Working as a #Designer is an interesting and potentially very influential job. Although most people regard designers as those who create clothes or furniture, toy and game designers are among the most versatile group of creators. Gaetane Lannoy is one such creative individual who currently serves as the head designer for Egmont Toys, a European company that is dedicated to creating quality items for young children. Egmont Toys was founded in 1994 and took over Heico—a company founded in 19873—in 2016. Egmont Toys is just starting to make a name for themselves in the toy industry and is seeking to expand in the U.S. market in 2017 and beyond. Recently, Gaetane discussed her experiences working as a toy designer.
Blasting News (BN): How did you initially get interested in designing toys?
Gaetane Lannoy (GL): I have always wanted to draw, create for children, to tell them stories through my designs. Before working for Egmont Toys, I worked as an art teacher with children and I published several books with Casterman (big publisher in Belgium and France) on creative activities with children.
BN: When was Egmont Toys started and why was that name chosen?
GL: Egmont Toys started its activities in 1994 and the name “Egmont” is the owner’s first name. He was named after the count of Egmont, a freedom fighter who was beheaded by the Spanish occupiers on the market place of Brussels in 1568.
BN: How would you describe your toys?
GL: Traditional games with a vintage and colorful look.
BN: How many toys have you designed overall?
GL: Hundreds! We launch about 100 new items each year. My favorite is Twiggy, a small mouse with a naughty look and a strawberry dress. The first bowling game by Egmont Toys sells really well though, it contains more than 100,000 pieces!
BN: How do you come up with the ideas for the toys?
GL: By looking at how children play and keeping in mind the toys of my youth.
BN: What is absolutely the best thing about working in the toy industry?
GL: I am lucky to be involved in the whole process of bringing a toy on the market. From the idea, the first sketches, the samples, follow-up of the production, the various trade shows around the world and the look and enthusiasm of the kids in our own shop in Brussels. Since we are a small team, the whole artistic side is my responsibility and my job is very diversified: the creation of the new items (two collections a year), the layout of the catalogue, the decors of the trade shows and the decors of the shop windows in our own shop. The result is homogeneity of our collections.
BN: Are you currently working on anything which you would like to discuss?
GL: Right now, I am working on a new doll collection called "Sophie." Sophie has her own wicker pram, carry cot and lots of assorted accessories. #Interview #Careers