I originally created Cozmo back in the 90’s as a figurine line while working at Cast Art Industries (figurines made up a large percentage of the giftware industry at the time). Besides illustrating and designing giftware, I had various other art-related chores I would be called on to perform, from helping design sets for our catalog photo shoots, to creating a birthday card for the owner’s best friend (when you own your own company, you can get your employees to do just about anything as long as they’re on the clock).
One of the things I was sometimes asked to design were point-of-purchase (or POP) display headers for our products. A figurine POP was usually plastic or cardboard, with stepped rows, and usually had an illustrated header which served as a backdrop to help stage the figurines. When I designed the Cozmo figurines, I also created some rough POP header concepts.
Fast-forward to 2010 at Ayars Animation, where Frank Ayars and I are discussing what we might do for a second iOS app. I had plenty of intellectual property ideas, one of which was Cozmo, so I pitched that to him. He gave it the green light, and off we went. So there I was about to design a menu page for the app. I really liked certain elements about the earlier Cozmo POP concepts I did for Cast Art, so I looked to them for inspiration, and they formed the basis of what eventually became the final menu page design of the app.
All of that to say, if you have a good idea that you’re not putting to use, don’t let it go to waste. If the need or opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to reach back in the past for something that can serve you well in the present.