The Story Behind Picnik

The Inspiration

Born in the mid 70’s, Richard grew up as a pretty normal kid, surrounded by a loving family and friends in the beautiful county of Leicestershire. Always captivated and driven by music, he started listening to The Police when he was 11, changed for New Order and the Smiths at the age of 16, then moved into alternative music when he hit 20, namely Blur and Oasis.

If you are familiar with the Blur music video for Coffee and TV then you’ll guess where the inspiration for Picnik came from! Small, cute, funny, blue and white little milk pack who is gonna take a chaotic but unforgettable journey to find missing Blur leading singer. Instantly attached to this sooo adorable character, Rich wanted to re-create the same feeling that he had when he first saw this video. Curious, excited, amused and fascinated, he was looking for the perfect character that would make people keen of discovering the mysterious world of translation…

The Idea

Traveller at heart, I have always been in love with New York, its atmosphere, its spirit, the people, the blocks, the cabs and even the dried bretzels that have been staying forever on street stands. One day, I had the opportunity to go to the Marketing Week Conference in London where all the best in the Marketing industry meet and talk at seminars, around a coffee or about the next brilliant idea. The magic happened when I listened to these 2 guys working for Fiat talking about their genius concept and how they created their cartoonish website where different characters interact. Eureka! Why not telling a story about how to translate a book? As predicted, I chose to start the story in beautiful Manhattan where all dreams come true. Immediately, I pictured a chubby red book stuck on a shelf in a library: Picnic was born.

New York Library

The Character

After reading the story over, and over again, Rich and I decided it was time for Picnik (with a K for K International) to become alive! If we knew he would be red… we didn’t know much about the rest. So we started to think about characters from our childhood, cartoons we use to watch, comics we used to read and anything else that would help to give a shape to Picnik. A crazy brainstorming started!?

“Something like Batman?” said Rich “Too dark…” I answered.

“Spiderman?” “Too spider…”

“Homer Simpson?” (Errmm…Rich, really?) “Too rude!”

“Spongebob?” “Perfect!”

Both in love with this idea, we finally decided that Picnik would be a chubby red book animated with arms and legs, dressed like a human and very happy. Because Rich is not really good at drawing (he wishes though), and I am not better either, we called a professional illustrator to rescue us! Here was the 1st draft (and the proof we can’t draw!):

Rich’s mock up…

Picnik looking like a kid

But because it looked more like a kid dressed up as a book for Halloween knocking on doors for Trick-or-Treating… we thought the draft needed few changes, after an edit here is the final draft:

Picnik is born!

Hope you will like him as much as us and who knows, Picnik could have its own show one day! If you are Steven Spielberg and you are reading this…YES, we are totally open to any movie idea!!

If you are not Steven Spielberg, we are still looking forward hearing your opinion and suggestions, so don’t hesitate. 🙂

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