DigitalBee is the first of its kind in the country. Academy for kids to learn and use digital tools. It’s an innovative environment for future generations. DigitalBee is held by a highly proficient woman who breaks the barriers whenever they occur. With the mission to improve soft skills in young people, she commissioned me in creating a manual game. Oh, what a pleasure! Exceptional IT literate and know-how leader put the ideas and project plan into execution mode.
Many of you know about this ancient game. It is Tangram, a set of geometric figures, and endless possibilities to form a character. Tangram counts seven parts: parallelogram (rhomboid), square, and five triangles. DigitalBee decides to reimagine the origin and give it a new look, story, and, meaning. In order to avoid having just one more product on the shelves… Creating a distinctive concept was the first challenge!
An old game in a new light
Reimagining the concept took several steps. Brand a game with the DigitalBee visual identity + form an interesting story + make an eco-friendly product. The process flew me from architecture and vectors of manual parts to prototyping. Alongside, I’ve searched for ideal size, material, refining edges (safety moment) and, production house to make it all happen.
But, what about an interesting story? Well, as an advocate for ethics and culture, DigitalBee gives it a heritage meaning. Each character from the solutions got an identity after the Montenegrin symbol.
All these three factors set the game apart from its original. Next station:
Creating a product requires tests and trials. The most valuable answers came from users. The interaction and usability: how it communicates with users? Do all the parts come together, aligned? How practical this game is? what about the size? And material, can it be easily broken? + many more.
Prototyping opens for dialogue. During the process, we share beta versions and collect impressions. Then we’re able to see where we’ve made progress and where we have failed. Product design is a process that oughts to be collaborative: production + users. This approach provides depth and informs new ideas.
For an end product, we got figures made of eco-wood, finely processed edges, and a cheerful bee – the identity of DigitalBee printed on one triangle. We opted for black figures for clarity looking characters.
empathise – define – ideate – prototype – test
After having an actual game in hands… I moved on collateral design in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. The concept called for
1) drawing 21 vector figures (each figure represents a symbol of Montenegro)
2) defining a color palette (which reflects the Montenegrin natural environment)
3) creating a design for two booklets – one with the solutions (for a parent) the other with tasks (for children)
4) cover design for booklets and
5) a bag to pack the whole game.
The book design is simple, within a black and white base, allowing the game to speak for itself. Format accompanies Tangram’s square shape. With a measuring size of 12x12cm, it’s convenient for pockets.
The font is from a serif family to contrast with geometric the tangram figures. The storyline introduces user with Montenegrin heritage. Thus improving the user’s experience and make it more joyful. Learning and playing are equally important here! The color palette is in blue and green tints plus yellow as a symbol for the sun.
Last but not least was the package design. This took us on a long search of limited possibilities in the domestic market. We sought regional countries to get an eco-bag with a custom shape. The final product is a white bag that highlights DigitalBee as a project holder. We are hoping to improve this part soon with a more attractive solution.
Taking a break from the digital world, didactic Tangram strengthens cognitive intelligence and eye-hand coordination. Further, it develops analytical and critical thinking, improves memory. In a search for a solution, we develop stress management, especially resistance to mistakes. It suggests imagining and pausing the accelerated time. Thus, the child is more present and aware of the environment and the decisions it makes. Tangram is a true challenge for adults as well.
Tangram takes us on an adventure of overcoming challenges sorted by demanding tasks. Game levels encourage the will to progress. On the way to the final solution, we discover various possibilities, practice better choices, form patience, activating creative code… Tangram is a good introduction to the complex tasks of the digital world. If you like Creative thinking than this game is for you too.
DigitalBee Tangram is one of the favorite projects I recently made. Because it is meant for children, a generation of a collective future. I also was privileged to work with a distinguishing woman that represents a true leader in my country. As an initiator of this project, all authority rights belong to this brand.
To find out more about Tangram or to buy, visit them here