Toucan Play At This (Design) Game
Follow your nose, friends! This week on Overtime, Froot Loops gives our old friend Toucan Sam an unexpected redesign that people are not happy about. Plus, more creatives make and sell face masks to earn extra income while helping first responders on the front lines.
Finally, Noah Glenn—host of the mindfulness podcast for kids ‘Like You’—drops by to help expand our definition of mindfulness and what we should be learning from kids.
Links Mentioned In This Episode:
- Masks on Threadless
- Masks on Ugmonk
- Josh Ariza’s Chomp
- Like You Podcast
- Sit There and Do Nothing Podcast
Meg: First of all, how dare you? Second of all, welcome back to Overtime. This is Dribbble’s weekly podcast where I deliver the design news you do or do not want to hear, plus give you the tips you need to create your best work. I am you’re very gracious, very loving, very ample, very beautiful, very long-haired, I’m very short, very short bodied, host Meg “I want to touch a stranger so bad; I want to doot doot” Lewis. This week on Overtime, follow your nose, our buddy Toucan Sam gets a redesign and I just can’t stop staring at his rainbow, beautiful, airbrushed beak, plus designers start designing face masks and no surprise, people love them, and Noah Glenn, the host of the “Like You” podcast, which is a mindfulness podcast for kids, stops by and we chat about both of our mindfulness podcasts and why expanding the definition of mindfulness and meditation is actually a really fun and beautiful thing.
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Meg: Let’s get right into the news. Okay, first up, Toucan Sam, did you did you see that? Froot Loops redesigned our good old buddy Toucan Samarino and let me just say people are not happy about it. You know if there’s a beloved cartoon character that gets a redesign, I don’t know if anybody’s going to love any kind of beloved cartoon characters getting a redesign, I don’t know. Seems hard. I of course, as you know from my many logo redesign reviews, have very mild opinions. Love ‘em before, love ‘em now. But I must say, Toucan Sam was quite, and this keeps happening with every logo redesign I try to review, Toucan Sam was quite three dimensional before, kind of shiny, kind of rounded and I don’t know, realistic looking. He wasn’t realistic looking. But now he’s more flat, he’s kind of a flat design boy now, and he has a nice kind of gradient, sort of airbrushed, I just bought an airbrush tee shirt at the boardwalk kind of beak situation going on. But I must say the thing that I love the most about new Toucan Sam, Toucan Sam 2020, is that his eye, his one eye that he has, is totally full of a childlike sense of wonder, really is what’s happening. And Toucan Sam’s eye before was an eye that looked like a bird’s eye, a cartoon bird’s eye mind you, but now he just looks real friendly. He looks hopeful. He looks passionate about life. He looks excited to see a bowl of Froot Loops, and I like that about Toucan Sam 2.0.
But you know what I realized this morning when I was writing about this story was that I spelled Froot Loops “Fruit” like Fruit Loops. And then I was corrected and learned that it’s actually “Froot,” “F-R-O-O-T” Loops and if spelling fruit with two O’s is the most 2020 thing anyone could do. So, I am just realizing that Froot Loops have always been way, way ahead of their time. So, you know, when you think about Toucan Sam and his airbrushed beak, you think about fruit spelling fruit with two O’s. From now on, life just gets a little bit brighter, and so I’m just clinging on to these little bits of hope right now because I think it’s a thing of beauty.
So, whether or not you love new Toucan Sam doesn’t matter to me, you can have whatever opinion you want on our good old boy Toucan Samarino, but just remember to stare at that rainbow colorful beak, take a deep breath, and just get a little calmer for a little bit because it’s chaos out there. And Toucan Sam has a little bit of brightness in a chaotic world. And you know what also is a little bit of brightness in a chaotic world? A bowl of Froot Loops, a big old bowl of Froot Loops. I’m a big fan of cereal. What’s your favorite childhood cereal or kids’ cereal? I like all of them. To be honest, I love Froot Loops, big fan. Love really any of the ones that turn your mouth to shreds, the kind where the next day you might have little danglies hanging down from the roof of your mouth. Like Cocoa Puffs might do that, Captain Crunch absolutely will do that. Anything with a really acidic quality as well. Kix might do that to you, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a little bit lighter because of the flat plane going on with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But the fact that there’s cinnamon and sugar involved will really, really break down the flesh of your mouth, you know.
