laminated it could be used as a plate its self. As it is set out to look like that on the board anyway the children could just place their own cutlery on top and food in the plate section.

This is a height chart so children can measure their height. It engages the children to see weather they have grown or not creating an activity out of seemingly boring task. Visually showing something to a child would work better than just telling them a number or fact.

Character association is a key element to keeping children engaged. I found these two delightful characters on my search 'Pee and Poo'. A very weird idea for characters, but nevertheless they do help to turn something quite disgusting into something more tolerable.

This packaging sort of has a character design on it. It depicts the flavour of the contents as the actual packaging itself. It is a very nice idea and I think would work well to engage children as there are a variety of textures used. The design actually looks like it is made out of the skin of the fruits. It makes you want to go up and touch their textures.

Mr.Men characters are a famous children's book based on character design. They give the characters personality with their names...Mr.Bump, Mr.Tickle, Mr.Small etc. The characters are made with simple line drawing and facial expressions to match their character name.

These two fruit characters are so cute, they express alot of personality for such tiny pieces of fruit. Yet again simple drawing and facial expression works well, red and green seem to be a good running theme for colours and are repeated alot in fruit and veg.

5 a day hand puppet encourages children to eat healthy... could be quite scary if you are a small child though!

Disney is also another well known animator, creating a wide range of characters. These characters are more complex because they are part of movies. They all show smiling faces and an aire that everything is fine and good.

Book design - These children's books use a lot of hand drawn images for their covers. Simple characters are easier for children to understand and relate to. Again a general theme of smiling faces and jolly expressions is seen throughout.

I think design is such a good idea. It combines all the things that engage children to help them at meal times with issues or maybe not eating healthily, or not eating enough. It is a simple plate design with a face on it, children place the food on to the plate to give the simple face more character. Makes dinner tie more fun and enjoyable and takes away from the stress children often feel when trying new foods.

Children can feel more at home in the kitchen with a chef's hat and apron. It provides an experience for them rather than just something that they have to do. A range of colours ensures everyone can have a colour that they like and feel more included.

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