During my second year of university, I had the opportunity to work with Stockton-based eCommerce design firm Visualsoft on a live brief that they set for me. The brief they set me was to create a mobile marketplace app centred around the comic book industry, a place where fans could go to find the best deals on comic book memorabilia, as well as a number of other features. After an initial brief was set, I came up with a number of different ideas for directions we could go with the app and met with a small team of designers to pitch my ideas. The idea they loved the most was 'Origin', a play on the comic book origin story and the act of finding the origin of a product, as this would be the main focus of the app. The Origin project was a new experience to me, with an end goal to create the finished branding for a new company and design their new app for the iPhone app store. The client wanted a gritty style, that worked with some of the messy ink comic book illustrations I had shown him, with a mix of the clean digital design that works so well in app design. This was created through mixing digital and analogue processes to create an art direction for the app/company that fit the brief and the audience it was aimed at. This project was very much client-oriented, meaning there would be constant communication with the team at Visualsoft over email and also weekly update meetings in their offices where I had the chance to show the progress I was making on the project. This project gave me valuable experience with working with and for a client in a professional setting.


At the end of the project, I had created the logo (flat black and working colour), a letterhead, 2 business cards and a compliments slip for the company branding and stationary. For this, I used a mixture of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. As for the app, I used Adobe Photoshop to create 23 page designs for the 5 sections of the app; product search, profile, events, store search and discounts page. As well as this, I also created a mini concept animation, using Adobe Flash, for what the splash screen would look like if it were to be made and an ios app icon. I really like the final outcome of the designs and so did the client. This was extremely motivating, as it was throughout the project to see the way they reacted to the designs I presented. Because the designs were to be made for mobile, I had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things in a short space of time. The biggest learning experience was learning how to wireframe an app completely from scratch and designing with the user's experience in mind at all times. Though it was difficult to get my head around everything, I learnt a lot of new things and it gave me a different outlook on this type of design. This project gave me a brilliant opportunity to develop my digital design skills and to broaden my way of thinking when it comes to what design is for.