It’s not long now until we cast off and launch our new activity, Mini Captains’ Adventure, at Elveden Forest. Your little ones will become Mini Captains, learning all the tricks of the trade as they go along – saluting, talking on a radio and the parts of a boat. As their trusty First Mate, you’ll accompany them onto the water as they steer one of our specially designed boats around the lake. Then it’s all down to them– follow your map and find the buoys to solve a maritime puzzle.
Developing the first ever watersport activity for our youngest guests meant we needed a new fleet of boats – ones designed especially for little ones. We thought we’d bring you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of how our Creative Artworker, Sam, took the dinky new boats from sketches to substance.
A logo and a ‘look’
“As soon as I found out about this activity, I could picture how it would look straight away,” says Sam. “Some jobs are more fun than others, and this is one of my favourites that I’ve worked on.”
The first job for Sam was logo development – creating a visual identity that would make the activity stand out and also communicate straight away what it was about. “I pulled together lots of ideas around the nautical theme – boats, buoys, anchors, seagulls. I had one concept that was like looking through the end of a telescope.”
The jaunty trawler that makes up the body of the logo was hand drawn, scanned and then transformed into a digital illustration. Then Sam added finishing touches, like a captain’s hat resting on the lettering. “This is an activity for three- to seven-year-olds, so it should look playful and whimsical,” she explains.
Boats and blueprints
The next job was making the boats themselves come to life. We worked with an overseas supplier who could create bespoke miniature trawlers to our own designs. Sam received complex diagrams showing all the different parts and elements of the boats, and she set about creating a colour scheme.
“All the colours for Mini Captains Adventure are based around our Boathouse motif,” says Sam. “So I picked the blues that you’d expect, then reds and whites that are also nautical.” She played around with different colours on each element, before settling on a finished design. Each part was assigned a RAL colour – a special colour format that applies to paint manufacturing.
“Then I designed big stickers to decorate the hulls, using design elements from the logo,” says Sam. “Lastly I added a flag to each – because it’s a bit jaunty!” Now Sam’s designs and colour schemes go back to our supplier in Amsterdam to execute, before they are all shipped over (on a ship that ships tiny ships) to their final destination in Elveden Forest.
Meanwhile, Sam is still busy creating other pieces of artwork for Mini Captains’ Adventure, including certificates (to make those mini captainhoods official), posters, puzzle sheets and photo opportunity boards. “I can’t wait to see the finished activity – especially the little boats! The best part is that there’s room for an adult in them, so I’ll have to take my little niece for a ride so I can try it out myself!”