Bespoke Creations: Miffy MacBook Case

Posted on July 15, 2013 by Ee-Leng Chang | 0 Comments

I recently created a bespoke Miffy 13in MacBook Case for a customer as a gift for her sister. Beyond knowing what Miffy looks like, I discovered I really didn't know much about Miffy the character after all. So began my research and education into all things Miffy. 

I had always assumed that Miffy was a cute character probably created in Asia (well Miffy is certainly extremely popular in Asia) and I was quite surprised to find that Miffy was created by Dutch author and illustrator Dick Bruna in 1955! Miffy's Dutch name is Nijntje, which I have no idea how to pronounce, but I learnt that it's a shortening of the Dutch word for "little rabbit". 


Image from Amazon

I never had or read any Miffy books when I was a child so I was unfamiliar with what the books were like. So I decided to look up some of the Miffy books and see what Miffy is all about. I have always found the character of Miffy to be really cute and I really liked the minimalist and simple design of Miffy. But now that I've seen more Miffy books, I really think I like the style of the book even more than I like the design of the character! The design and the use of colours in Miffy books are just so charming!

So I went into my bespoke project with Miffy books as my inspiration, rather than the character of Miffy. When I first received the request, of course my first idea that sprang to mind was to use Miffy as the entire body of the case and I was immediately perplexed by how to incorporate Miffy's long ears (similar problem to my previous Pikachu creation). But once I had a look at Miffy books, I knew I wanted to do a Miffy Book-inspired case, rather than a Miffy-inspired case. I hope you get what I mean! :)


Image from Amazon


I really loved the retro colours of Miffy and other Dick Bruna book covers and so I wanted to incorporate those kind of colours and feel to the case. And I noticed that one of the first pages of many Miffy books was a page with a picture of Miffy and the text "This book belongs to _____" That took me right back to my childhood and I think is the nicest things about children books. I remember how I would write my name and then feel annoyed because my writing was so crap that it felt like I just spoilt the book! But I think there's something nice about leaving your own mark in a book and every time I borrowed a book or found a second hand book with someone else's name in it, it just felt like the world was a smaller place and it gave the book a history. 

Anyway, going back to the design of this case, I wanted to incorporate that little thing into the case, so I suggested it for the back. Miffy, with a text line: "This case belongs to ____" and I would embroider the name in big loopy writing for that children book charm. Understandably, my customer was hesitant about the name on the back but she did like the Miffy on the back so we went with that. Another request she had was for a zipper closure. I had never really worked with zippers before, especially with this thick felt so I was a bit nervous but determined to figure it out!

So here's the final product:


The front of the case is a very simple Miffy and I made sure to include the very distinctive side stripe that runs down the left side of the book covers. My customer had requested an "S" initial on Miffy for her sister too. 


The back has Miffy (I imagine she's going to school). Originally, this was designed to be slightly higher, with the text running on the bottom. Since we omitted the text, I lowered Miffy to make the back more balanced. 

And here's a few more from different angles:


Besides the zipper, the Miffy on the back was actually the most difficult part of the manufacturing process lol! I had to figure out how to cut it out so that Miffy arm would go over her bag and have it look nice and 3D. 



I think my favourite thing about this case is the colours. I tried to pay homage to the design aesthetic of Dick Bruna and I hope I succeeded!

Overall, a very fun and challenging creation and the best part was the discovery of the wonderful illustration work of Dick Bruna. If you'd like to know more about the creator of Miffy, this article is a good place to start and here's an awesome archive of his book covers

Feel free to contact me at any time via eeleng@hoobygroovy.com if you would like me to create a bespoke creation for you!

Posted in Bespoke, Competition


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