A product design for USA Toyz, for sale on Amazon.
USA Toyz / Kaliber Global
USA Toyz is a brand belonging to my former employer, Kaliber Global, is a top Amazon seller. Kaliber Global stays at the forefront of online retail trends, providing in-demand toys, drones, and lifestyle products.
After the success of my Unicorn Play Tent design on Amazon, Kaliber decided to add another play tent design to their collection. Like the unicorn tent, it needs to be brightly-colored and eye-catching, and it needs to feature a theme that is popular among children's toys these day.
Before getting started on this tent design, I first did some competitive analysis to see what other themes are popular in the realm of today's toy design, and tent designs in particular. The three possibilities I landed on were Under the Sea, Dinosaurs, and "Enchanted Forest." Amazon already featured a lot of dinosaur-themed play tents, and we didn't feel that forest creatures had quite the same pull as mermaids and marine life, so we settled on Under the Sea.
This time around, we discovered that the factory that makes these tents for us is capable of much more elaborate and detailed printing than we thought when submitting the Unicorn Tent design. This means that I was able to create art that uses gradients, which gives the sea creatures and underwater environment much more depth and appeal.
After making a list of all the creatures, plants, shells and other artifacts that I wanted to include on the tent, I set to work drawing them. I used my iPad Pro as a tablet and set it up to draw straight
into Adobe Illustrator. I had a ton of fun creating all the creatures, seaweed, pirate's chest, etc.
I also added a texture to the roof of the tent that is reminiscent of light shining on the surface of water, and a floor design that looks like sand and seashells. These two additions really took this tent design to the next level!
My goal with this design was to create a totally immersive underwater realm that surrounds the occupant with a calming world of blue. When I studied color psychology in art school, I learned that blue is a calming color; I have this idea that if a child is anxious, stressed, or hyperactive, she or he would relax inside this blue environment. The beautiful thing about these tents is that you can see the design on the inside and the outside, and when you're inside, external light shines through, illuminating the designs. I wanted to play into this feature more intentionally this time. It was a success! It is so fun to sit inside and look at all the creatures and the whole scene wrapped around you on all sides.