One of the favorite aspects of my work as a jeweler is having the ability to design jewelry for children. It’s always very fulfilling to fun to see a child wearing something I designed. That being said, designing jewelry for children may prove more difficult that you would imagine. People tend to forget that when you sell to children you need to sell twice: for the parents and the children. In all honesty, the real target audience here is the parents, as they are the ones that actually purchase the goods. This means that when you are designing you are walking on a tight rope, wanting to create something that children will love, but keeping track of the fact that the real decision is made by the parents.
Keeping the Ideas Simple
Kids like simple design. Clean lines and clear cut shapes will do the job here. Personally, I have two different design directions that I enjoy using when designing for children; one uses simple geometric shapes and the other one uses cartoon like faces. In all honesty, especially when very young children are involves, added layers of sophistication will appeal to the parents more than they will appeal to the children. So keep it simple and spice it with an innovative twist, just enough to make it appealing for both target audiences.
Think about Cartoon Faces
If you take a look at successful cartoon characters, you will discover that they all follow a similar facial pattern, large eyes and clear cut features. When they see a simple, wide eyed cartoon face, children see themselves in it. Simple cartoon features are very much similar to the way they perceive their self image when they look outward and into the world.
Pendants with wide eyed, cartoon like faces are one of my favorite designs and I think this represents how understanding the way children think is helpful when you approach the task of designing for them. Always ask yourself why children like what they like. When you take a successful formula and try to duplicate it without properly understanding it, you will probably fail. When you truly understand what makes them tick, you can create pieces that will sell. As mentioned above, spice it with some layers of added sophistication for the parents and you’ve got a successful design that will sell well.
Last, but no least, treat children and their tastes with the respect they deserve; you will probably find that their tastes are much better than those of most adults.
Doron Hiefitz is a professional jeweler and the owner of a popular jewelry website that specializes in name necklaces and bracelets.