top of page
Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2


To be honest, I had the most fun creating these characters and the brand of biscuits.

Just to recap on the key points of the exercise:

  • Three illustrations for a new range of organic biscuits for children

  • Three flavours, Raisin, Choc Chip and Ginger

  • Feature three extinct animals interacting with the biscuits

  • Colour to reflect flavour

  • Research market and shops etc

  • Submit all workings - Thumbnails visuals etc

  • Mockup at least one

I do admire packaging. I can really appreciate and get behind a well designed bit of packaging. From the functionality of the design to the contents. I really enjoy seeing packaging that have thought about the product, and the best way to present it. It's great to see those that have been innovative with the design and have done something a little bit more than your typical box.

Packaging has certainly developed over time. From the materials used, to the information you see on them, we've seen the growth in tins, cans, paper and plastic over the years. Much of the market have realised the impact on what packaging has done to our environment and so we see another shift in the packaging development, where it is continuously developing into an eco friendly-future proof solution that keeps food fresh for longer - without killing the environment. That said, packaging is still a costly process that most brands would probably like to avoid, and so we still see those who aren't bothered about saving the environment but more bothered to save their profits - which is a huge shame!

We're so familiar with packaging now that it would be hard to believe there was a time where there was none. Packaging has become a phenomenon as it is an increasing opportunity for the brands to sell themselves. New food companies are popping up more often with entrepreneurs creating the next best super food. It is here where we see a new wave in the design of packaging, they give more consideration to their branding as they will need to compete with staple items that have been on our shelves for years, plus all the other new products that are being added to the shelves.

Can you imagine we didn't have marketing in our faces when browsing through the supermarket?

We see, not only a shift in the packaging manufacturing, but also in the consumers. Consumers are now awake to the issues, thanks to the social impact and streaming facilities that allows world wide information to be at our fingertips 24/7, there is a huge wave in conscious shopping. Consumers shop differently, they support brands that are authentic. Authentic brands, brand themselves differently. They have a family feel, and a community. They promote their products differently, and theres a sense of kindness buzzing around brands that mean well. Social media has made this possible. We feel we can message our favourite brands with any question, or comment with any feedback, and we feel that we are seen, that it matters. With this brings conscious design, in my opinion. With this you see a natural growth in the buyers of your product, your popularity will grow because it is a genuine, word of mouth promotion. People want to share their delight when they receive something that is packaged well. There's now even an unboxing trend that fills all platforms. The more conscious and considerate you are, and how authentic and true to your beliefs that you show, people will follow. It didn't take a rainbow of colours and overly sold marketing manipulation to get there, it's just the power of being honest. And connecting, listening and responding to the needs.

Of course, food diets are much more complex now as well, we're no longer cavemen wanting the same things. We have allergies to cater for, we have vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, flexitarian, and macrobiotic (one I just learned) Plus many more special requirements who would rely on the information provided by the packaging to determine whether or not they can eat it. Up to the late 1960s, there was little information on food labels to identify the nutrient content of the food. It was only when an increasing number of processed foods came to the market did consumers start to demand the information that we see today. I found a very interesting website documenting a timeline of when rules were being applied to food standards throughout history.

Moving Toward a Mandatory and Uniform Nutrition Labeling Policy
At the same time that FDA was developing its July 1990 proposal, a committee was formed at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of NAS, to consider how food labels could be improved to help consumers adopt or adhere to healthy diets. FDA and FSIS/USDA sponsored the study based on the belief that changes in eating habits could improve the health of Americans and that food labeling could aid consumers in making wise dietary choices. [1]

Ok, so nutritional information on packaging made its way in to the normal, but what about the use of "organic"? I mean, organic food has been around forever, and it still exists today - without needing the label to identify because it was grown by you! Though this is far from being in the masses, and most of us rely on seeing that word on our products. Can it be trusted?

Is it really possible to have an organic, ready-made snack that is sold in mass? I think "organic" is a fine line in reality, despite having strict guides that are implemented by governing bodies, chemicals can still pass the regulations. How organic can a biscuit be given that it is produced at factory quantities, then packaged, shipped and delivered, to eventually sit on a shelf with a use by date of a year or so. How many natural ingredients needs to be in there for it to fulfil the requirements?



The board below explores packaging that are aimed at children which include a popular character. I tried to remember the sort of goodies I would eat for breakfast or a snack and which of them used memorable characters. Of course cereal was a big area with famous characters, and are still very popular today. I included the Rude Health packaging, the characters on this are very playful and also use a clever technique to show what is inside the box. I also loved the style of the illustration on this box! It was interesting looking back on these boxes to see how each character was displayed and how they would interact with the food.

