For this project, I wanted to dive into a cult classic, fan-favorite icon, Furby. Growing up, my mom had a 1998 Furby and gifted my brother and me a Furby of our very own. Furby encouraged expression and customization that leaked into my personal life and led me to pursue a job in the creative industry.
I felt really drawn to a Furby rebrand, but the Furby company needed something a lot bigger than a rebrand. This caused me to call this a Furby Revive since I would be bringing the entire company back to life. Furby has a brand model that depends on being the holiday season's hot toy of the year then disappears for a few years, not releasing any new toys. I wanted to create a sustainable brand model with exciting releases, a new toy, and a show to tie everything together.
Early in the Furby Revive process, I dedicated two weeks to the in-depth research of Furby. This research included a comprehensive timeline of all Furby eras and generations as well as promotional toys and merchandise. My research also had competitor research and persona research. All of this would later help me conceive ideas to revive Furby.
Sketches and Conceiving
This process was about pulling research and turning it into creative assets. I wanted to carefully plan each asset so I would not waste time creating something that wasn't backed by research. This would also ensure that every deliverable was essential and not filler. In the end, I made concepts for a Furby toy model, a show, and possible merchandise for the future.
The design step was fast and exciting for me to see a few weeks' worths of research and planning finally brought to life. This step was taking sketches and illustrating them. I used Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, and Procreate to create my final deliverables. To ensure that everything matched and didn't feel disjointed, I made a small brand and illustrative guideline for how I would illustrate the toy and packaging compared to the cartoon.
Throughout the entire project, I made sure that my research applied to every thought and deliverable, creating a rolled release strategy. The design work and planning were super detailed and led to me designing the Furby top to bottom. I also made a marketing plan to release accessories and models in waves so Furby's target audience would always have a new product to look forward to. This solved Furby's brand model of only selling as the year's hot holiday toy.
Overall, Furby has the potential to become a household name again.
This extraordinary project taught me to plan everything from initial thoughts to a final product. I did so much research on how graphic designers created toys and packaging. I found myself looking at many toy references and listening to webinars from graphic designers.
A chunk of my research was spent learning about the industry standards in the illustration industry. This taught me more about character turnarounds, expressions, background art, and so much more.
There was this fantastic moment in this project where I felt stuck in the design and didn't know where to go next. So at this moment, I created new personas and looked at how parents would buy and interact with Furby. This allowed me to make brand changes that would positively impact Furby's target audience.