Creative toy design – eBoy

Astronof

This is Astronof. He is one of a many creative toys designed and sold by eBoy along with some incredibly detailed pixel poster prints.

eBoy (“Godfathers of Pixel”) is a pixel art group founded in 1997 by Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital, Kai Vermehr.

They create re-usable pixel objects and take them to build complex and extensible artwork. And they also make toys. You can follow their work on their blog where they share a lot of their work.

eBoy has worked with named brands and companies such as Coca-Cola, MTV, VH1, Adidas, Adobe, Pepsi, Edge Mag and Honda. They have also worked in creating the album cover for Groove Armada’s 2007 studio album Soundboy Rock.

I have featured eBoy before in an article about pixel art design and recently emailed eBoy and asked them some questions – here is what they had to say:

How would you best describe yourself, your style and the designs you do?

Simple. We are a group making pictures.

How did you start out in your design career?

Standard route. We studied graphic design.

What do you think is the key to good design and being a good designer in any field?

The right combination of talents — of which kind doesn’t matter.

If you lose motivation on a project, what do you do to get yourself inspired and motivated again?

We rotate the projects we work on. Everyone does everything — work hygiene.

What designers, at the moment, do you rate as being in the top 5 – or simply the ones you like the most?

Some guys at Tumblr and Ffffound! And Peekasso! And Philip K Dick.

What part of being a designer gets you down?

Sitting the whole day …

What is your design process from brief to completion?

We video chat about the job and discuss the direction in which we want to go. We define who is responsable for it, how many time we like to invest, etc. Then the “job-owner” collects all the todos, writes down some milestones in a shared calendar and starts with research. Usually the client gets a very rough preview and after the first comments from him we start working on it. From there on we try to share the work between us as often as possible. At some point the work is done and sent to the client.

You do some really detailed pixel designs – which ones have been the hardest to work on?

The detailed cityscapes like our posters are the most labour intensive stuff we do. If we work constantly on such an image it takes about 6 to 8 weeks to finish.

What is your office setup like? (hardware, software, location etc)

We all have Mac’s, a second monitor (but Svend), mostly work with Photoshop … and we all work at different places and are connected via Video and text.

If you weren’t a designer, what job would you be doing?

Maybe bartender in a non smoking bar … a erotic dancer would be an option too.

If you had to go to a couple of websites for fresh creative ideas which one would they be?

ffffound.com & tumblr.com (search for good people!)

What was the last book you read?

Philip K. Dick “A Maze of Death”

What sort of design trends would you like to see coming in 2009?

Happy to have no idea : )

A lot of people will have seen your work on ads but what else are you up to?

We do toys — Blockbob is coming out Oct 6th. btw. And we make posters and run a store.

What design are you most proud of or which have a special memory for you?

Mostly the newest ones, right now we working together with Gola on a shoe and bag collection and we finishing a new book and producing it by ourself.

Do you have any advice for any other aspiring designers?

Try to focus on what you really like, and share.

If you could have been asked any other question what would you like to of been asked?

If these are good times? We’d say yes! : )

Further reading