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The Office of Jason James

Product & Branding Designer in Chicago

Kin – Marketing  /  Kin – Application  /  The Founder Forge  /  Bright Horizons  /  Founder Stories  /  We Are Mammoth  /  DoneDone  /  Bishop Fox  /  Our City, Our Story  /  Live Better  /  2 Night Stand  /  University of Nebraska Omaha  /  One City Tees  /  City of Win  /  Bucky's Wonderful Adventures  /  Notre Dame's Kroc Institute  /  Very Hot Lunch  /  Gogo Air

Kin – Marketing

HR is typically awful. Employees don't like dealing with all the bureaucracy, policies and paperwork, and the whole HR system feels outdated and cumbersome. Kin takes the hassle out of HR by making better use of everyone's time through managing documents, tasks, assets, and time-off in an online exchange for the entire company. The marketing site, explainer video, photography, and identity all helped introduced the new web app to the world.

  • UX, Visual & Responsive Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Identity Design
  • Art Direction
  • Credits

Kin – Application

Kin is simple, streamlined HR management software focused on people, not paperwork. The initial Kin web app was built from October 2012 through July of 2013, and the team continues to refine and iterate on the product since our version one release on July 10, 2013. This is easily the most complex and comprehensive project I've ever worked on.

The application currently includes core features like employee onboarding, secure document transfers, time off management, an employee database, a company calendar, employee bios and job descriptions, payment processing, and more. The aim of the UI and UX design was to create an experience that both HR managers and employees could understand and enjoy using.

  • UX & Visual Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Credits

The Founder Forge

Craig Bryant of We Are Mammoth and Neals Sales-Griffin of Starter League partnered to create The Founder Forge, an event series for giving founders of small, growing businesses the knowledge they need to build long-term, self-sustaining companies. The Founder Forge does this through quarterly workshops, monthly meetups, and bi-weekly open office hours. For anyone looking to talk design stuff, my door is open since I'm a part of this and available during office hours and meetups.

  • UX & Visual Design
  • Identity Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Credits

Bright Horizons Proposed Loyalty Program Site & App

Bright Horizons serves employers by providing childcare services to their eligible full-time employees. Lots of those employees are eligible for additional benefits, but they aren't taking advantage of them. For this reason, Bright Horizons came to We Are Mammoth looking for help creating a loyalty program that incentivizes employees to utilize as many of the BH services as possible.

The spec pitch site we designed leverages the great work the Bright Horizon Foundation is already doing to help children all over the country. Through the use of BH services and affiliate partnerships, users would accumulate points that would go toward creating emergency childcare spaces used during family crises.

  • Visual Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Mobile Design
  • Credits

Founder Stories

As part of the rollout of Kin, we developed a video series telling the stories of the challenges new and successful small Chicago businesses face. These videos tell a bit about the difficulties of scaling a business, maintaining a company culture, and the stress of hiring and onboarding new employees. Produced by Kin and directed by Frank & Harvey, these videos paint a very good picture of the problems Kin seeks to address for small businesses all over the country.

  • Art Direction
  • Content Strategy
  • Credits

We Are Mammoth

We Are Mammoth (WAM) had a good site, but they were looking to inject a bit more personality and polish to really make it sing. Shortly after starting a contract there, I updated all the typography and photography across the site, tweaked most of the content, and refined some key interactions. The new iteration better reflects WAM's unique personality and more clearly communicates what the company does.

  • Visual Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Responsive Design
  • Credits

DoneDone

DoneDone is a super simple and effective bug tracker. Instead of using spreadsheets, emails, and sticky notes to track issues during a web development project, DoneDone creates a central hub to communicate specifically and percisely about each and every issue. I worked with Katie Kirk of the amazing Eight Hour Day studio and a motiongraphics team at DemoDuck to create a compact and simple product explaination video.

  • Art Direction
  • Content Strategy
  • Credits

Bishop Fox

Bishop Fox, formerly Stach & Liu, consults with Fortune 500 companies to, first, hack their systems and, second, figure out security solutions to protect against such hacking. The name Bishop Fox comes from Martin Bishop of the movie Hackers, and Fox refers to Lucius Fox, a security expert, in Batman. This is a company that doesn't take itself too seriously, yet also needs to put on a professional face for their clients. All my design concepts aimed to straddle that line.

Along with a handful of logo explorations, I worked with Nelson Cash to design the initial rollout of the company's new brand with a splash page revealing the new name, identity and look.

