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The Fine Art of Finishing Others

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My latest mission: Create a tumblr to promote the launch of Gail Carriger’s new steampunk book series for Young Adults: Finishing School.

Content will consist of the lessons, tips and tricks as learned by the victorian ladies-in-training in the book, who attend a finishing school that teaches them not just the finer arts, but fun stuff like deceit and espionage and assassination. The Victorian setting means design of content will be fun! It’s marketing, yes, but digital storytelling in a way, and I live for this stuff.

The first book, Etiquette & Espionage hits stores on Tuesday, but I soft launched last week with a little teaser campaign consisting mostly of “coming soon posters” indicating this steampunky adventure comes loaded with vampires and werewolves and airships and mechanical robots. The later few were not nearly as well received as the “School Supplies” poster I came up with (nor were as clever), but the design process for all has been really fun.  I can’t wait to get to the actual lessons!

 

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LAUNCHED: The official website for Lemony Snicket’s new book series! (And it is so secret you can only find it on the internet.)

With the upcoming release of Book One of Lemony Snicket’s new book series I wanted to create a site that would be both appealing to the legions of fans the author made with his previous series, but also bring a new generation of middle-grade readers to his books. With the town itself being one of the most interesting aspects of the book and sites like Poptropica being one of the most popular destinations for today’s generation of middle-grader readers - I thought immediately what we needed was some parallax scrolling fun through the book’s town. 

Fortunately for me, the book’s illustrator Seth (who created some of the most awesome book art I have seen in forever) featured a roadster on the cover, and that was that. It’s up and live, but there’s still much more work to do. This is what I call Phase One. With three more books to go, I have at least 8 phases to go.  My intention is to really flesh out the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, leaving a place online that fans can turn to while they are waiting for the next book to arrive.

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Approval Seeking Design

TASK: (direct quote) "Build a basic, single-page site for Chris Colfer’s debut novel. Just something we can link ads to".

DESIGN:

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I don’t like to do “basic”, especially when I’m designing something myself, and I certainly don’t like to build things “just to link to”. What’s the point of doing all that work if no one sticks around? But I’m not paid to give lessons on the purpose of websites, so the whole task aside, I knew the author’s notoriety would bring it a lot of teenage traffic, and if high school taught me anything, it’s that I care A LOT about what teenagers think.

The whole parallax scrolling trend in web design was juuust starting to peek, and since I always like to show up late to a trend, I took a stab at it.

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(Falling kids + moving clouds) x scrolling effect = STICKINESS

Proof via Twitter:

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Then I slapped on an animated intro using Adobe Edge Animate (known as just Edge Preview before it was cool) and I aimed for awesomeness…

Not entirely sure I reached it, but someone with the word “pervert” in their username thought so….

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Hear that webby awards?!

RESULT: As with most parallax sites, it’s a bit of a slow load, but I think all of his fans were happy. Who am I kidding though? Chris Colfer’s fans adore him so much they could have linked to his wikipedia page and they’d gush…

But CLEARLY it didn’t stop me from trolling through twitter to seek approval from teenagers. 

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"So much win." Putting that one on the cover of my portfolio.

Check out the site here.

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