The "Jem" television series was originally a concept based on the Jem dolls, created by Bill Sanders and his wife Barbara Sanders. Hasbro created the television show to help promote the dolls.
"Jem" was produced by Sunbow Productions, the same company responsible for other animated series and toys for Hasbro, including My Little Pony, Transformers and G.I. Joe. The characters and set design of the animated TV series were based on the Snow White animated feature and prototypes of the Jem dolls. The design process went through several steps and prototypes before landing on the final characters. Designer Paula LaFond helped create the final characters seen on the show.