Rotem Nahlieli Introduces His Must-Have Wall Stickersby Yuval Saar | 19.04.16
When Rotem Nahlieli’s son was born six years ago, Rotem was living in London, but despite his fixed residence in the UK (“the kingdom of tapestry”) he could not find wall stickers that were satisfactory and had to settle on boring dinosaur stickers.
These days, Nahlieli is launching Gianimo, his own brand of illustrated, reusable wall stickers that come with a frame story and detailed background about each and every character, which then helps parents and children compose their own stories together.
Nahlieli, a designer who specializes in Visual Communication, graduated from the Holon Institute of Technology in 2005. In 2006 he moved to London, where he worked as an art director for 20th Century Fox and opened his own animation and design studio that is active to this day. His studio focuses on design targeted for the TV and video games industries. One of its most notable projects was the design of the popular game “Call of Duty.”
In 2013, Nahlieli returned to Israel. In the three years that lapsed, he managed to obtain an M.Des. in Bezalel’s Department of Industrial Design as part of the Design and Innovation Management Program as well as open a startup company whose purpose is to provide design managers with help in finding and managing freelancers.
“Our eldest son was born in London in 2010,” he tells. “And I guess that I went through the experience that every young, first-time parent goes through. You welcome a soft, cute, cuddly little thing into the world and all of a sudden you’re filled with the ambition to do good deeds – maybe out of a need to defend your child and to place him and yourself in a bubble of safety. So I took a short break from animating bleeding zombies and soldiers that blow up, and started writing adventure tales for nurseries.
״We lived in London at the time, and when my son Itamar turned one year old, I started looking for wall stickers to decorate his room. Even though England is the kingdom of tapestries, I couldn’t find something that caught my eye and settled on boring dinosaur stickers that peeled off half the wall when I tried to take them off. When I would read Itamar his bedtime stories, we would chit-chat with the characters on the wall, bid them goodnight, and then I realized that I was on to something that was worth looking into.”
The impressive result is Gianimo, a set of wall stickers that offers ten different characters and about 20 props and additions that are tailored to each character, creating a specific environment for every one of them. Children and parents can paste the stickers on the nursery walls and turn them into a three-dimensional, storytelling experience.
The stickers are printed on a high-quality, matte, fabric-like material that can be reused again and again, so the stickers can be taken off and pasted again on a different spot on the wall as the story progresses. Each set (a sheet of 55 X 150 that includes all the stickers) costs 75 US Dollars.
The characters are designed to look like they’re in mid-action and doing something that is related to three-dimensional objects in the room. For example, a Sock Monster that sits on the radiator and jumps to and fro because of the heat, or a Viking boy who hangs off the light switch and tries to turn off the light.
Each set comes with a frame story and every character has its own background. In total, Nahlieli wrote four different adventure tales, or as he calls them- Mini-Adventures, that the children and parents can set out on together. Every adventure is comprised of a different plot.
Sounds super cool. How did you make the stickers to be reusable? It is a new patent?
“The stickers are printed on a material called PhotoTex, a new American patent that was developed for exhibitions. The glue is very forgiving, so you can fold the sticker in on itself and separate it without causing any damage. It’s a strong glue, but it doesn’t leave a mark on the wall, the ink is water-based and non-toxic. Its most important feature to me is its visibility: it’s made from threads that were sewn horizontally and vertically, it feels like a thin fabric that stretches out on the wall. It has a matte finish, which doesn’t give off that cheap, plastic air most stickers have.”
And what about the illustrated style? There’s something about it that’s a lot like computer games and is very much not Israeli, if that means anything at all. Do you agree with this description?
“Definitely. I am fortunate enough that my writing and art-direction skills are more developed than my gift for illustration, and so I got to work with several illustrators from Canada, the UK and France, after they received initial sketches from me. I wanted to refrain from creating a flat design and tried to go for a much more materialistic vibe, with layers of color and an abundance that shows the brush strokes and exudes warmth and authenticity. It’s closer to Concept Art that we make for computer games than it is to an illustration.”
Translated by: Joy Bernard