We started by leveraging a common visual language when it comes to early childhood books and imagery, using basic shapes and bold colors. We took those principles and built a series of simple characters. All the kiddos were circles. Adults, were larger but were rectangles, triangles, cylinders and squares. While the shapes were simple we did add a touch of perspective here and there.
After we anthropomorphized basic shapes we decided we would add a little personalization by showing accessories from hats and backpacks to elements that show how inclusion is and accessibility is in the ethos of what INCCRRA is providing.
Shawn Smith was clearly the best artist for us to collaborate with on this job because his personal style was already in line with the direction. He’s an institution here in Illinois, and odds are you’ve already taken a selfie in front of one of his amazing murals.
We decided it was important to occasionally set the characters in a space, so we created minimal set pieces to tell more of the story. Minimalizm was key to the success of the visual style. The goal was to reduce the elements until every stroke was essential to its legibility and adorableness.