For Kong, we wanted to do something distinct from Path's refined sensibilities. Emphasize the frenetic energy of the Kong format and embrace the artifacts that come along with GIF compression. Along with a focus on color and geometry, we incorporated dither patterns into the brand, a unique element that had yet to be owned by any one brand.
While character- and mark-driven logos were explored, ultimately the hand drawn wordmark felt most appropriately in Kong's world of color, boxes and motion.
Kong is about seeing your friends' faces in motion, shared casually and without the pressures of other social networks. A post on Kong is a short GIF recorded on your phone's front facing camera, highly compressed and sped up like an old slapstick silent film. Kong's experience design reflects this context: minimal and raw; colorful UI elements that run into each other; colors and patterns randomly generated from a user's name.
As social networking fatigue sets in for many of us, Kong is meant as an lightweight antidote.
When I joined, Path had already established a strong visual aesthetic, but hadn't yet established a standard for the illustrations. After working with a brush & ink style on the Path blog, we transitioned to this clear line style when we updated to a new, simpler web design.
This style proved to be informative and flexible, so we used it in Path's new user experience, as well, as a way to introduce concepts and features.
Icon designs from a few different projects. Distilling a concept down to a single clear mark is always a delight. Shown here: UI icons for Graphic.ly; web and mobile icons for Path and Kong; board game mechanic icons from a personal project; emotions for the Stickmoticons sticker pack; and a camera icon sketch.
Before joining Path, I worked with Dave Morin on the brand identity of his venture capital group, Slow Ventures. He wanted rocketship and astronaut imagery, with a classic illustrative feel. In addition, we created the mark of the group's annual retreat, the astronaut helmet and crossed skis.
Path Launch Posters
With each major Path version, a t-shirt and poster were designed and screenprinted to commemorate the hard work and crunch time from the team over the months leading up to release. Each poster featured a playful illustration riffing on the features or secret codename of the release. We continued the tradition with the release of Kong.
Path Event Shirts
Alongside the release posters, t-shirts were printed to commemorate each major Path version release. Other shirts pictured here were used as gifts at events or for guests in our office. The goal with all of our shirts was to create a meaningful conversation starter, light on branding, with an illustrative focus. On the sleeve or reverse of each shirt is printed a modest P logomark or Path wordmark. This practice allows the shirts to be playful and wearable, and not simply billboards disguised as apparel.
Stickers – the kind used in messaging – are large emoji designed as a communication shorthand. In a context where more nuanced meaning is muffled when rendered in basic text, stickers help illuminate meaning. For Path's in house sticker packs, we aimed to provide a "ramp" for users not familiar with stickers, which while popular in Asian countries, are still catching on in the US. We began with the design of the five core Path emotions, and adapted them into the everyman Jake character.*
*Note: the character was named while I was out sick for the day!
Sleep Data Visualization
One of the many things users can post in Path is the sleep and awake moments. When a user posts they are going to sleep, the app turns off notifications and hides the users feed from them so they can focus on getting rest. When they post the complementary awake moment, the app opens up again.
As a result, we had access to a lot of data on our users' sleep habits (anonymous, of course). Working with Path's lead data scientist, Alessandro Gagliardi, we sliced this data up and looked at how different activities affected one's sleep pattern – checking in at the gym or a university, age range, gender or use of the Nike+ running integration. This data visualization was created using a combination of Illustrator and Processing.
With a photo-driven design based on Path's cover photos, our goal as a design team was to use this update to establish and expand the brand's web style. Adding a values, team and jobs page, this redesign created a structure upon which future web projects could expand on. We also created a logged in space for users, providing a foothold for a forthcoming web client.
SF Cult Posters
SF Cult and Psychotronic Film Society, an organization in San Francisco devoted to truly bizarre cinema, put together a series of three cult classic double features, screened at the Victoria Theater in the Mission. SF Cult's founder, friend and film buff Dave Cowen, invited me to create screenprints for the event. Limited editions of 40 prints each, posters were sold at the screenings. Each focuses on imagery and themes one of the two films in each double feature.
Nice Stiff is an exquisite corpse (get it?) by myself and writer Joe Lewandowski. Starting with a random seed image, Joe and I alternated writing and illustrating pieces based on the previous installment. Hosted over on our Tumblr, we continued with the game for six months before pausing to focus on other work. While the project remains dormant, we hope to revive it sooner rather than later.