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The Periodic Table of Storytelling


Now in a new clickable format. Which elements of storytelling will you recognize?

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The Periodic Table of Storytelling


Now in a new clickable format. Which elements of storytelling will you recognize?

Stories make use of recurring ideas called "tropes" which repeat across genres and through time. The community at TVTropes.org catalogues these tropes in an enormous wiki, collecting examples for every imaginable trope with light-hearted glee.

I created the Periodic Table of Storytelling as an introduction to TVTropes; it's an infographic that organizes the basic building blocks of storytelling into a familiar format. It's my most popular work, with over 300,000 views, and now it's available in a clickable format, so you can jump directly to any trope that piques your interest.

Chipotle Summer Lootfest


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Chipotle Summer Lootfest


William Espey, Chipotle's creative director, gave a very inspiring speech to my User Prototyping class about authentic branding through channeling truth and the responsibility designers have to use our powers for good. When our teacher asked us to create a proposal for a Chipotle vending machine, I decided my team and I could do even better.

I actually think that this is a great idea, creating engagement on a completely different level and uniting both real experience with the virtual of social media. I think that this group nailed it.
— William Espey, Creative Manager, Chipotle Mexican Grill

National Renewable Energy Laboratory


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National Renewable Energy Laboratory


In summer 2012, as part of a six-person team, I helped to create branding materials for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) here in Denver. NREL was constructing a new building called the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), and they needed help explaining what it was for. All of the documentation for ESIF was written by brilliant engineers, so it was extremely technical and highly esoteric to anyone lacking an engineering degree. My primary contribution to the branding project was to research the issues and terminology used in the facility's technical documentation and translate it into language readily accessible by local citizens, lawmakers, and media.

My team and I transformed a pile of impenetrable technical documents into a booklet that NREL can use to tell their story to the people who need to hear it. The results thrilled NREL's leadership and led to a permanent art installation now on display in the facility.

I also personally created a pen-and-paper game for NREL's Visitor Center. The game's purpose was to provide a "take-away" for field trips to NREL which would help families learn to save money on their electric bill. This created a lasting NREL-branded presence in their homes, encouraged family bonding, and furthered the Visitor Center's goal of educating the public about energy, using gamification techniques to ensure interest.

The World Needs Heroes


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The World Needs Heroes


I hold a deep-seated belief that heroes are what the world needs today. This commitment to heroism sustains me when times are tough; it is a useful belief for the mental toughness it instills, and I would like to see it spread.

Click here to download this poster set, sized for use as desktop wallpaper.

Understanding Story Tropes


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Understanding Story Tropes


A spiritual sequel to the Periodic Table of Storytelling, this poster series aims to teach people about the fascinating world of story tropes. Stories are humanity's longest-lasting edifice, and they're essential to understanding how people relate to each other, but anyone who's tried to write a good story knows they don't just happen. Figuring out what makes a good story, how they're put together, and what makes them tick is a fascinating field of study.

Storytelling is an essential pillar of who I am and how and why I design things. If you'd like to learn more about storytelling and why it's so important to graphic design, take a look at my Design Through Storytelling page.

CoffeeQuest


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CoffeeQuest


If this coffeeshop were real, I would eat there every day. I love games of every kind, and I have yet to find a better way of making friends than playing games together, but this way lies recursion: it's hard to find friends when you don't know any common games, and you can't find out which games you'll love most until you've played them with your friends. Not an inescapable cycle, but wouldn't it be great to meet new friends and discover great games at the same time?

Rise of the Zucchini Master


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Rise of the Zucchini Master


Growing your own produce is an increasingly popular pastime. Produce for Pantries helps gardeners find local food banks where they can donate their extra produce so it doesn't go to waste. To tell their story to a wider audience, I created this short screenplay, which they could then turn over to a production team and shoot. This could be the base for a viral video, which might get young adults interested in growing their own food.

Erfworld Store Redesign


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Erfworld Store Redesign


I follow a collection of about 40 webcomics each week; one of my favorites is Erfworld, a story about a gamer who gets summoned into a universe that operates under the rules of a fantasy war game. Because of his outsider's perspective, he's able to find loopholes in the rules and exploit them, which makes him highly sought after by everyone who wants to take over the world. It's a great story, consistently funny, and with lots of geek and pop-culture references that emerge as the protagonist discovers the ways in which this strange world parodies and mirrors our own.

But for all the excellence found in the comic itself, Erfworld uses a drop-in solution for their store, which is not serving them as well as it might. As an exercise, I evaluated the Erfworld store as it stands currently, mocked up a possible new design in Photoshop, and sent it to the site owner for consideration in their forthcoming redesign.

Before

After

Store home page

1---Store-home.png

Category page: T-shirts

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Product detail page

Shopping cart

5---Cart.png

Checkout confirmation

6---Confirmation.png

Other Work


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Other Work


I love precision-engineered design and the notation of geometry. For each letter of this font, I asked myself: "If this character was a hundred feet tall and made of iron, would it be able to support itself?"

This poster is a good example of what my design style looks like. I love clear, straightforward designs with bold lines and bright colors. I love to engineer systems that take a simple set of rules and apply them everywhere, sometimes in surprising ways. (This makes working with CSS a joy.) My designs are created to deliver an important message loud and clear.