Children’s book characters

Children’s book characters

IDEATION

Children learn that a ‘character’ is a name for both a letter and an actor in a story.

This notion led Type Design to the idea of a series of children’s stories, Mocorico, based around eight characters that would together form the letters of the series’ name.

We needed to create eight letter characters that could be animated or made into a puppet. We wanted to reach a new generation of UK and European parents who value the sustainable and handmade, sensory learning, early literacy and inclusive storytelling.

'I' character from Mocorico children's book series, a sock puppet riding in a toy car

PROCESS

Knowing our target audience meant using reclaimed materials was a no-brainer. We scoured London’s charity shops and came up with inspiring, tactile clothing, toys, wigs, paint pots, buttons, yarn, socks and fabric remnants. We scrupulously cleaned these to make sure the resulting letters would be safe for children to handle.

As we began to experiment with the materials, organic forms instantly emerged. We combined and recombined these to test their limits.

Applications also arose out of the items’ original purposes, such as toy cars becoming a character’s means of movement. We repeated the use of materials such as black-and-white striped lycra in several characters to suggested familial relatedness.

M, O, R and I character studies from Type Design's Mocorico children's book characters

We transferred the letter forms to designs on paper and wrote character outlines, which suggested further enhancements to the letters. We then made final backing plates from stiff cardboard and wood, with fabrics hand- and machine-sewn, and finally stuffed each with hypoallergenic cotton wool.

M and O from Type Design's Mocorico children's book characters

Running 20 cm tall and 200 cm long, Mocorico grabs everyone’s attention. Characters appear so tangible and lifelike that children will reach out and touch even the digital image.

We’ve had interest from writers keen to work with the Mocorico characters, so watch this space!