When working with variety Twitch broadcaster you need to have a very strong point of view and that will only come from understanding both the broadcasters goals and how their community is built or will be built around. It’s not until you have those key components in front of you that you can start to look at the next step.
I chatted with MrMotherCrusher (MMC) over Skype so I could get those key components down on paper before I even started with the moodboard. MMC is a or want to be a variety stream so that was one of the things that needed to be discussed in-depth. The struggle is a lot harder to gain an audience and find those that want to be apart of ones community when the brand is all over the place. Therefore the importance lands on the person in front of the camera and that in turn should then be reflected in the visual brand.
This might not be something that other want to talk about but I think it’s important to actually go over failures as well as successes. In this case I got the wrong picture in the initial interview. Following the showing on this moodboard to MMC we had another interview instead. Why am I telling you this? Well thanks to this we we’re able to really get down to mood and the feel of MMC’s Twitch channel. We talked about the feeling he get’s when describing the word chill, all the way from the colors to the imagery. I could also ignore a lot of the things in this first moodboard when moving forward, imagine a checklist and I’ve no checked of what’s not right so the chances to getting it right have instead increased and that’s good.
When comparing the two moodboards you’ll be able to see that there’s a huge difference both in style, color and feel. The new moodboard was based on the two interviews but also looking at what was wrong with first moodboard.
Moodboard can be used in many different ways, and I use them in different ways from time to time, they can used as an almost direct translation of style and color but it can also be used as a base inspiration. You’ll be able to see that in this case I took a lot of inspiration from feel and style when creating the look. When it came down the the avatar illustration it’s based heavily on both eastern and western animation style. The first thing that came to mind was the Gorillaz, it never used that as inspiration but it was something that was in the back of my head since I enjoy that style.
Speaking of the illustration, and in this case it was important to get that going before anything else since it was going to be the most time consuming, I started with a giant canvas in Photoshop. I use a Wacom tablet to sketch, if you’re thinking about getting one DO IT, but I used to use paper and pen before that and used my phone to bring it back to the computer.
After that I bring it right into Illustrator and start to recreate what I actually had in my head when I was sketching. Personally I don’t like to spend too much time on a sketch but I know those that spend a lot of time at the sketch stage. The benefit when spending more time is that you can get a better feel of it but personally the reason why I don’t is because I know how I want it to look and I’ve used illustrator long enough to understand each tool.
As you can see in these preview shots I’ve take aspects and inspiration from the moodboard and made the avatar the focus of the entire brand. The reason behind this is because the brand is very much a personal brand and on top of that it being a variety Twitch broadcaster we need to have a sharper and directed approach.
The reasons for doing previews early is to get the client and myself on to the right path. We want to be on the same page from here and that’s also why there’s only a few preview images. If at this stage something is off or wrong it can easily be addressed without having to go over everything again, even if that happens at a later stage it won’t be as big but rather smaller changes since the first preview was agreed upon.
It happens that I do minor changes to typefaces, icons and layout but they tend to stay about the same. Those small changes also isn’t made randomly but with careful consideration to the entire brand and knowledge that they will work with the final product.
Overlay animation (html/css)
I also created a animated in-game overlay with html and CSS. It isn’t the most advanced thing since it only runs on a 10 minute meta loop. All it does is display a PNG image that slides down from the top. There’s no need to greenscreen anything since it’s with a transparent background and all MMC needed to do was to pull it in with OBS. Leave a comment here or to me on Twitter if you want me to clean up and release the code for it!
Some of those smaller changes was made for the final version, as you can see above. Overall the theme was extended across all social media outlets and pulled into the in-game overlay. Looking at it from a distance everything meshes very well together and gives a great look into what you can expect from MMC. It’s high octane, entertaining stream and highly personal stream that is driven by MMC.
It comes down to such small things as the smirk on the avatar illustration to the warm colors. Even as far down as the iconography I created you can get a feeling that it was put together with a goal in mind. There’s also a very nice texture applied over everything, that texture gives it more life (grain has the same effect) that makes it feel more “real”. That’s a trick you can use to always make things feel less digital, you can’t get away from it completely but you trick both eye to think that the real texture also means that it is real and you can almost touch it.
Is this what you need and deserve? I’ve work with both partnered and non-partnered Twitch streamers and done so for over 3 years. For me this is full time and I’m dedicated to my clients and my craft. I do both branding, visual branding and consulting based on understanding you, your community and your channel. If that sounds interesting to you then you should check out my Twitch services/portfolio/client list and contact me right away.Twitch branding and consulting
End of the week! We’re here baby! Got some work to do this weekend and going to get the newsletter out as well (go subscribe in the sidebar). I also need to write the Monday article this week since I’m going to check out an apartment on Monday evening so I’ll have less time to finish it up. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday, unless you’re a newsletter subscriber and I’ll see you on Saturday for some extra content.
And yeah we’re doing a StreamerSpace test broadcast tomorrow, maybe, and I’ll let you know how that goes next week as well!