Imagine a world….scratch that! Imagine that there IS NO world….yet! In Ecos you cooperatively construct the planet’s first super continent. You terraform it with rocky mountains and beautiful vegetation, you even populate it with various species of animals!
While you’re constructing this continent cooperative, you’re also vying to do so in a way that will benefit you the most.
This easy to learn, difficult to master game by John D. Clar is scheduled for release at Esssen Spiel 2019 from Alderac Entertainment Group. It’s already gained a loyal following and some amazing industry praise.
What in the world is a Bosk?!? Well, it’s a small forested area or thicket of trees. Coincidentally, there are little cardboard trees in this game too! In Bosk, you run though an entire year starting with Spring, ending with Winter.
At it’s core, Bosk is an area control game. The fun part however is how you get there. During the game, you’ll plant your trees in Spring score them in Summer, their leaves will fall in Autumn and Winter brings the game end.
By Canadian Designers Erica Bouyouris and Daryl Andrews with Art by the talented Kwanchai Moriya, and published by Floodgate Games, this game is sure to hit my table often.
You’re the Mayor of your very own Tiny Town…but it’s empty! Carefully place your resources to construct cottages, temples, stores, and many other buildings to develop your Tiny Town!
Such a simple game. Such a joy to work on. The whimsical artwork made this project so fun to develop. The approach was simple. Add a graphic design gameplay layer to the components that allowed the beautiful artwork to be featured, while still keeping the game fluid and uninhibited.
Destiny. Every decision we make, every action we take shapes our destiny. In Call to Adventure, players compete to craft the greatest destiny for their hero. They play cards to build their character, cast runes to overcome obstacles, all while choosing a path of heroism or villainy.
Technically, this project has a little bit of everything. Traditional paper printing of cards and books, fabric printing for the neoprene game mat and bag, and even custom plastic runes with painted inlays. Getting all of these pieces to work takes some fiddling, but in the end, the outcome was fantastic.
Bad Maps is our first project with Floodgate Games. It’s a crazy-fun game that has you controlling 4 pirate minions on an island, betting on which one will reach that elusive ‘X’ that marks the spot! The twist? Well, everyone else is ALSO controlling those minion too! While we weren’t responsible for the initial graphic design on this game, we were very pleased with our contribution to finish it. Congrats to Ben and the team at Floodgate on a successful project!
The third and most prolific in AEG’s Thunderstone Series came to Kickstarter in 2017. It’s hugely successful campaign made it possible to produce the best product possible with amazing components and artwork. We were very proud to have designed the visuals for this epic game from tip to tail, oh, and the Kickstarter campaign too :)
Another title in AEG’s “Big in Japan” line, Greedy Kingdoms brings fantastic Japanese gameplay to an English-speaking audience. Bruno Faidutti has done a masterful job of retooling and enriching this English version of the game. based on it’s Japanese counterpart. I had a great time with the graphic design of the game cards, box, and rulebook. In the end, this game was as fun looking as it was to play.
One event that everyone looks forward to at Gen Con each year is AEG’s “Big Game Night” where they get to play new and often yet-to-be-released titles from Alderac Entertainment Group. This Tshirt was designed as part of the event experience.
Standing out in a crowd is pretty important when you attend a conference as an exhibitor. AEG asked me to design a series of curved fabric panels for their booth at the GAMA industry show in Reno, NV. I didn’t realize exactly how large they were until I saw photos…Just incredible!
AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) new game “Scorpius Freighter” is the most ‘Euro’ type game they have produced to date. I was pleased to help them finish up the visuals on this space-themed smuggling worker placement game. In addition to creating the game box, player boards and rulebook, I was also asked to prepare all of the files for mass-production in China.
NeoLore Networks is always looking for fun and innovative ways to reach out to their client base and new potential customers. In this case, they wanted to advertise their Data Backup service. Our solution proposition was to roll back the clocks and produce a c. 1930s Newspaper, complete with ads (all NeoLore of course) and human interest stories. To show the benefits of the Backup Service, I reinterpreted the value statements into a retro-themed data visualization. This direct mail piece was very well received and had an excellent response percentage.
From the mind of Fergus Blair from Cogwright Games, Underleague made it’s debut on Kickstarter in 2017 with a roar. The game revolves around a monster pit fighting league where players bet on which beast will win or lose. I was very happy to have provided the graphic design for the Game Box, Rulebook and Card Frames. Look for more from Cogwright Games coming out soon!
Gingham Wisdom Workshops was looking to create an impact with their first online presence. Working closely with the client, we assessed the user experience needs and crafted visuals that would maximize usability and responsiveness while keeping the brand and service offering front and forward. Once the visual template was locked, I partnered with a local developer to bring the project from staging into production.
Since the site's creation, Gingham Wisdom Workshops has enjoyed great success with their new digital home.
The Bank of Canada Museum needed to promote their Decoding E-money Travelling Exhibition. I sat down with the project lead and museum writer to determine the needs for the video. Once we had a rough outline drafted, I created the video leveraging a pre-existing framework and customized it in Adobe After Effects to conform to our needs.
