Role: Digital Art Director, User Interface Designer, Content Designer
After proving the success of a real-time digital card collecting game, and establishing a market for digital cards, how do you translate the platform to an app that cannot offer real-time, current events tied into some type of gameplay? That was the challenge in 2015, when after the success of three mobile trading sports apps), Topps Digital waded into its first entertainment license—Star Wars. Would diehard sports fans gravitate to an experience where all a fan could do was collect, trade and complete sets?
Based on the UI of the sports apps, I altered the experience slightly to reflect a lack of real-time data or gameplay. I conceived and implemented the original UI design for Star Wars Card Trader, overseeing a team of content designers to build the cards, packs and marketing materials. To establish the visual language, I conducted a brief round of surveys among members of the established Star Wars community (on social media, at conventions) to identify a key visual touchpoint for an expansive franchise—we needed to find the most recognizable, all-encompassing visual that would appeal to all ages of fans spanning the original trilogy, three prequels, a cartoon and a brand-new film. The solution: the iconic Star Wars opening crawl.
I set a palette rooted in black, white and yellow with reds, blues and tans for accent. The original font was Franklin Gothic, the font used in the crawl and early packaging. The display font is always Lucasfilm's current global branding font, and we set it all on a twinkling background of stars.
Pivoting to set completion and a melding feature offered depth to our intrigued fans, but the timing was perfect— Star Wars Card Trader launched just as the first wave of Episode VII trailers and photos were released, and the resurgence in Star Wars nostalgia coinciding with excitement for the film created a groundswell of support, pushing the app to the top of the App Store rankings for entertainment games and creating a thriving secondary market