But also, as I get older as an adult, I’ve realized that the concept of milk and cereal is technically weird because I’ve now realized how weird of a concept milk is. The fact that we drink a liquid squeezed from the teat of an animal is odd. It’s an odd thing that we do as humans. Humans, we’re doing a lot of odd things every day. We just made up everything that we’re doing. Everything’s a concept that we’ve just created out of nowhere. Someone squeezed the teat of a cow at one point and was like, I guess I’ll put this in my body. And so now I’m having mixed feelings about a bowl of you know, skim 2% milk with cereal. But I also am that person that just loves, I love a glass of milk and I hate myself for it, although I know I should just be proud of who I am. There’s a little bit of shame involved. I’m going on a tangent about milk. That’s not related to design. Let’s move on to the next news story.
Let’s talk about masks, baby, let’s talk about you and me. And now I realized that masks are kind of like a design thing, but it’s also a COVID related thing. There are masks everywhere. We’re all masking objects, our faces, am I right (laughs)? There’s no one here. Okay. But, you know, if you haven’t noticed, everyone’s wearing masks, and a lot of designers and creatives are selling masks, which is pretty cool because all of a sudden, every single human needs a new product. And so of course, this is a great time to offer your skill set as a designer or illustrator and offer something for the world that the world needs and a lot of people are giving away a mask for you with every purchase made, or they’re donating part of the proceeds or all of the proceeds to charitable organizations or to help first responders or people that are at the front of the line. And that is incredible. And we’ve noticed, like I just submitted some mask designs to be sold through Threadless, which will be available soon. Threadless has already sold 30,000 masks. That’s so many and they’re giving a lot of the money away, which is absolutely incredible. Ugmonk has been selling masks and been selling off the shelves. They’re flying off those internet shelves. Our boy Josh Ariza who owns CHOMP brand, he’s been selling masks out the butt, and that’s incredible.
I think there could be a weird feeling, and there sometimes is, depending on what’s happening, about designers exploiting a cause for their own gain. But I really don’t think that that’s ever happening nowadays with the mask thing because we all need them, and designers are able to create these masks and sell them just as people are who have sewing machines. And if we can do that and help people and give them what they need, and also support organizations, donate masks and do all of that, that is helping to lift others up and make the world a healthier, brighter place. And I think that’s just absolutely incredible.
So, I’m really having fun watching everybody get creative with how they make masks, from what materials they’re making masks. I truly enjoy all of these tips that I’m hearing about how to not get your glasses to fog up because I’m having that problem. My glasses are really an issue whenever I’m wearing my mask. I hardly ever go in public. but when I do, it’s just like the grocery store, and just everything’s foggy, I can’t see. And then you get to the freezer aisle where for some reason the freezer has fogged up. And then there’s like two layers of fog I have to see through all of a sudden and I just want to find my frozen meal. I like the tortellini with the pesto sauce on it. That one’s my favorite. There are many others that I won’t get into because they’re not related to design!
Meg: Since I host my own comedy mindfulness podcast, I just really am fascinated with the topic of mindfulness and what it means to us as individuals, how it’s different for everybody. and who else is doing really interesting and unique things in the mindfulness space. And whenever I think about somebody being on the fringe of mindfulness and meditation, it’s my friend, Noah Glenn, who runs a podcast called “Like You,” who I’ve brought in today to talk about mindfulness podcasts for kids and the difference between the traditional definition of meditation and mindfulness and what he and I are doing with our own podcasts. So, I’d like to start by playing a clip of Noah’s podcast, “Like you.”
Excerpt from “Like You”: Imagine the sky around you is dark. You’re such a big rain cloud that the sun can barely shine around you. But here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to let all of our rain just fall away. Can you do that? Imagine you’re a rain cloud. Just letting all your angry raindrops fall away.
