For Filip Yip, character design is kid games.

Over his long, varied career, Filip Yip has truly mastered character design, creating hundreds, even thousands of iconic people, animals and magical creatures for all types of brands. But for all his experience, what gave him the biggest boost of design confidence was becoming a father. “For children’s characters, now at least I know what my kids like. I have a starting point,” he laughs.

A fairy that teaches good dental hygiene to kids, for Aquafresh
Filip has designed characters for all genres and target audiences, but reaching young audiences – and the parents who buy them stuff – has become both a specialty and a special delight for him. “We start by really imagining who this kid is, how old, what she likes to play, does she have siblings, what’s her culture. Sometimes I use a loose line and imperfect proportions to denote childlike behavior. Other times it’s clean lines but vibrant colors,” he says.
A Halloween promotion for Clif Kids called for costumed characters
A recent project for Clif Kids required Filip to interpret limited edition Halloween flavors through the costumes and attitudes of the characters. “We’ve evolved their character design over time,” says Filip. “It’s less polished – more free spirited now.” But a similar assignment for Juicy Juice took the opposite approach with clean lines and bubbly characters and elements, in line with their design strategy and architecture.
Juicy Juice stays true to their bright colors and bubbly shapes.
Sometimes, a character takes on a life of its own. Filip’s character for Frigo cheese provided the basis for the logo and then evolved into an active, fun-loving Cheesehead who’s been spotted playing sports, going to school, and even decorating a Christmas tree.
The logo evolved into a character of much greater dimension.
“We developed his whole universe – anatomy, his super powers, his circle of friends – and we express them in different channels. So the more products consumers purchase, the more they learn about him,” says Filip. The launch of the campaign has seen sales track higher, and one of the packaging systems won a national design award.
Filip’s Frigo Cheesehead in action
Filip is trained in both design and advertising, so he can see the big picture goals while executing in detail. For some clients he offers strategic guidance through the creative process, while other clients come in with a strong vision that Filip expertly executes. But his proudest achievement in character design is a young sailor who’s older than Filip himself.
An icon since 1896, Filip gave Cracker Jack an update
“Cracker Jack is a beloved mascot – it’s a centuries old icon – and it had only been updated three times before my version. After many explorations and focus groups, the result is the sweet Jack the team and I had in our minds the whole time. I’m quite attached to him. And I secretly gave Bingo, his dog, the essence of two beloved dogs of mine, which makes it all the better,” says FIlip.
A very friendly Frankenstein for Juicy Juice

Next up for Filip is a much more grown up venture – assets for a very edgy brand to be released this month. “It’s irreverent, risky, risqué and a lot of fun,” he says. “You’ve got to change things up to stay creative.” Check out more of Filip’s impressive and diverse portfolio here.

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