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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Fondell

Behind the Scenes Look at Product Development with Creative Fold

Creative Fold is a one-stop shop for all your design and product needs. Our creative problem solvers work on a vast array of projects with clients. But what does that actually mean in practice? We’ll show you! Read on to learn how we helped ThinkFun develop two stellar products.

ThinkFun is an industry leader in brain-teasing games and logic puzzles. We work alongside their team in a variety of capacities including challenge development, graphic design, product management, content creation, and more. Here are just two of the products we’ve worked on over the last few years.

Block Chain™

Sometimes clients come to us with a completed product looking for manufacturing help. But often, they have an early-stage product requiring industrial design and product development.

In this case, Block Chain™ had a number of requirements. The puzzle, a series of three linking cubes solved by rotating and sliding the pieces together to form a single cube, needed a workable, enjoyable feel. Users needed an easy way to tell if it was solved. ThinkFun wanted the product to be fun to play with and not overly complicated.

They were also looking for some help with visual elements. The packaging needed to clearly communicate the concept through icons and minimal text. This fun product required visually interesting packaging. And, as always, the product had to have shelf appeal and clever themes.

First, we worked on the design and functionality of the physical product. Our team brainstormed theme ideas, always a fun endeavor! Here are a few of our early theme concepts:

Next, we did a consumer feedback survey to make sure the icon-only instructions were easy to understand along with product functionality.

Then, our industrial design team worked directly with the factory to ensure the cubes would slide together smoothly and overlap seamlessly. We drafted quality control instructions for the factory to make sure they assembled the links correctly. And we helped develop a dieline display to fit the POP (Point of Purchase) design.

Last of all, we waited like little children waiting for Santa Claus to see the final product hit the market. In early 2021, ThinkFun launched their successful trio of brainteaser puzzles: Block Chain™ Robots, Block Chain™ Pirates, and Block Chain™ Unicorns!

Read about ThinkFun’s process working with Kenny K on the robot design here. And check out our portfolio page and ThinkFun’s website for more information about Block Chain™.

My First Math Dice

Sometimes our clients want help adding another product to a successful, existing product line. That was the case with My First Math Dice, the latest game to join the Math Dice product line, and a product aimed at ages 3+.

To start, our team created a competitor product analysis to ensure proper positioning. This is something we commonly perform at the start of a product development project to make sure the finished product ends up in the right section of the store with a strong marketing message for the appropriate audience.

As this game would be aimed at their youngest audience of all the Math Dice games, ThinkFun wanted help playtesting the instructions and play pattern. Physical game components needed to be the right size for little hands while complying with safety standards. They wanted the counting and sorting elements to be age appropriate.

Visually, the game packaging had to appeal to younger children with bright colors and exciting graphics. Our team performed color studies to determine the right blend and style.

Our team created tokens with a stacking mechanism for optimal usability and a fun play pattern for young children. Through playtesting, we determined the best route for the physical elements and 3D-printed pieces to test. We created renderings to show how the product could best be displayed in the packaging. Then we worked with the factory on that design.

Packaging was designed with vibrant graphics, concise how-to-play instructions, and clear messaging focused on counting and sorting.

ThinkFun was thrilled to receive an expertly-tested game with ready-to-go artwork for components, instructions, and packaging, as well as 3D renderings for the product catalog. We are thrilled to watch this newest member of the famous Math Dice® line hit store shelves!

Check out our portfolio page and ThinkFun’s website for more information about My First Math Dice.

We love seeing these products come to life! It’s like watching our children start school for the first time.

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