Scott Tsuchiyama

Interaction Designer

24

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Superpowers

I started off this project with a mind map, and quickly came to a pair of ideas that seemed most interesting: superpowers (I love comics) and favorite places in Nashville, where I live:

I spent some time listing out a number of possibilities for each, ultimately deciding to run with the superpowers idea. It struck me as I was putting the list together that there's a lot of overlap of powers among superheroes, just in different combinations. I liked the idea that you could take a series of 3-4 badges and put them together to "describe" a specific character.

My next step was to start sketching:


When considering my color palette, I remembered coming across something that Peter Olson (former VP of Web and Application Development at Marvel) posted a while back. It was a color decomposition of comic covers. I thought it would be neat to do something similar and put together a palette based on colors from comics.

My first thought was to pull colors from the older ranges of covers that you can see in that decomposition link above, but I ended up with too much variety. And while I wanted the badges to convey a fun and playful tone, much of the color from older Marvel works was also a bit too bold.

My next step was to pull out physical copies of some of my favorite, more recent series:


She-Hulk stood out for a couple reasons:
• The book itself carries the same sort of fun and playful tone I wanted to convey with the badges
• I really enjoyed a lot of the covers from the most recent run, and there were a couple in particular that use a good variety of color to work with.

Here's the cover I decided to pull my palette from:

Here's my first set of six badges:


Using the hexagonal shape allowed me to play around with combinations:

UPDATE 12/2/14:

I had some free time on the weekend and decided to revisit this project with a couple new ideas. A few updates:

• Despite the fact that the comic cover I pulled my colors from had a great variety, I ended up with a palette that was more green and drab than what I was going for. I decided to drop the light green/beige ones from the background and border, replacing the background with something a bit warmer and re-using another existing color for the border.

• The idea of combining the badges together made me think a bit about comic tropes. This led to a few badge ideas that really stretched beyond specific superpowers, and more into the territory of characteristics or defining events. I decided to follow that path, and shifted the project slightly to encompass both superpowers *and* more tongue-in-cheek comic tropes like "accidental powers" (Spiderman, Hulk) and "not actually dead" (Jean Grey/Phoenix, Superman).

Here's an updated set:

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