Meg: Ah, and here he is with us today on Overtime. It’s “Like You” host, Noah Glenn. Hey, Noah, how are you?
Noah: Hey, Meg. I’m doing well. How are you?
Meg: I have to stop asking people how they are. It’s just rude right now because then it sets you up for like a “Psych, you’re not okay. No one is!”
Noah: Okay, let’s retake it. I’m, I’m doing well under the circumstances.
Meg: (Laughs) You know, I think all answers are correct. It’s just I need to stop doing this to people when I’m recording our conversations live.
Noah: Yeah, but I also think that question, like I think we all have an instinctual response. So, like, “Yeah, I’m doing great,” even if you’re not.
Meg: Exactly, I know, it’s so much. But it’s nice to just pretend that you’re doing okay for a little chunk of time while someone’s asking you. Okay, so we brought you here today because I want to talk to you about mindfulness. And you have a podcast about mindfulness. I also have another podcast about mindfulness. So, we have a lot to share with each other. And I’m so interested to get your thoughts because our podcasts are so different. Mine is a comedy podcast, yours is geared for kids. So, explain to me your short little sales pitch on what your podcast is called and what it is.
Noah: “Like You” is a mindfulness podcast for kids. And it’s really just trying to simplify what mindfulness is. We use positive affirmations and original songs, and just imagination based visualizations, just kind of using your imagination and talking about your feelings and learning about yourself in the world around you.
Meg: Yes. And I have been, and I want to talk to you more about this because I, as an adult human, I have been really enjoying it and I listen to every episode. My favorite episode so far has been a visualization exercise about popping your worry bubbles. And I was attracted to that one immediately because I just liked how that sounded. And what a fun and nice exercise, and I felt so much better after I went through it and did it. And it just feels so great. But I think that the interesting thing that we’re both dealing with right now with both of our podcasts is that we are kind of on the fringe of what traditional mindfulness is. I think there’s the stereotype of what mindfulness and meditation looks like. It’s like you feel there’s a lot of guilt and shame around it because you feel like you have to set yourself up for success, you have to have no other thoughts in your mind. If your brain starts to wander, it’s bad. And so, I feel like in the past, when I try to meditate and do a lot of these exercises, I would just end up feeling worse about myself because I felt like I wasn’t doing it right. And my brain wasn’t good enough at focusing.
And so, I like what you’re doing, because you’re making the experience a little bit different and a little bit lighter. And you’re allowing, I think, what you and I are both doing is we’re filling their brains for them with other stuff so that they can just fixate on our voice, so they don’t have to have this huge void of emptiness, or they have to fill it with their lack of thoughts. And I can imagine that’s really helpful for kids.
Noah: Yeah, I think also, I think one of those other stereotypes is just, there’s sort of a pretentiousness about like, you take yourself very seriously if you’re going to sit in silence and just meditate or whatever. And I think that your podcast and mine are both making it more accessible and just taking it less seriously. Although I think that in my case, I actually want to take kids more seriously, but not for mindfulness to have to feel like something that has to be taken seriously.
Meg: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a really good point. And I think that my definition of mindfulness is just, I’m doing stuff for people, and I’m sure you are too, that’s just helping them to feel better by the end of listening to it than they did before they started listening. And I think there’s a vast amount of things you can do within that definition. And so, I think that both of us are really pushing the boundaries on what that can mean. So, I’m hoping, and it seems like for you that you are able to just do so much with this content, and you’re able to create so many scenarios and I’m sure you just have so many episode ideas and so much to work with because there are so many things that we can do for people using audio to help them feel better and to say things to them that helps fill their brains with something a little bit productive and positive.
Noah: Yeah. And I think you bring up a good point just in mentioning your definition of mindfulness, because I think that it’s a term that is sort of new in the public awareness, even though even if it’s been around, like, suddenly everybody’s talking about mindfulness. And everybody kind of has a different idea of what exactly it is. So, I think, what you think of it as is a place to start, and for me, it is just a way of stopping to. My personal mindfulness definition that I use as a framework, is this is just a way of stopping to notice what’s going on around you, and more importantly, what’s going on inside you.
