Tomfoolery Toys & Books

Tomfoolery is an iconic toy store in Houston, TX known for its unique selection of fun, engaging, and value-filled toys.

The Challenge

Entering into the project through Concord Adams, I was tasked with updating the brand, building a custom Shopify theme, and in the process, creating new brand assets that would help Tomfoolery thrive both on their store and on social.


Brand update

Mascot Creation/Illustration

Custom Shopify Theme Development

Brand Update

There are plenty of small businesses that started with a brand that worked well at the time but soon find themselves in the eye of a much larger audience, and in an entirely new decade of trends. Tomfoolery seemed like one of these. The logo itself carried a lot of brand trust with it, so we didn’t want to disrupt that much at all. We wanted to enhance it. The type got tightened up, bolded a little, and the kerning and baseline were adjusted.

Tomfoolery Toys & Books
Tomfoolery Toys & Books

Making Tom

There’s this pervasive idea out there in design, that every brand logo has to have a mark. You’ll hear brand owners demand it in a rebrand. You’ll see creatives limiting themselves to only making a logo this way. Of course, there are logos that do great with this model, and there are logos without a mark like Coca-Cola that stand the test of time. But it’s also a designer’s job to know when to try another strategy; when to occupy that gray area between the two. That’s where Tom started. It was the moment I thought: What if a toy store doesn’t need a logo with a mark? What if it actually needs a living breathing, playing, laughing, crying MASCOT? Yeah, that feels like an old concept, but trust me – for Tomfoolery it was right on the mark!

Tomfoolery Toys & Books

Okay, but what the hell is Tom?

Aside from just being fun to watch, Tom represents (to me) a popular theme about the innocence of childhood. You see, Tom doesn’t know what kind of animal he is. And that’s okay. Because every kid has to play new games, go on adventures, and try new things before they can really know themselves. This idea that kids keep having to grow up faster and faster is something that has become pervasive. That previously mystical world seems to be getting smaller with every news cycle or rampant TikTok trend. Kids are feeling pulled in more adult directions than ever before, and facing undue pressures to grow up incredibly fast. I think Tom recognizes a fear in most parents. It pays homage to kids’ natural right to play and have fun before growing up. He makes it OKAY to have a little fun.


Tomfoolery Toys & Books Tom of Tomfoolery
Tomfoolery Toys & Books Tom on Valentines Day

Custom Icon Set

In addition to the standard foundational brand elements, I also developed a number of icons for the website along with a standard type set. Although it’s not called out explicitly, there’s a subtle flow of 90’s undertones in everything about Tomfoolery.


Tomfoolery Toys & Books

The Website

Believe it or not, the whole project started with a need to redesign the Shopify site. But what’s a redesign without attention to brand. This process of paying the appropriate attention to brand before anything else always seems to produce success stories. The Tomfoolery website is proof of that.


Tomfoolery Toys & Books Tomfoolery Website
Go to Tomfoolery Toys & Books