On Character Sheets

The job of a graphic designer is not to make things look pretty; it is to communicate information. Today, we were talking about character sheets in roleplaying games on Twitter, specifically the Vampire: the Masquerade sheet. Daniel writes that his biggest issue with that sheet “is the lack of emphasis on the core theme of Humanity vs Beast”. A look at the sheet he was talking about not only illustrates his issue, but also illustrates a fatal flaw in the character sheet: there is no hierarchy of information. Nothing on the sheet tells you what is important for the game: everything on the sheet has the same weight or visual density and becomes a wall of nothing. (The wall of nothing would be especially troublesome when that sheet has information added to it by the player.)
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Crazy good news to start the year off right–I arrived home this afternoon to find out that one of the games I worked on this summer has been officially announced. AEG’s Nightfall, a deck-construction game about vampires and other undead nasties, is coming out in early 2011! (And, if you head over to the Nightfall website, you can win one of 100 copies of the game!)
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Business Card Basics

When designing an identity, the primary element that spawns the entire creative package depends on the client. Are you like FedEx, where your primary contact with potential customers is the delivery truck? Are you like Hot Wheels, where your presence in the marketplace is the packaging? When I look at marketing myself, it’s the one-on-one contact. I’ll be heading to the GAMA Trade Show in a little over two weeks, and my hope is to make several contacts there and hope that some of them will pay off in freelancing opportunities that grow into a great relationship. But to do that, I’ll need something to leave behind with the potential client, something that is going to be my main point of contact with them. That item is a business card.

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