Vers is a new card game that provides players with the tools to learn how to rap in a fun and engaging environment. I worked on this project with three other designers from Scout, a student-led Design Studio at Northeastern University. We created not only the branding for the game, but the designs for packaging, instructions, and cards. We collaborated to create a cohesive product with a visual language that was bold, wacky, and colorful to jumpstart a fun, creative environment for players.
BRanding & Visual Language
We began the project by meeting with our client playing the game and talking about some of his preliminary designs. By looking at various card games, such as Cards Against Humanity, we sought to better understand why those games are popular. Our team then utilized brand exercises to develop a deeper understanding of Vers. We also collected various illustrations and drawings styles that resonated with our client to inspire the visual language of the game. Through this exercise we discovered that our client was drawn to a surreal and bold illustration style. Our client wanted to demonstrate through the visuals that the game did not take itself seriously, and therefore, neither should the players.
After we completed the brand exercises and looked at various visual languages we began creating designs for the category cards and four different base card editions. We began developing the cards digitally on Illustrator, we came to the realization that the cards felt too designed. They did not have the random, organic feel that our client wanted. This led us to make our own textures and hand drawn elements for the cards.
I helped create hand drawn textures that were incorporated into the background as well as helped brainstorm items that would be on the cards. I also explored various color schemes and combined different textures and illustrations together to maintain a bold and vibrant visual language.
After completion of the cards, we began to design the packaging. To contrast with the crazy, vibrant cards we sought a more subtle visual language for the game box. We explored various packaging design concepts and agreed that the idea of an colorful amorphous dripping shape covering the box would spark interest and curiosity.
I created several iterations of shapes, vibrant in color, with a realistic dripping boarder that engaged all sides of the box. To complete the design I explored different text placement of basic game information to attract customers.
Since the instructions are the first part of the game that the players interacted with, we wanted them to be fun. This inspired us to create a read aloud pep talk for the players to increase enthusiasm for the game. We also wanted the instructions to be a visual language bridge between the minimal design of the packaging and the wacky and vibrant design of the cards. We chose a tri-fold format to provide optimal layout space for all game play information and incorporated a large illustration on the outside of the instructions as well as small illustration on the inside to prevent it feeling like a pamphlet.
Working closely with the client, we created a clear concise instructions in a fun relaxed voice. I then typeset and organized the instruction content to ensure legibility and allow for players to read the instructions quickly and efficiently.
Unifying visual language
During product testing players felt a disconnect between the packaging, instructions, and cards. In order to make the game feel more cohesive we used the same color scheme for the packaging and the instructions and incorporated illustrations onto the cards to correspond with the instructions. The new design approach bridged the gap between the packaging and cards.
I edited the background texture for the instructions to relate to the packaging by changing the texture in Photoshop to have a similar blue and orange hue to the packaging color scheme. My teammate, who created the illustrations, and I worked closely to ensure that the large illustration and the background created an engaging composition on the instructions.