The game, which will be released by Portobello Games in the autumn, was originally designed for toy company Trendon by Patrick Rylands, who won The Duke of Edinburgh’s Prize for Elegant Design (now the Prince Philip Designers Prize) with the toy in 1970.
Webb & Webb was appointed in June on the recommendation of Rylands, who was assisting Portobello Games in various aspects of the brand’s production, such as matching dyes to the toy’s original colours.
Because of the toy’s design heritage, Webb & Webb was keen to create a look that would excite nostalgic adults, as well as a younger audience.
Webb & Webb designer James Webb says, ’It needed to appeal to the 30-something design crowd, but it is a children’s toy, so we didn’t want it too cool or too childish.’
The packaging needed to appeal to parents, who, according to the consultancy’s research, were more likely to buy this type of toy for their children than the children themselves, says Webb.
The new logo features squares of colour which, unlike the original packaging, match the colours of the toy’s pieces. The packaging features Futura and Helvetica typefaces, chosen because of their simplicity, iconic status and because they are of the same period as Playplax, says Webb.
Portobello Games director Lucy Baring says, ’I was keen that the toy looked jewel-like [on the packaging], which is hard to do graphically, as it can look flat and dead.’
Steering away from images of children to avoid being too age-specific, Webb & Webb wanted to be both realistic – there are no more pieces used in the models than can be found in the box – but also demonstrate the beauty of the Playplax pieces.