Digital Design Projects
NBA Finals Graphics
The first week of my internship at Sports Illustrated coincided with the week of the 2017 NBA finals, and I didn't waste any time getting started. I was tasked with two big digital projects on deadline, which I created and adapted based on the results of games 4 and 5.
Animating a Shareable .gif for Social
The first of those two projects was to create a gif for SI's social media accounts to share immediately after the championship game. With the Warriors leading off the finals, I created a short animated video highlighting the team's predicted 16-0 and record. In the span of about six hours on my third day at the internship, I created a storyboard, pitched a concept, and created a short video for social media using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe After Effects.
Creating a storyboard was really effective in quickly executing a concept and figuring out how it could work as a clean loop. Above is the original storyboard I pitched to the design director, managing editor and special projects editor of SI. When the Warriors lost game 4, and the record didn't go to 16-0, we adapted the concept slightly. By creating each element as a separate composition in After Effects, I was able to rearrange the timeline and make edits very quickly.
T1 Website Art
Leading up to a predicted Warriors win in game 5, I was tasked with creating the dominant webpage art for Lee Jenkins' story that would be the lead in Sports Illustrated Magazine and on si.com following the finals. In between edits on the Warriors gif, I began exploring several concepts for a graphic that could be effective on the website and on Twitter.
One of the coolest parts of the story was the description of the text messages sent to Kevin Durant following last year's season, which ended in a Cavs win. I decided to visualize that conversation, mimicking the style of an iMessage conversation, and have it lead into the headline of the story.
The graphic took over the homepage of SI.com following the NBA finals and was widely shared on social media.
Off the Board Podcast
In between designing my pages for print, the special products editor regularly gives me digital projects to work on. One of my favorites was getting to create the cover for SI's newest Podcast, Off the Board. The podcast is hosted by Jimmy Traina, and has a wide range of guest athletes who he interviews about anything and everything.
The only direction I was given for this was to be inspired by Las Vegas and sports betting boards. They wanted this podcast to have a different feel than the other SI podcasts, and to convey a fun and lighthearted mood.
I spent a little over half a day sketching and then creating as many unique concepts as I could, sticking with the Vegas and conversation motifs. I pulled a pleasing color scheme from a photo sports betting board and used it in different ways across the concepts. I then narrowed down the list and eliminated ideas that were too similar and sent the editor a list of 21 different choices to pick from.
Much to my surprise, the editor just picked a number and didn't think that it needed any further edits. The next day, the podcast was launched on iTunes and SoundCloud and was promoted heavily on social media.
SI's Fashionable 50
One of the biggest projects I've gotten to contribute to at Sports Illustrated was creating the digital presentation for the second annual Fashionable 50 story. I wireframed and designed the story for si.com, and created several assets for social media, including motion graphics and custom Snapchat filters.
Digital Story Design
To begin this project, I was given a draft of the story's print design, which was art directed by Stephen Goggi. I used his custom numbers and color palette to design a digital presentation that would be desktop and mobile friendly.
The story was broken into 3 pages: a homepage, a top 20 list and a list of awards. I worked with SI's design director, special projects editor and developer, as well as the story's writer, to work out the most effective user experience. Using last year's presentation was really helpful for me to spot flaws and pitch ideas for improving them for this year.
I created an extensive template and style sheet for the whole presentation. The result was a story that made for an easy scrolling experience that felt cohesive with the magazine piece, but styled in a more digital friendly way.
The full project can be viewed here.
For this project, I created a couple of motion graphics for the social team to use to promote the story and event. Below is an animated bumper version of the event's logo, and an animated version of the cover that I created.
Because Fashionable 50 has a red carpet event attached to the story, they requested a custom Snapchat filter that could be used during the event.
The challenge of this project was creating something that didn't cover too much of the screen, but included the event logo, SI's logo and the sponsor's logo in a way that could be read on top of a busy background. I pitched over 20 unique ideas for filters, and we ended up choosing one with a vector illustration that I created of a red carpet, paired with transparent lights to complete the scene a bit.
The most exciting part of this was seeing Russell Westbrook post the filter on his Snapchat story during the event!