I worked for Good 2 Grow, the nation’s leading maker of wacky toy tops on top of juice bottles. While I was working there they officially named them #SippaTops. (I wasn’t involved in that decision, but I did oppose it later.) I worked there for about 4 years and by golly it was a swell place to work. I started there as an intern. By the time I left I was officially their Toy Designer. A Title I wanted since I was 14.
While I was there I learned a lot, made a lot of things, had a bunch of responsibilities and… I got to go to China. (It wasn’t that great.)
- My primary job throughout my time at Good 2 Grow was to design the Toy Sippa Tops. I would contact the licensor (That’s the person or company that owns the copyright to the intellectual property.) to find out what I could and couldn’t do. Then I’d design that character, make edits and basically get something that made the licensor happy and that I could send to our digital Sculptor. (Jay Kushwara, The MIGHTY KUSH! #jaykushwara) Who would use my 2D designs to make a 3D file I could later send to our 3 or 4 factories in China.
Here are some concept sheets I made for a variety of different licensors. I sometimes used #AdobePhotoshop, but mostly #AdobeIllustrator to make the concept sheets. I wish I had kept all of them. I didn’t think of it at the time. These are all the ones I could find on all my old thumb drives.
- I created a design envelope that all the tops had to fit inside because our bottling factory in Florida had this big fancy #robot (All robots are fancy.) that would put the tops on the bottles. That was an accomplishment. A lot of time spent with engineers. Great minds putting toys on juice. The one on the top is the #SippaTop and the one below is a pull top for the older kids.
- As I mentioned I got to go to China.
Reason I went there was we had at the time 4 factories that made all of our tops there. As toy designer, I did a lot of e-mailing back and forth with these factories. Mostly about Paint Operations (How many paint colors and the order they are painted on the toys. Adds or subtracts pennies to cost.) or about the fixing of small imperfections in the molds. Boring stuff, but every now and then I got to give more detailed instructions and things that usually involved some kind of #Infographics. I like infographics.
This was an early factory work flow chart. It showed the WORK… and how it would… FLOW. This was important to show visually, because of the language barrier between English speakers like myself and the Mandarin speaking factory managers. Most of the higher ups at the factories spoke english, but pictures still helped clear up confusions.
This is a pull top bottle break down image. It shows the bottle and all its different parts along with a simplified view of how it is put together. This was made for some corporate pamphlet thing. I didn’t think it was needed, but my boss did and at the end of the day, my boss looked good and isn’t that what every employee wants? I know I did. I got a pat on the back for it and a promise to be taken to China. I also had to make a lot more of these things, like this box assembly breakdown that we used in the Florida bottling plant.
So many more info graphics, but I’ll stop there. Let you absorb all the… INFO.
- I also found ways to make new products without actually making anything new. This came in the form of #Variants. Same mold, same sculpt, but we’d paint it a couple different ways. This can save a company millions of dollars and got me a raise of a couple thousand bucks.
Here you can see how we ingeniously painted Ironman three different ways. The original, Iron Patriot and War Machine. If you’re wondering why #Ironman was such a successful movie, it was because of Robert Downey Jr. and #Merchandising.
- Last thing…
Best part of my job was designing turns. Multiple angle images of the tops for our 3D artist to work off of. I had to design them a specific way. This was to ensure they could be made as two parts in an injection mold machine to keep costs as low as possible. Lot’s of these never got used for some reason or another, but I was still proud. Here, publicly for the first time are some of those turns plus some I just wanted to show that did get made.
Well that’s what I did at Good 2 Grow. It was a great job and I miss all the Above Average People that I got to work with and learn from while I was there. Especially my boss who was great, very patient with me and a cowboy.What do you wear to work?