It’s October, and that means that it’s officially spooky season! Colder and darker days up ahead mean it’s time to switch beach walks for board games.
Thinking about indoor activities got us talking about the games and toys that got us into design in the first place, so we’re taking a trip down memory lane to reminisce about our early design lives.
Other than legendary shows like Art Attack, colouring in books and creative toys like Lego, here are our top design career precursors.
The obvious starting point for any digital designer. Drawing <strike>random scribbles</strike> abstract artwork and filling it in with the paint bucket tool was the ultimate pass time.
The KidPix app is still available for free online, to scratch all of your bitmap drawing itches: KidPix for the web
Disney Print Studios
Remember writing out birthday party invitations to all of your friends on those generic invitations from the supermarket? Well, imagine the excitement of designing your own invitations, based around your favourite Disney film.
All of the Disney classics had a Print Studio disk (see Wiki list) you could install, but the version we had was Hercules. Bookmarks, place cards, colouring sheets, invites, letterheads, business cards - Disney Print Studio was there for all of your business stationery needs!
You could pick fonts, place borders, add some ‘pop’ with additional graphics, emblems and characters. This programme definitely sparked the graphic designer in me.
There’s even an original ad for the software on YouTube (German), so you can relive the fun.
SUPER STICKER FACTORY
This was more of a maker toy than a designer toy, but it was super fun! It came with a pack of templates that you could make into stickers by laying them out on the belt, and rolling them through the ‘factory’ bit. They’d come out with sticky tape applied, which you’d then cut around carefully to produce your sticker.
The fun part was finding things to make into stickers other than the pack of template pictures it came with.
Kid Works Deluxe
Daniel used a program called Kids Works Deluxe as a child, which allowed you to create your own book.
Aside from writing the copy, you could also insert sound effects, and design your own artwork! Complete with a different soundtrack that played for each creative tool (Adobe where you at with this feature?). It even featured a precursor to emojis!