Case Studies

Case Study: J-Sharpie

By 20 August, 2015 No Comments

J-Sharpie approached me with a different mindset then what I’ve previously seen and it kind of took my by surprise. Yes he’s a gamer, but he’s also someone that is all about helping people on all facets of life. Keywords was gaming, inspiration and motivation. He wanted to draw from personal experience and his cultural heritage. You might actually know about J-Sharpie already, he was the guy that folded a thousand origami swans, not something he wanted to build on but that might be a reason to remember him.

The J-Sharpie brief

Me and J-Sharpie had a long e-mail exchange. I even used his e-mail to explain to people around me why how to identify people that are serious and why you need to spend time in researching your contact form. Anyway we had our long e-mail exchange in where we didn’t only discuss what I could do for him but a lot of different things. From the direction he wanted to take and the reasons why he wants to stream.  It was clear from the start that we would be able to work together and would have an exchange, both in ideas and philosophy.

We both wanted to have a calm, grown and relaxed feel to the entire branding. I’ll be the first to say that we didn’t agree on everything, but we we’re both clear on our reasoning on things and were able to work everything out through conversation. That’s always the best way to handle things, when something isn’t right and doesn’t feel it lands within the brand we set out to create you always hit the breaks. You re-evaluate exactly what direction it’s going in and why it diverges away from the original path. Then we talk until we can resolve, either by walking down the new path or adjusting the one we set out on.

The moodboard

J-Sharpie MoodboardAs you can see on this moodboard I’m going for a very calm feel. No screaming colors, nothing over the top and everything lines up with the goal we wanted to reach. I introduced big open landscapes and even if in the moodboard there is a blue tone over the entire setup we’re working towards a warm tone at the end. You can read more about that later and why we wanted that.

I didn’t want to take it too far with the Asian influences, me and J-Sharpie had a long discussion on where to take it. We didn’t want the brand to be Anime/Manga we wanted but still wanted it to be mature (even if anime/manga can be mature it’s also a style that will give a certain brand, a brand that we didn’t want).

J-Sharpie Avatar

J-Sharpie AvatarThe avatar went through some growing pains. The first attempt was off the mark, luckily we caught it at the sketch stage and not the final stage and move on to another sketch. This was also the moment where the conversation I mentioned above came in. We ended somewhere in the middle. Keeping inline with a more modern Asian style than traditional.

With that in mind the it was all about getting the lines to look right and the correct shapes. As you can see the clothing is based around what J-Sharpie actually likes to wear, adding a very personal touch like that can in many cases elevate the whole thing. In this case it was necessary since the face of the avatar isn’t filled with detail and would be hard to discern exactly who it is. Adding small touches like clothing or hairstyle will add a lot more than you first think.


J-Sharpie PreviewThe first preview have a tendency to really set the pace on the entire project. In this case, as you can see, I used the wrong name. That was an easy fix as well as updating the avatar, that’s also different here.

As for the overall style I took a lot of inspiration from Sashimonos (small banners historically worn by soldiers in feudal Japan, for identification during battles). Both for the usage of colors and patterns, meanwhile still keeping a modern touch to it. Again if I went too far in the literal translation we would have ended up with a very specific brand targeted at a different target audience then what we set out to target.

This was the first time I used the vertical schedule, it works, in most cases it actually looks better and you’re able to add a lot more information in the future. It something I’m going to push as a solution for future clients, at least if it works, I imagine that it won’t work in all cases.

Background animation

One thing you can’t see and I won’t actually show it, but believe me it’s there. I created a video parallax effect in After Effects by cutting an image into two pieces and slowly moving the background on the intro card. As a note to myself I would probably do it in JavaScript next time, exactly how that would work I’m not sure but that’s something I want to tackle and figure out the next time.

Final version

J-Sharpie Final VersionAs you can see there’s a lot of big images. They’re there to evoke certain feeling, a calmness and a warm tone. That warm tone comes from adding a layer style that gives everything a warm orange haze almost. The colors stil still come through and maintain the sleek modern style as well as highlighting that new emerging style from Asia.

The colors themselves range from pink to purple, using white to either block out or as a background. For the panels I did the opposite and used the purple as a background and white to highlight. My reasoning for that is since the background behind the panels is white, it’s better to give it some contrast instead of having a completely white block. That way they act more as a natural separator between the panels.

Here you also can see the banners for both Twitter and Twitch, they didn’t need that much and again using images to again keep with the whole theme.

For those that like to read the case studies I have some great news there will be a lot coming. For those that don’t I’ll try to get some other content in BUT there will also be a podcast starting next week. I’ve interviewed StreamPro, TwitchAlerts and as this post goes out I’ve talked with GameWisp. In those podcasts you will get a lot of information that isn’t at all about my case studies so it’s a good balance. So hopefully for you that come for that content will appreciate that.




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