Defining the Pinterest Illustrated Style

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  • I had the great fortune of getting to work with the brand team over at Pinterest to develop illustrated assets for them to use throughout the product. The project was three-fold. To define the illustrated style, to create a toolbox of illustrated assets for the Brand team, and to create a 1-2 minute motion piece, that informed users in an engaging way about all that the Pinterest product can do, through the story of a Pin.

    The early part of the work was to explore several stylistic directions. The team had identified four directions that everyone felt would express the warmth and simplicity of the Pinterest brand. We communicated on these directions, using shared secret boards (of course) and used these as a way of sharing ideas back and forth about each approach. For each of these directions, I did early rough storyboards for the motion piece. These were based on their working script and were to flesh out some loose approaches and try and connect them to each style.
  • We eventually landed on a stylistic direction that we felt like worked. It had bold, friendly colors and was built out of geometric forms. We began to refine this style, including studies of human figures and how to add some hand-made qualities to the visuals by incorporating texture.
  • We also fully storyboarded the sequences using a simplified version of the approved style to get a feel for how to execute specific sequences.
  • "Magic Hour" was a key concept. Per the Pinterest brand team, we wanted the whole piece to progress from dusk to early evening. In working with the motion designer, I provided color studies for the sequences as well as fully rendered key frames, that gave a sense of the final look and feel.
  • I also worked to establish some standards and rules around how the pins behaved and interacted and how the UI was simplified and functioned in the piece.
  • As I passed over assets to the motion designer, I tried to make sequences clear by creating very detailed, sequences.
  • This new style that we worked to acheive also led to the creation of many other assets throughout the Pinterest product, that the Pinterest team could use on an ongoing basis.