Legal Aid Western Australia

Legal Aid WA is the largest provider of legal aid services in Western Australia with around 300 lawyers and support staff covering Perth and regional Western Australia.
After seeing my character design work for Visual Insights, Legal Aid WA approached me to develop some characters and scenes for an online course aimed at helping young, often disadvantaged children and teenagers understand the legal system in Western Australia.
Visual Insights Characters

The Brief

Initial Client Conversation
Research & Base Character Development
Style & Clothing
Scene Creation
Flip Chart

Phase 1

Initial Client Conversation

My primary contact throughout the whole project was Director of Innovation and Special Projects, Jane Stewart. Jane was leading the production of a five module course that would educate young people on the dos and don’ts of the legal system in Western Australia. The children and teenagers taking the course would be from very mixed backgrounds and circumstances, many with cognitive impairments. It was imperitive that the characters needed to be diverse and neutral to represent a broad spectrum of people.
After looking at my previous work, Jane came across The Yolk Frat, an NFT project I’d created the artwork for a couple of years earlier. The egg shaped characters seemed to fit perfectly with diverse and neutral nature they were looking for. Plus, the metaphors and egg puns really seemed to fit the subject, so after a discussion, we decided to “eggsplore” this route (had to, I’m sorry!).
The Yolk Frat Case Study Cover
Previous Work on The Yolk Frat

Phase 2

Research & Base Character Development

Obviously we couldn’t just copy the Yolk Frat egg design so I started from scratch with some initial research. After looking into existing egg characters and general shows and characters popular with Australian kids, I started looking at different egg shapes that could potentially be used as a base.
There’s a surprising variety of egg shapes, but the one we found to be most distinct was the pheasant egg. After exploring some different widths and heights, I added arms and legs and experimented with some action poses.
Once we had a strong base to work with, it was time to start designing the face. The face is arguably the most important aspect of a character. As the common phrase goes, “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. Facial expressions play a critical role in creating engaging and relatable characters, which would be key to this success of the project.
I experimented with some different eye styles and basic expressions until we landed on a combination that worked well. We decided on two eye styles to distinguish younger characters from older characters, the younger having coloured eyes and the older eggs with a simple black pupil.

Phase 3

Style and Clothing

Clothing with the Australian youth is quite specific, especially footwear, so we had to make sure to include the popular styles. Eshay is an urban youth subculture that a lot of kids copy, so a lot of the clothing inspiration came from this including accessories like neck chains, bum bags and baseball caps.
Style and Clothing Examples

Phase 4

Scene Creation

The whole point of this project is to create a course to educate Australian youth about the law in Western Australia. I received a brief to create scenes for five modules:

Each module demonstrates various scenarios people could find themselves in, and what to do/what not to do in these situations. My job was to illustrate these scenes to make each concept engaging and fun to understand. Here is a selection of finished scenes from the modules.

Phase 5

Flip Chart

As a small side project I was tasked to design a flip chart with various emotions. This was for the Legal Aid WA staff to display on their desks to let colleagues know what they’re feeling at any point in time. These include things like “time poor”, “scrambled”, “on a roll”, “sunny side up” etc. They had about a thousand printed for staff and associates.

Results

The scenes were focus tested with “at risk” children who were extremely engaged and the course is in the final stages of production with voiceovers being finalised. The therapeutic Children’s Courts in Western Australia is including the course as part of the court program.

Testimonial

"Rob Lee from Robotoon has done an incredible job bringing to life the characters in our online learning modules and wellness flipchart. Rob’s deep understanding of our project briefs allowed him to work intuitively and freely on these projects with the perfect blend of sensitivity and humour. Working this way allowed us to really tap into Rob’s creativity well (which was far deeper than ours!) and resulted in the development of characters and scenes much better than we alone could have imagined. Rob was reliable, highly organised, and consistently met tight deadlines. He was also responsive and flexible every time we threw him a curve ball. A genuinely nice guy who was an absolute pleasure to work with a huge value add."
Jane Stewart
Director, Innovation & Special Projects

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