What makes a piece of dolls house miniature packaging good? You need to like it visually, you need to be able to see what it actually is and as the article title suggests, it needs to be detailed and be as close to the original as possible.
Sometimes when creating miniature packaging it is simply impossible to keep all of the detail as when you shrink it to 1:12th scale it becomes impossible to read, far too busy or both. When we come across packaging like that we tend to remove some of the really small detail and over emphasis things like the logos or colourful images.
Where possible we obtain the original packaging, if not available we source the best images we can find. It is at this stage that MyTinyWorld is different from the vast majority of other companies that try to create quality miniature packaging. We do not drop the grainy images often found of original old packaging on the internet into a blank box template and then declare that we have created a new item of miniature packaging. We do not just scan original boxes and drop the scans on to a blank box template either. Why? If we did this you would not be able to read the text or see very much of the image details.
In most cases we rebuild box graphics from scratch, sometimes if we have the original in good enough shape we can retouch the graphics. We always recreate the text by matching the font and retyping the text where possible all of the original text on the box. Above you will see 5 images which if you click them will give you a full size view of some simple case studies. We have tried to pick a selection of old packing to show how we do things differently depending on what we have available. Examples show where we have the original boxes (borax and ipso), poor quality images (snowmen and queens) and reasonable images (sunlight).
Occasionally we get a piece of packaging that is a real technical challenge to recreate and our two miniature packaging designers (Paul and Russell) draw virtual straws to see which one gets to work on it! One of those pieces of packaging was the old fashioned Robins Starch Box. It was difficult because we only had two images to work from (shown below) and they were both at an angle so everything had to be recreated or rebuilt.
To add to the difficulties we had the sun-ray style blue stripes that promised to be a particular pain when lining up the panels! This is an example of where we deviated from the original packaging design – to make the box look more appealing we decided to redo the stripes on the top so that effectively we had two sun-ray patterns that would line up with side panels. Process is shown below in a series of 6 pictures.
In Image 1 we create a blank panel and add the blue border. Image 2 shows us adding one of the side panels and erasing part of the robin as we need the stripe pattern to show.
Image 3 we add another side panel image to the top and flip it. We then remove the bottom half resulting in two sun-ray patterns.
In Image 4 we add a large black circle, followed by a slightly smaller red circle (this gives the red circle the black border!) and the put the white strip across which is where the opening instructions go.
Now we add a small black circle followed by a small white circle in the top left to create the size bubble as shown in image 5. We add in the size text and finally add the opening instructions to the white strip.
Image 6 sees us dropping in the the rest of the text which we apply an effect to, called stroke. Stroke basically gives text its outline, just like on the real box.
We then go on to create the back panel which is full of text and two variants of the side panels. Once we deviated from the original as one of the side panels in the original has 2 scrolls at the bottom “THE NEW” and “STARCH”. We opted to stick with the bright single scroll “ROBIN” for both panels as it gives a better miniature. All four finished panels are shown below.
We then place these on a custom made template for the Robins Starch dolls house miniature box and then its done!
Hopefully you enjoyed a brief look at how MyTinyWorld design their dolls house miniature packaging and every time you buy one you will look at it and realise just how much love and attention goes into each one!