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Designing a New Pokémon Go Backpack
Sometimes bag designers seek out inspiration for a specific project. But at other times design inspiration strikes from unlikely sources. No goal or set project in mind. Simply a spark that turns into something intriguing to explore. A moment of “Hey, that’s an interesting idea. Let me run with it and see where it leads…” And a little celebration of design for the fun and enjoyment of it. For designer Daniel Valsesia, the unlikely source was Pokémon Go. Below he shares his thought process for designing a Pokémon Go backpack for the male avatar…
Pokémon Go has people glued to their phones more than usual in the hunt for Pokémon characters. As such, this app has become something of a cultural phenomenon, influencing the lives of people all around the world. I’m actually not a prolific player of this game, I just spent some time in this app trying to understand why it’s so popular now. The first impression was that my male avatar was always in front of me, taking my steps. Since I was always looking at him from the back, the first thing that I saw was the backpack. In my opinion as a bag designer I felt that this gear wasn’t matching the style of this character. So I decided to spend a little time designing something that could substitute this backpack with a new one closer to the style of this character.
Looking from the back of the avatar, the hoodie inspired me to make the new shape something that can follow the soft style of the hoodie’s cap. I felt that the rolled shape of a roll-top backpack really matched this style, so I continued the project with this shape of backpack.
The Pokémon aesthetic is related to manga cartoons, and I thought that a big metal part in the front was perfect to emphasize the playfulness that is the soul of Pokémon. The goal of this app is hunting, and the avatar wears fingerless gloves in an urban/tactical/ninja style, so I thought that the side straps would be a nice way to make the backpack a little bit tactical in style. The graphic signs are another very important part of the aesthetic of Pokémon. In fact the front part of the hoodie has a strong diagonal shape, so the front “V” shape makes it easy to play with colors and graphics. The position of the logo is half on the side and half on the front, not an ordinary position, and this makes it more playful. Finally, this backpack cannot be more important than the rest of the avatar. It must be well integrated, making the image of this character more fresh with a contemporary look due to the importance of this app at present.