One of my lovely clients, Gen from Olly Polly, contacted me a few weeks back to ask if I would be interested in working with her on an idea she had for her new Olly Polly Play range – and, of course, my answer was ‘HELL, YES!’ because Gen’s ideas are usually really fun, and she allows me enough space to get creative when inspiration strikes!
We chatted about what she wanted to create – a little road map play mat for kids to ‘play cars’ on – and we looked at approaching it with the usual Scandi feel as inspiration (a vibe that has become synonymous with the overall Olly Polly brand) – but then, another idea struck – something that would make it different and new to any other similar ideas around!
Incorporated into the minimalist black and white design/illustration style, I suggested we integrate a theme – ‘Beautiful South Africa‘ – where parts of the map represented scenes from SA, mostly general geographical concepts like ‘the beach’ ‘the mountains’ ‘farming’ ‘city life’ ‘safari vibes’ etc. After many years of living abroad, I have developed an appreciation for our amazing country and love to share this through design (this was one of the main reasons why I created my You Biscuit! poster in 2015)
As always, I try to start off with a sketch – even if it’s just for the initial concept like in this case – a rough sketch first, after which I devised the road map system digitally (it actually ended up looking quite different to how I pictured it in my head) – printed the ‘bones’ out, and did another rough sketch on top of that to settle on the layout… I did the bulk of my detailed illustration directly into Adobe Illustrator (this was partly because we had very little time to bring this project to life due to print and photoshoot deadlines – but we totally did it!)
So here it is – durable and attractive, a clever little storage sack that opens up to become a flat, padded play mat that doubles as a road map for cars and trucks – something perfectly and proudly South African for your little ones! Let them ‘drive’ along Durban’s coastline or hop on over to Table Mountain as they explore the beauty of SA. When playtime is over, pull the bag shut, and little toys are swiftly cleared away! Ideal for the beach, the park, holidays or trips to visit the grandies! (Each mat also comes with an adorable hand crafted wooden truck!) SHOP NOW!
Thank you to the lovely Gen for being a lovely Gen, and shoutout to Wilma Towell for the great pics – not only of the play mats here, but the whole studio shoot she and Gen pulled off recently is just superb (I have sneak-peeked all the pics, you guys haven’t seen errything yet so you better follow Olly Polly on Facebook or on Insties to keep up!)