Aiwanju is a Shanghai toy retailer with a passion for toys. The name literally means “I love toys” in Chinese. My main goal was to create a cat mascot that feels cool, teasing and subtle at the same time to attract people who like collectible toys.
An early draft was a Schrödinger’s cat, a paradoxical thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, in which a cat can be both dead and alive. Other ideas included a supernatural three-eyed cat, various mystic creatures and comic book characters.
Once I found the right direction, I started working on the details. After trying various accessories like a bow tie and top hat, we ended up with a stylized skull collar for a cyberpunk feel.
The character concepts were used for stickers, comics, toys and other merchandise.