ZaZaZa Pizza Restaurant needed a new look for the Web. They also took the opportunity to move virtual homes to a more robust, responsive platform, SiteBenefits.ca. Working with the client and Peter at Site Benefits, I designed a fully responsive site that conveyed the look and feel that the client had in mind. In the end, the site added some much needed functionality while still remaining true to the brand the products it offered.
The next big new game from designer John Clair to use the 'Card Crafting' mechanic hit Kickstarter with a splash. They needed graphics for the kickstarter page that would reflect the Victorian look of the game while engaging users to back the project.
Each year, Alcatel-Lucent attended dozens of shows, conventions and conferences. While I was with the company I had the pleasure of creating a bunch of the assets and show materials necessary to promote their products and make them shine.
Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) was developing another game set in the same world as their award winning game, Harbour. I was responsible for creative direction and end-to-end graphic design of the game components, packaging, and rulebook.
While working at the Bank of Canada Museum, we created a travelling exhibition all about engravers for bank notes and stamps. My contribution to the project was art direction, lead and production design of the exhibit itself and it's promotional materials. The key here was to create something that conveyed the beautiful textures and artistry that embody an engraver's work. To accomplish this, my design of rich walnut wooden panels and brushed steel was the perfect match.
Corporate identity refresh for a local Ottawa board game retailer, PlaytimeGames.ca.
For "Custom Heroes", a bocard game published by Alderac Entertainment Group in 2017, I was responsible for the UX and Graphic Design of the entire package which included the cards, player aids, box and rulebook. It was imperative that the players be able to ascertain the value of their hands at a glance. Card design and specifically the placement of items was imperative in achieving this goal.
The game has gone on to receive glowing reviews by industry experts like Tom Vasel from The Dice Tower.
After selling his successful butcher shop, my client ran towards his real passion: collectible sports cards. I had no idea how popular it was to take part in the opening of a brand-new box of sports cards....LIVE on the internet! This was a sales model that I had never seen before. After meeting with the client and several phone calls, we came up with a 'game plan'. The site had to be usable, accessible, and above all, responsive, since today's young adults and teens (the site's largest contingent of users) are accessing the web on mobile devices more and more. In the end, we came up with an aggressive, spot-centric look that put the products centre stage.
AEG had picked up a game from designer Bryan Merlonghi, Cutthroat Kingdoms. Loosely based on Game of Thrones, this negotiation, area control card game had some stunning character art created for it. Unfortunately they weren't happy with the direction of the graphic design; it was too dark and didn't convey the gameplay elements clearly. This is where I came in. I took the character art as a base and researched what would be an appropriate design treatment to brighten the cards up and make the gameplay elements clear as a bell. In the end, I chose to use frame art from authentic Medieval illuminated manuscripts (circa 1300 ce.). They drove home the realism of the cards and went a long way to put the players "IN THE GAME".
Identity design for Scott Buckingham Media.
The Works Restaurant. A chain of nearly 30 stores spanning all throughout Ontario (and other parts of Canada) is no stranger to expansion. Starting with 1 store in Ottawa, they grew to 7 in just a few years. All 26 stores are now part of the MTY Group who own and operate over 40 brands of food service companies. Well, all this expansion needs some good material to back it up! Through the use of media accolades, data visualization of market trends and good old fashioned graphic design, I put together a tri-fold booklet to showcase the organization and entice new franchisees.
Picture it, the Savoy Ballroom, New York City, 1930. The battling bands of Cab Calloway and Chick Webb competing for the dancers' attention. This golden age of design didn't have the benefit of computers any other digital aids. Signs and Posters were hand painted by trained artists and masters. There were no 'Fonts' used...it was all lettering.
The Ottawa Swing Dance Society was celebrating it's 16th anniversary and wanted to pay homage to this golden era of Swing. It only made sense to advertise it that way, too. I performed extensive research of what styles, graphic design, and fashions were 'in' during this Swingin' time, so I could create contemporary campaign in the style of it's predecessors from the '30s. By using fonts, colour palettes and design techniques reminiscent of the time, I feel that the materials created did a wonderful job of setting the scene for this special event.
When you want dice, you want a LOT of dice. Gatekeeper Games launched their Bulk Dice kickstarter campaign with over 150 sets to choose from in 16 different colours! The page was going to be long...really long, so they needed some help keeping it all organized so that backers could make their choices easily.
The Works runs an LTO (Limited Time Offer) every month of the year. Each LTO has a double-sided table talker, an in-store 2x3' poster, and a menu insert. As with most of the Works' collateral, 'more is better'. Like their burgers, their marketing pieces are overflowing with good stuff. To accommodate this, knowing how to present a lot of information in not a lot of space is a definite asset.
One of NeoLore Networks, a local Ottawa-based IT service provider's problem is educating potential customers on exactly how 'bad' their current "IT Guy" is. Companies often just assume that network downtime, and lack of prompt response to it requests are just how things are; NeoLore (vehemently) disagrees.