  • Visual Design
  • Identity Design
  • Art Direction
  • Credits

Our City, Our Story

Rockford, Illinois has been hit hard by each recession since the 1980’s, and it's been shamed time and time again in national news coverage. In order to instill some pride and hope back into the city, local artist Pablo Korona started Our City, Our Story, a video project chronicling the best of Rockford’s past and present.

The identity and site design draw on Rockford's blue-collar, industrial history. I know it well, since it's my hometown. The site and its stories have drawn positive national attention from Kottke, Boing Boing and Fast Company.

  • Branding & Identity
  • Interaction & Visual Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Credits

Live Better

Live better. Design better. Be a better person. All things better. These buttons capture some resolutions or key ideas I wanted to be a big part of my 2012. Whether it's buying less or eating a little better, these little phrases helped shape a pretty great year for me.

I had a hunch there were other people out there that were working on the same things. So I printed up the phrases as buttons. Turns out lots of people want to be better too. In the summer of 2012, I was invited to contribute these pins to the Chicago Design Museum. I was honored to see how many people wanted to Quit The Bullshit and live better. A handful of the buttons are still available in my shop for purchase.

2 Night Stand

Twenty specially invited designers, developers, writers, photographers and strategists get together for a weekend-long creative bender. 2 Night Stand gathers some of Chicago's best and brightest creatives to create for a self-selected client. It's a fast-paced, challenging, creative growth experience. The whole event is live-blogged and archived online.

Very Hot Lunch designed and developed the site and led the event. The site has been featured on Best About Pages and CSS Remix.

  • Visual Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Credits

University of Nebraska Omaha

UN Omaha faced tremedous challenges with an ugly, outdated, hard-to-use website. They came to Lipman Hearne looking for major help on all fronts: IA, UX, strategy, design and content. The new site is much easier to use, more attractive, and (since it's fully responsive) more accessible.

  • Visual Design
  • Art Direction
  • Interaction Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Credits

One City Tees

One tee that combines so many of my loves: black and white, the American flag, the Chicago flag, brayer textures and my home. The One City Tee was definitely a labor of love. Initially, this was just a tee I thought up and wanted to get printed but couldn't justify the cost of screenprinting a single shirt. Luckily, it caught the attention of the Chicago Design Museum and Cotton Bureau. With wider distribution and a larger audience, I was super pumped to bring this tee to life. It was originally available at Chicago Design Museum in June 2013 and online at Cotton Bureau, but now it's only availble in my Shop.

  • Visual Design
  • Identity Design
  • Credits

City of Win

City of Win celebrates the enduring spirit of the city of Chicago and the people within it. Through apparel, music and events, City of Win is repping Chicago hard. It's been a pleasure to work with the CoW team through the launch and continued growth of their streetwear brand.

Bucky's Wonderful Adventures

For UW-Madison's Annual Campaign, Share The Wonderful, I needed to find a way to create a game that engaged audiences as broad as a 22-year old recent grad to a 65-year old retired alumnus. I came up with the idea for an 8-bit, Nintendo-inspired aesthetic because it feels approachable for an older person who might have played Atari or the original Mario Bros, but it's also retro and cool for a twenty-something. The game was a huge hit and a major draw to the Share The Wonderful site. The annual campaign succeeded and raised more than its ten million dollar goal. Besides concepting the user experience of the game, I illustrated all the assets.

  • Illustration
  • Interaction Design
  • Game Design
  • Credits

Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Due to admission troubles and competition from NYC and D.C. international relations programs, Kroc needed to redesign their site. The new site prominently features their global internships, research and leadership in the peacebuilding field to emphasize their value and establish their authority.

The site won a Gold Award and a Best In Show Award at the 28th Annual Higher Ed Marketing Advertising Awards.

Very Hot Lunch

Very Hot Lunch is a design collective that meets after hours to make digital products that help people. We're pretty deep into making our first app, Let's Eat – a gluten-free dining locator. We needed to get something up fast to let people know a little bit about who we are. The splash page feeds in a big ass tweet because we live-blog every part of our process. We also post our progress at our process blog.

  • Branding & Identity
  • Visual Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Credits

Gogo Air

You know when you’re on a plane and are trying to connect to wifi? The wifi is Gogo Air. Sometimes you get thirty minutes for free. That’s because of a corporate sponsor.

Gogo Air was in a bad spot, creating custom one-off pages for each sponsor. These are a few example pages for the system I designed with Bright Bright Great for how advertisers would integrate their different looks into the Gogo Air log-in/authentication process while maintaining consistent usability, both for laptops and mobile devices.

  • UX & Visual Design
  • Mobile Design
  • Credits