When thinking of the kind of characters we are asked to create, I wondered what "extinct" characters already existed. I then remembered the Chewit advertisement campaign "I like to Chewit Chewit". What is interesting how this character has developed through time. The image below is the most recent artwork found on the Chewits website: It served as a useful reference to creating my own dinosaur. I struggle most making the mouth correct on my own animal creations, something I mentioned in the exercise: Working for Children.

1980s advert for Chewits = Brilliant. This is the stop motion animation we can all remember!

Year 2000 is when we were introduced to a new animated version of the chewitsaurus and the new theme tune. It is now over 50 years old and the brand is still progressing.


Drawing dinosaurs... interesting. Where does one even begin. I wondered whether this had to be an existing dinosaur, or could I kind of mash a few together to create a cookie dino? Initially, I researched real dinosaurs that existed. I wanted something that could be cute, not so aggressive and one that ate leaves as opposed to meat. Why? It just felt like a friendly option. You can see how i struggled to begin with, but the "psittacosaurus" looked cute! The big beak like mouth felt less aggressive compared to the ones with teeth. Believe it or not, the below image with the tongue hanging out was supposed to be happy, but I think I got the eyes very wrong.

I decided to draw bodies, see if I could work from the bottom up. It was somewhat a fluke that I came up with the designs below, and one I had I was pretty settled for the bottom half. I turned to film and tv for inspiration. The Land Before Time came to mind, so I gave myself a little break and watched the original film. Meanwhile I would pause the film at the scenes that showed a good angle of the dinosaurs. It was good practise, and in doing so I was able to get a better understanding on how to draw my own character. It really helps to be familiar with other characters so you can learn how to bring life to an animal.

The dinosaur was the first character I created, and for a while was the only character I created. When taking to Photoshop, the first colour way was this:

With him, I got feedback from two different people with kids of ages between 2 and 7.

The first have twins aged 2 and a 5 year old. First thing the 5 year old said was, is it a potato? (oops). The couple wondered if he is a chocolate chip cookie with dark and darker chocolate chips, the colours were confusing. 5 year old likes him, called him Scummy. Overall he looks child fun and all the kids are smiling at it. They all seem to notice the nose.

The second have two boys aged 4 and 7, they are both SEN children. First reaction was a certain note for the colours, brighter colours will definitely draw their attention in more. AS well as this dark picture, I sent my sketchbook doodles with the different faces. This was their feedback from the sketches:

4 Year old says Yellow circled has a funny face.

Green circled have friendly faces.

7 Year old says the purple circles look friends and don't have sharp teeth.

Once I had made some changes to the colours and mocked up the first draft on packaging, I recent this for a final test to see what they thought.

The 4 year old liked the new design and said he wants mum to buy them for him. 7 Year old said this looks like he is naughty because he is going to claw someone, sharp nails.

Interesting how the different age minds worked. Vivid imagination of naughty behaviour and an eye for sharp teeth/claws from the eldest where colours were the most noticeable from the youngest. I felt the new draft was a good direction, I just think it needed a bit of work!

It did take me a while to decide what my biscuit gang would be, but with some inspiration I came up with the others. I wondered if I should keep the character in the dinosaur family, but then thought it might be more interesting to include different species! ThisI felt was a challenge to research. Whenever you do a search for extinct animals, it was always the most popular bunch that would show in the results. It seemed safe, and possibly a bit boring when there are probably hundreds of other special that might not be so well known that could be interesting to include. I thought the characters could give some facts about themselves in the packaging as a bit of playful entertainment for children. I used to love reading the lines on the back of a Penguin biscuit so perhaps this was something I could include.

In the end I gave in to the results and picked two more common animals. Having great resources available, I selected the Woolly Mammal and a Dodo. I was inspired by my childhood of Looney Tunes, Films like Ice Age and The Pirates! Band of Misfits by Aardman. Each of these provided great inspiration to quickly come to a conclusion on a final design. Here's the sketch book pages!

Next I tried a few layout options for the packaging. I wanted to consider the space in which the character would sit plus give plenty of breathing space for the information. Here I also tried the colour option to see which worked better together. This later develops more as I begin to learn new things with layering text of the different characters.

I love the final designs for the biscuits. I think by including images of the biscuits made a huge difference to making these friendly characters. The gang would make an interesting commercial if ever Fossil biscuits needed one. Could they have been made younger? Probably! I did try making the Dodo younger, which in fairness also would have worked well if the I had created the other two to match him! Here is the packaging with a younger Dodo:



I wanted to incorporate the links into the above work before sending for assessment. I didn't get round to including them at this stage.


bottom of page