The Winter Frost story was designed to create an alternative Christmas narrative. While the traditional look and feel of Christmas is ubiquitous, we looked to high-end retailers in NYC, London, Paris, and Berlin to find a new groove. Trend research moved us to a nostalgic retro-feel with big city appeal.
The other direction considered was a S.T.E.A.M. driven (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Mathematics, har har) story that was loaded toward pre-Christmas sales by providing children with S.T.E.A.M. projects they could make and give as gifts to their loved ones. This story was not adopted in full, but elements moved into the prototyping phase.
Once a general direction is agreed upon, sketching with the theme in mind helps explore different looks for the characters, environments and story refinement.