June 10, 2014

Helmutt character designs

I think getting the chance to design Helmutt for the Worcester Art Museum has to be one of my favorite assignments ever.

It's also my first time working within a public space (apart from murals) and how visitor's engage with a character in a broad range of ways.

Here are the designs for the standees that were placed in the KNIGHTS! exhibition.

The museum director and the gallery designer wanted to make Helmutt blend into the walls so as not to distract from the existing pieces and mess with the flow of the exhibition.

It's important that the character be almost like a friendly ghost that appeals to all ages, doesn't talk down to the visitor or seem like strictly 'children's museum-only' material.

A hard balance to strike but the input of a great team really lead these designs in a good direction.

I think Helmutt's character is also very progressive in terms of gender identification.

While the dog identifies as a boy, he will frequently show up in historical dresses (as seen in the 16th century Spanish dress above) or pink or with other dashes of femininity.

I also designed the "Paws Off" / Do not Touch signage in the gallery

I also did all the graphics for Helmutt on the iPads - not the coding, that was Tim

I also designed the Art Cart vinyls in the space.  

Neal is demonstrating how a gauntlet functions, and what chain mail feels like. 

I did 2 small pieces for Helmutt's House as well

  • a gouache painting of puppy Helmutt with his first master, Lord Beckwythe (holla, Higgins Armory) 
  • a riff on Norman Rockwell's cover (a piece that is in the WAM collection, too) 
  • and a small colored pencil of Helmutt & pals


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  2. It doesn't really contribute much, but I just wanted to say (again, I think), that I think this project is pretty cool! It gets my thumbs up, haha.

  3. Anonymous11.6.14

    It is ridiculously hard to do character design for this type of project well, and you KNOCKED it out of the park. I know you had a solid team behind you but this was done perfectly.