How We Created a 1950s Inspired Jingle for the Woodland Wonderland Brush & Tutorial Pack

How We Created a 1950s Inspired Jingle for the Woodland Wonderland Brush & Tutorial Pack

We just released the official Woodland Wonderland Brush & Tutorial pack jingle (written by Collin Warren of Lost in Transduction)!

Was a jingle necessary? Nope. But it was a ridiculous amount of fun to make. Plus, it just goes to show what kind of neat stuff you can do with the brushes, tutorials and a little help from your friends!

But how did you guys make a custom jingle for the pack?

When Brad and I were planning out the Woodland Wonderland Brush & Tutorial Pack we had a few goals:

  1. Make a pack that recreated the look of 1950s children's books.
  2. Create a collection of world-class accompanying tutorials.
  3. Pack the kit with fun and inspiring surprises.

Goal #1 and #2 were easy. I've spent the last 3 years of my life studying the creation of brushes and textures. Brad has spent the last 3 years creating tutorials that help illustrators up their game fast.

But goal #3 was the most fun. We came up with some ridiculous and useful ideas.

Here's a few of the fun and inspiring surprises we included:

  • A brush quick reference sheet (that looks great and makes it easy to find the perfect brush).
  • A webinar and assessment of your work (so you can get personal feedback to make your work awesome).
  • A timelapse illustration video so you can get knowledge in your brain fast.

Each of these added parts of the pack make it more powerful. But we wanted to make something that was just fun and sparked creativity.

Then we got a crazy idea...

What if we brought these characters to life in a fun and silly way?

After about 10 minutes of discussing Brad and I decided we should make a theme song!

We wanted a song that was reminiscent of the era (1950s). It had to sound like these little characters were playing the song.

Plus, we thought it would be hilarious (and great for marketing) if it was an advertisement for the pack.

The hardest part was finding someone who could write us a great jingle.

Then I remembered Collin.

Collin Warren - Lost in Transduction

Collin Warren was a friend from high school that I played in coffee houses, bars, and local shows with.

While I ended my music career a few years ago Collin never stopped. And his hard work and talent has taken him on some amazing adventures.

I reached out to Collin (it had been 10+ years since we talked) and he loved the idea of creating a song for the pack.

Within a few weeks Collin had a great song completed.

So how does one go about writing a jingle?

Great question. Writing a jingle is tricky because on top of writing a song you also have to pack in tons of required information about the product.

Here's Collin's process for writing and recording the song (in his own words):

Well, there were a few things that I really liked about this project.

  1. I really love when someone gives me a prompt, so the fact that you guys already had the name of the group, was a big help.  
  2. I liked that we had some lead time, so I could play around and try things out.
  3. It made sense to me to base the orchestration in the song off of what the characters are playing in the drawing-- so that also gave me a lot of direction at first.

So, the first thing I knew I needed to piece together was the refrain/chorus. I knew pretty earlier on that I wanted the phrase Furry Bottom Boys (the name we came up for the band of woodland creatures) to be somewhere in the first line.

At first, I just started building the tune and the initial lyrics in my head. I spent about a week doing this before I ever touched an instrument. Just singing it to myself on my bike or making breakfast, etc.

Then, once I had the chorus pretty well roughed out in my head, I did a rough sketch in Garage band. Which gave me something to build out the lyrics to.

The middle section, which is much more specific to the product, definitely came later.

I knew pretty early that I want it to be talking, rather than singing-- just in terms of how much info we had to get across in a short piece of music. For that section, I did a lot more brainstorming for the lyrics. I would google stuff like "Puns for Graphic Designers". I would scan through the indexes of the manuals for Photoshop and Illustrator. Just collecting interesting buzz words, etc.

Then I read through all the descriptions of the previous products on the RetroSupply site. I wanted to see what kind of things you guys were punching in your own marketing.

The idea to break the middle section out into the different character voices came from my wife. It also solved a problem I was having which was that each line had so many words that they would overlap each other sometimes.

I re-recorded the instrumental parts in Pro Tools and cut the main vocal for the chorus. Then I spent a day coming up with the voices. I rerecorded each character's section as if they were a separate actor. And the lyrics evolved and changed as I was doing this.

Creating the Animation

Again, this was something Brad and I had zero experience in. Luckily Brad had a good friend named Chase Ogden who was able to create a simple animation for us fast.

What I was most amazed by was the fact that Chase was able to get a Photoshop illustration and animate it!

Most interesting, the animation was not the most time-consuming part. It was having the bouncing ball follow the lyrics.

In hindsight, this makes total sense. That had to be a grind!

What I learned

This project was a HUGE learning experience for me. The biggest thing I learned was that you can do some interesting and creative things in just a few weeks. The key is to find talented people to work with.

But just as important, you need people that are friendly and easy to work with. If your partners aren't making your life better it doesn't matter how talented they are.

I'm so grateful to know people like Collin and Chase. They made the project better. But even more important they made it more fun!

Thank you, guys.

Do you have any interesting collaboration stories?

What about you? Have you done any interesting collaboration with other freelancers? Tell us about it in the comments. Be sure to include a link to the project if possible!