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Designing for kids


Peanut Butter with Marshmallows: A kid’s dream. This peanut butter/marshmallow hybrid is the kid's oriented product I chose to design a label for. The name CHONK was chosen for its brevity, its lightheartedness, and its capacity to follow the kid-friendly caveman theme I had in mind.

I started with the color scheme. I knew I wanted the colors to have warmer tones like browns and oranges (referential of peanut butter) but also to include some greenish tones to bring in the prehistoric, lush setting that embodies this caveman theme.


I then chose a decorative font that fit the caveman aesthetic, feeling very clunky and rock-like, while still fun and legible. I turned that text into more of a mark by adding the ellipse framing element and the leaves sprouting from the center. To label what kind of product it was, I put “Peanut Butter with Marshmallows” on a log beneath the logo mark.

For the background, I was inspired by some designs I’d come across for an ice cream brand called Halo Top. Their carton designs each graphically and boldly represent the flavor it contains (check them out if you have never seen them; they’re pretty cool). With this in mind, I made my background combine the suggestion of both: the texture of this peanut butter with marshmallows, and the caveman aesthetic of rocks.


For the mascot, I actually made three options: a woolly mammoth, a dinosaur, and a mysterious, shy (and adorable) creature of some sort hiding in its egg, with only its eyes visible. All three options are shown in the image below on the right; on the left are options I was considering for the logo font and color). I didn't find the woolly mammoth to be very endearing an image (too hairy maybe? maybe it was the tusks?), so I had to rule him out. I also made the tough decision of ruling out the egg creature. I didn't think a mascot could be trustworthy if the kids buying the product couldn't tell what he was. (To be quite honest, I wasn't even sure what he was at that point).


So the dino was the best pick. I knew that ~technically~ when looking at a timeline of human history, cavemen and dinosaurs didn’t coexist during the same time period. However, since the Flintstones had a dinosaur, I figured I could too. I made him as cute as I could, and super happy, to appeal to kids. I also made him emerging from an egg, with spots that similarly mirrored spotted look of the rock/chunk background (with inverse colors). I named him Stompers.

I moved next to the die line (noted by the dotted line at the top of the label), and designed it to mirror the same jagged edge of the broken egg holding Stompers. For the information including fiber, protein, gluten free, etc, I wanted to make it more eye-catching and fun rather than just slapping the text on a page. So I went ahead and made icons for each, and put those icons in a similar frame to the logo for cohesion.

The toughest part of this project for me were the sizing and layout decisions. After an initial round of printing and fitting it to a real peanut butter jar, I realized that much of my design got cut off around the edge of the peanut butter jar when it was viewed head-on. I had to go back and either scale things down or rearrange the layout to better fit all the elements and make them visible from the front if a customer was browsing the shelves. Also in that round of edits, I fixed up some of the colors to give the design more dimension and to make Stompers more visible and bright.

For the final version of the label (at top), I darkened the background to a much darker brown after noticing that the lighter brown blended very oddly close with the color of peanut butter. I also discovered after some more fitting tests that I needed to adjust the label size to be much thinner and longer in order to properly wrap around a standard peanut butter jar.

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