And so, it’s more about awareness to me than it is about any certain act of meditating, and you know, I think getting to know who you are, what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling and not hiding those things away and not suppressing them, but like, getting to know them and working through them, and what do I do now that I know this about myself, what do I do with that? But also, just how you’re engaging with the world right around you, just being there, being present with the people that you’re with, or in the activities that you’re doing. I don’t even have any sort of mindfulness practice that most people would think of as a mindfulness practice. I mean, I have two young kids, my kids are six and three. I’m not going to sit in silence for 20 minutes. That doesn’t happen in my house. There’s never silence. So, it’s just finding awareness as you go about the things that you’re doing.
Meg: Exactly. And so, I think that the magical thing about mindfulness in general for me is that it just makes me slow down for a second. I think us adults are just so used to moving fast and we want to have everything happen immediately, and we know that the faster we take action, the faster things happen. And so, my brain is just moving so quickly all the time that I never really stop, or slow down enough to appreciate most things. And mindfulness exercises really helped me to just slow down and focus on that one thing and really enjoy that one little tiny thing, whatever it is, for just a little bit of time, which I think is nice. Do you think that kids are better than adults at slowing down and appreciating things? Or are kids moving faster than us? I have no idea.
Noah: Yeah. I think it’s some of both. I think they’re better at both of them than we are as adults, because I can’t keep up with my kids at their fastest. But also, I think we often underestimate how capable kids are of sitting in silence and engaging with deep concepts. And, you know, I think a lot of people sort of think about a kid as almost not fully a person, like, you know, they’re less than a person. Like, they’re going to be a great person one day, they have this potential. But I think I look at kids like they’re fully a person right now as they are and if you can meet them where they are and treat them with the respect and dignity that you would treat any person with, they’ll often surprise you with how capable they are of just stopping and slowing down. And I think part of it is that we have terms as adults like we were talking about earlier, the stereotypes about mindfulness. And you know, I’m not coming on my podcast and saying, “Come children, let’s sit and meditate together.” Like, if you present it in a way that they have some sort of reference, they can connect to like you were saying, you know, popping bubbles, the exercise you mentioned, or one that a lot of kids I’ve talked to have said was their favorite is one where we’re cooling off a cup of hot cocoa. So, if you can just take something that they recognize from the world and give them a way to focus on it, they’re really good at it, a lot better than we are, I think.
Meg: Yeah, that’s a really good point. And I think too, kids are just so much better at feeling emotions than adults are. It’s possible because they don’t have a fully formed frontal lobe. But I think it’s because as we grow up, we develop all these coping mechanisms to keep ourselves feeling safe, which means that we don’t feel the capacity to love as much as we used to when we were kids and we don’t allow ourselves to feel as scared as we used to when we were kids. So, you’re totally right. I think they do everything better than us. And I think there’s a lot to be said in practicing some of these things as adults. And I contributed a few affirmations for one of your episodes recently, and as I was reading them and writing them, I was finding so much benefit from the affirmations I was reading myself. But I was also zooming out and thinking, like, the affirmations I was giving these kids were no different than affirmations adults would find extremely useful, and I really enjoy that. And I always love creating things that exist for all people, regardless of age because yes, kids are capable of handling so much more than we give them credit for. Do you find that there’s a difference? Like, do you find that this stuff applies for adults? Do you often take your own advice of the exercises you’re doing for these kids?
