Chet the Cat™ and Friends Identity and Development

Integrated art and design direction across product, social, eCommerce, and retail channels. The Chet the Cat™ and Friends line of preschool toy play sets marries quirky, playful illustrations with beautiful melamine. Inspired by a magazine cover Michael illustrated, my vision of a cafe run by animals came to life. Each piece features characters engaging in various food-themed activities, and they're appropriate for both boys and girls. Graphic designer Jessica Short collaborated with Michael and me to bring the line to life.

The flagship set in the line, this dish set was the starting point for the entire grouping of SKUs. Each plate features one of four characters in the Chet the Cat™ and Friends line, and they all appear in dining scenes wrapped around the cups and bowls. I had so much fun working with artist Michael Slack on this set. Parfait Poodle on her rollerscates still makes me laugh. Can you spot the little yellow bird in her bouffant?

My team was challenge with a packaging solution that needed to both showcase the product and protect it from damage during shipping. Rather than opt for the typical large window opening covered in rippling plastic, we worked with structural engineer Michelle Franco of Boxitup to devise an inner packout that "trapped" the key piece against the main panel of the package. In this case, the serving tray proved to be the most illustrative piece in the set. 
After speaking with retailers, I learned that consumers often pulled dish sets out of the box to feel the material and test quality. Because the Chet sets are made of beautiful, long-lasting melamine, we wanted the consumer to experience the surface quality without opening the package. Inside the box is an elegant solution: an insert that houses and secures the components while trapping one against the main panel.
Illustrator Michael Slack and graphic designer Jessica Short collaborated with me to bring the Chet the Cat™ and Friends play sets to life. My hand-painted marble tiles serve as the photographic surface for the sets, which we grouted in studio with toothpaste.
Getting the animals to interact with the sets was important to me, so consumers would feel pulled into the world of Chet's cafe. We combined illustration and unretouched photography to achieve this.
Illustrated by Michael Slack and photographed by Jeff Li.
Consumer email marketing campaign.
Trade marketing materials. Art direction, design, and copywriting.
Trade marketing materials. Art direction, design, and copywriting.
To drive engagement online, we created downloadable placements for children to color. We housed these on our blog as part of a social media plan to offer free content on Pinterest.
Artist Michael Slack collaborated with me on the first of a line of three playsets. Here you see the dish set, which depicts characters frolicking about in food-themed hijinks. Role: art direction, design, and concept development. Illustrated by Michael Slack. 
This 7-piece cookware set features Chet and his friends serving up some fun. Warm reds and oranges dominate this set. Role: art direction, design, and concept development. Illustrated by Michael Slack.
The baking set consists of the accessories needed for little chefs to create a meal from their own imaginzations. Michael's cafe scene on the serving tray is my favorite. I chose to theme the sets with a dominant color, each complementing the other. This one is the green-themed set. Role: art direction, design, and concept development. Illustrated by Michael Slack.

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