Snoopy, the immortal Beagle who has been with us since 1950, has witnessed the technological revolution that has transformed our lives. In a time when Apple was just a fruit and smart watches were not even a distant dreamthere he was, good old Snoopy, who by doing everything, managed to make anyone smile.
The years have passed, and now “smartwatch” and “Apple” awaken different emotions in us, but the essence of Snoopy remains intact, reminding us that some things never go out of style. Times change, but Snoopy doesn’t. His immortality and timelessness demand that the times change with him, and not the other way around. This is demonstrated by the latest and most complex face ever seen on an Apple Watch, and that is how it was designed.
An idea that has taken years to execute
Paige Braddock is the creative director of “Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates”, the studio with which Apple has worked to launch the Snoopy sphere in watchOS 10. Now she has spoken with GQ and He explained how the whole process worked.. The drawings, the ideas, the nervousness…
“When you design an analog watch with Snoopy, it’s a static character. So the only thing you focus on are the hands and the arms. You wouldn’t believe the detail we put into making them work at all angles, But going into this first meeting with Apple I was like, ‘I don’t even know if I’m smart enough to wear this watch.'”
The first of those meetings, right at the end of the pandemic, made her and her team leave with plans to work on 148 unique animations that adapt to different daily situations. For example, when night falls Snoopy would howl at the moon, he would dress as a diver if you went into a pool, etc. In total there were more than 12 minutes of animations that came out of there, and that was just the beginning.
On Apple’s part, the brain behind all this was Gary Butcher, an interface designer who once ended up at AirBnB but who He ended up returning to Cupertino shortly after. He says that he is a very organized person, although it was of little use on this occasion:
“So I thought, ‘We have a short time together and there might be some awkwardness, so I’m going to print out 148 blank sheets of paper and we have to leave the room having filled out every one of those pages.’ At the end of the day, no We had only played one, but we had tons of sketches all over the table.
Make Snoopy act like Snoopy
Before starting what Snoopy was going to do, we had to decide what Snoopy himself was going to be like. Over the years it has changed, so It was not an easy task to choose its most representative version. They needed something that would bring back good memories to those who lived their childhood with him, and that at the same time would be recognizable by those who had only recently known of his existence, as is the case with young people.
Finally they opted for a version of Snoopy inspired by his drawings from the 80s. His nose was a little flatter than normal, he already walked on two legs – during the 50s he walked as if he were a normal dog – and he had a certain fear of him. to his owner. That’s the Snoopy that lives in our Apple Watch. Now that that was clear, she had to decide how she was going to act.
“In it brainstorming Initially, the team had started with sort of generic sketches of Snoopy walking in the rain with an umbrella or whatever, but there are very specific things about Snoopy that no other comic book character does, like raising his ear and blocking his face. Rain for Woodstock.”
This is how this sphere ended up being born. It is complex, sophisticated and has a lot of work behind it. It is impossible to get two identical animations to repeat over the course of a day, and they adapt to what we do and what time it is. Snoopy plays with the needles depending on the position they are in, and it shows that they have taken care of even the smallest detail. A character like that—so iconic—deserved no less.
“Snoopy builds bridges between generations. What’s really interesting about the strip is that the scenarios in which Snoopy ends up are still familiar to the audience that grew up with him and to the new audience that knows him.”
Perhaps the most curious of all this is the anecdote that Braddock tells. He was working with Charles Schulz, the creator of Snoopy, until he retired in 1999. Since then he stayed in his studio, but he explains that on his first day, the illustrator approached him to the gift shop to take whatever he had. I would like “Everything is free today,” he told her. Among the thousands of figures, notebooks, glasses and pens that were there, Braddock chose a watch. How curious life is.
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