I was thrilled to join Tugboat in 2013. After creating MLKSHK with my husband Andre we had a personal interest in helping publishers and services increase their support from their fans and users.
One of the first things I tackled after joining Tugboat was our Homepage, which at the time was just a form to be notified of our launch. The team and I sat down and discussed where we saw Tugboat going, and from that discussion I created two directions. After a bit of back and forth we landed on a version with a large relatable image of one of our existing publishers, with a color palette that faded and changed as the top carousel was browsed, eventually even switching our logo color to further push the message that Tugboat is all about our publishers. I then met up with Ryan Carver to photograph Mike & Jessie for Let's Make Mistakes, and hired Jenny Jimenez to photograph Ariel Meadow Stallings in Portland for Offbeat Empire.
This first homepage was created in September 2013, and was replaced with a very quick homepage to better explain Tugboat's shift in direction in June.
After joining Tugboat I redesigned a large amount of the app, starting with external publisher pages and then moving on to logged in publisher pages where Tugboat publishers can manage their orders, create offers and track how well their sales are doing on their dashboard.
When I joined Tugboat one of the first projects that came up was further flushing out our brand. At the time we had a silhouette of a Tugboat and we wanted something that could stand clearly on it's own and scream "I AM A TUGBOAT AND I AM PROUD!"
To handle this daunting task (Tugboats are harder to draw than you would think) I contacted Richard Perez. Richard is an extremely talented illustrator and came back with some incredible options for us. You can also check out Richard's post about it on Dribbble.
Since Tugboat had such a fun brand we decided to go the extra mile and create a set of icons for ourselves as well, a good icon set is always a great resource for a startup - there are always all sorts of ways they can be implemented well. I contacted Trevor Rogers to draw out fun stuff like a ships wheel, captains hat, life preserver, porthole and other Tugboat related items. Trevor is seriously talented and was a complete joy to work with, he had a lot of fun doing this set and it shows!
I really loved this project. Hiring the right Illustrators to get just the right feel across is something that I love being able to do and flushing out our collateral with such fantastic assets was great fun.
Findery is an app that reveals the magical in the world, highlighting hidden places and fascinating histories. The team happened upon the idea of lanterns lighting the way, and I grabbed it and ran with it. I asked Jerrod Maruyama if he'd be interested in drawing a bunch of lanterns for us. He was, they are gorgeous, and were super fun to work with. Using the lanterns as a jumping off point I built the rest of the brand around the idea of going to an incredible lantern lighted party at dusk, where everyone tells their favorite stories of the mysterious and beautiful places they've been.