To try and put a magnifying glass on how serious the issue is, I suggested we take an approach that tied your company's 'IT Health' to the concept of personal health and safety. I found a fantastic WWII Army First Aid Kit on eBay that I thought would make an excellent backdrop for an infographic illustrating the benefits of what a "GOOD" IT Guy can provide.
The response to the campaign was overwhelming. Clients loved the novel approach and the thematic visuals.
It was moving time for Beckta, one of Ottawa's finer dining establishments. With a reputation of fantastic service and succulent food, the move from being tucked away in the downtown core to a newly-renovated and restored historic building on Elgin street meant a huge increase in visibility.
The only request from Stephen Beckta was to have the brand have some sort of link to the building's history. Taking that note to heart, I dug down and did as much research on the building as I could. The architectural features of the building were understated but elegant. One thing that stood out, however were the use of an art deco representation of a swan. "This is it", I thought. And it was. Beckta LOVED it. It was elegant, clean, modern, and also paid homage to the roots of the establishment. Mission accomplished. Bon Appetit.
As Canadians, we hold a very special place in our hearts for Remembrance Day. At the Bank of Canada Museum, we put on a mini exhibition each year to honour what so many gave up for us. For this exhibition, we took a look at the cost of Canada's war efforts in WWII. The exhibition focused topics from Victory War Bonds to the Red Cross's distribution of funds to the bank notes and coins used during the time. As we get further and further away from this historic period, the younger generations have a more difficult time understanding and appreciating what exactly what going on and it's impact on Canada.
I chose to create a data visualization to succinctly communicate the hard facts of the exhibition. Bite sized pieces of data are often easier to digest than large volumes of text and images. In addition to laying out the data in an easy to read infographic, the use of historic war bond posters issued by the Canadian Government helped to emphasize the issues.
Graphic design for The Works roll-up conference banners.
Za Za Za Pizza delivered hard to beat wood-fired pizzas to the National Capital Area. The owner had an idea that, perhaps the menu could resemble an old-fashioned playbill from Broadway. I thought it was an intriguing idea.
Historically, playbills used a plethora of fonts all jam-packed, competing for attention. To recreate this, I researched the fonts that were used in the era and chose to include those and a few other contemporary substitutes to get the old 'playbill' look.
Once the fonts were chosen, the name of the game was 'typography'. Laying out all these blocks of text vying for the readers focus was a difficult task to do since the modern approach is to have a unified layout where all parts work together. In the end, I am very pleased with the effect and final menu.
Logo design for Gingham Wisdom
TVO Kids's Show "Prime Radicals" is a math-based show for kids that leads children through games, crafts and songs, all with roots in math. I partnered with a local web developer to create a fun, interactive site full of games, music and crafty activities that kept it's young users engaged and captivated. Since this site was going to be aimed to a younger audience, one which I had little experience with, it required research and a competitive analysis to craft a direction for the visuals of the site. Overall, I was very pleased to be responsible for all the visuals, illustration, UX design, and interface.
The Bank of Canada Museum needed to promote their Voices from the Engraver Travelling Exhibition. I sat down with the project lead and museum writer to determine the needs for the video. Creation of the video involved using a pre-existing framework and adapting it to our needs. In order to have the audio track match the on-screen visuals, I needed to remix the music so that what the user was seeing was inline with what they were hearing.
8-foot Mosaic of a penny made out of pennies! 16500 to be exact. To commemorate the minting of the last penny, I made this mosaic as a part of the Centimental Journey exhibition at the Bank of Canada Currency Museum.
Art direction and design for "Swindle!", the Bank of Canada Museum's temporary exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History.
Art direction and design for the Bank of Canada Museum's "Mining the Miners" temporary, off-site exhibition hosted at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, QC.
Art direction and design for the Bank of Canada Museum's "Voices from the Engraver — Small Spaces Edition" travelling exhibition.
Graphic design for NeoLore Networks' corporate kit folder.
Art direction, design, and infographic for NeoLore Network's direct mail "Band-aid" campaign.
Graphic design and hand lettering for Iconoclast's CD release commemorative tee.
John, Todd, Bryan and all the other fabulous folks at AEG have been so generous over the last year. To show my appreciation, I cobbled together an Infographic Poster featuring a bunch of AEG games that either used dice or cards as the main component.
The result was a super fun poster that helps you decide what game to bring to the table for your next game night!
Promotional poster series for Alderac Entertainment Group's line of amazing games!
Shirt design for the AEG card game, Custom Heroes!
For close to 10 years, I’ve had the pleasure of designing marketing and promotional materials for The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro. It started out with a small job here and there for the then 3 stores in Ottawa (while I was working as a server at the Westboro location!). Since then, it has grown into a steady flow of fun and creative projects for the now over 25 Works locations across Ontario.
I wanted to do something special to convey my gratitude for the continued support and patronage they have shown me over the years. The result? Personalized Moleskine notebooks from www.JenniBick.com with a hand-lettered quotation on the inside cover page.
Player Card Backs for the Mystic Vale board game.
Art Direction, Graphic Design, Logo, and Packaging Design for Outlander the Series: Destiny Dice by Toy Vault Inc.