Noah: Yeah, definitely. I don’t think there’s any real difference in the benefits that can come out of this for an adult or a child. And I’ve had a lot of comments from parents who say, you know, “I’m listening with this and learning a lot as I listen with my kids,” or like, “If this show is for kids, why am I crying when I listen to these affirmations?” And for me, actually, it was seeing how mindfulness was something beneficial for adults, for peers of mine, for friends of mine that led me into this. I knew I wanted to create media for children that sort of focused on social and emotional development as opposed to just entertainment or just educational content, and as I saw people like me in their 30s just starting to figure out who they are and what to do with their feelings and what even do I really feel because I’ve pushed these feelings down for so long or found ways to hide them or work around them or cope with them in different ways. And so, to me, if you can help kids just get the vocabulary for a lot of these things now, it’s hopefully setting them up for a lot less pain and struggle as they grow.
Meg: Absolutely, yes. Oh, my goodness, that’s such a good point. But I also think we should mention that this is needed now, I think more than ever. So, this is a timely thing for both of us because we’re all having to stop and slow down so much right now because we’re not able to do as much. And I think that mindfulness exercises are so important now, more than ever, because we need it and we need to check in with our thoughts and focus on something other than the chaos in our brains for just a little bit of time. Do you find that kids, from you’re experience, are absorbing some of what’s happening in the world? Do you think that kids need this as much as adults do right now?
Noah: Yeah, I think kids are definitely experiencing a lot of the same worries and anxieties that we’re all experiencing. But I think in a way, what adults are seeing right now, is that this situation has sort of given us a view back into how kids are normally experiencing the world. Because if you put yourself, step back in time, you’re a kid again, even you’re a baby, you come into the world, you’ve never experienced anything before. Everything is new. You know, the first time you feel hungry, you don’t know what that feeling is, and you don’t know what to do with it. And then you get a little older and you’re three or four and you’re starting to have new feelings and you get angry and for all you know, this is life now. “I’m just always going to be angry forever and it’s never going to go away.” You don’t know what that is yet, you have to learn it and figure out what to do with it.
So, I think this pandemic has forced adults into this new mind frame of like, “I have no idea what’s going on. I have all these new thoughts and feelings and anxieties, and I don’t know what to do with them. And I don’t know when this is going to end.” And that’s kind of what kids’ lives are like. Underneath the surface like, you know, we think of kids and they’re silly, they’re goofy, they’re having fun. But there’s also a depth of feeling and emotion that is just new to them that they need help sorting through and figuring out what to do with, and I think adults need that too. It’s almost like it’s leveled the playing field for us that we’re now understanding these things as adults. That is how kids are interacting with new experiences for the first, you know, 10 years of their lives.
Meg: My gosh, you’re so right. And thank goodness that mindfulness and therapy and self-discovery is so important culturally to us right now. Because if it wasn’t, we would all be way more of a mess than we even are now. Okay, well, thank you so much Noah for stopping by. Where can everyone find and listen to your podcast?
Noah: Well, they can find it wherever they listen to podcasts. My website is LikeYouPodcast.com and there are links from there to wherever you listen to podcasts. But if you search “‘Like You’ mindfulness for kids,” you’ll find it.
Meg: Oh, yeah. Alright, thanks so much, Noah.
Noah: Thank you.
Meg: And to take us out, here’s a clip from my own comedy mindfulness podcast, “Sit There and Do Nothing.”
Clip from “Sit There and Do Nothing”: I am a likeable person. Bananas feel themselves when I enter a room. When I’m at an arcade, children willingly give me their tickets, because I deserve the 3,000-ticket inflatable chair more than anyone. Meryl Streep has asked me on more than one occasion how she can be as likable as me.
Meg: And if you’d like to listen and subscribe to my comedy mindfulness podcast, it’s called “Sit There and Do Nothing,” and you can listen to it on SitThereAndDoNothing.com or literally wherever you listen to podcasts because it’s everywhere. And I also do video versions of every episode, they’re real weird and very awkward. They’re available on my YouTube channel, so go to Youtube.com and search for “Sit There and Do Nothing” to subscribe to those.
And that’s it for this episode of Dribbble Overtime. Continue the conversation with us on the old internet using #DribbbleOvertime. And of course, tag me, boop me, bop me, tweet me, gram me, blam me, on the internet. My handle @YourBuddyMeg. Okay, bye, hear me next week!