About Cosplay Watch
Cosplay Watch is a side project we created as a branding exercise. The project aims to help people to find new cosplay ideas easily and buy the things they need quickly. The target audience is new cosplayers, cosplay enthusiasts, cosplayers who don't have enough time to sew/craft/search their own costume needs and casual cosplayers who want to bring their admiration for fictional characters to their daily lives.
Most creative studios like inside projects that test the extent of their skills to keep themselves sharp and we are no different. Looking for a challenge on a friday night, our studio's designer and illustrator Dilara, who does cosplay as a hobby, came up with the idea to create Cosplay Watch. She remembered the ordeal of trying to get the right parts for her costume, finding the right wig and props for her first convention. Could we find a solution and speed up this process for cosplay enthusiasts and hobbyists who had the same problems and didn't have the time to get prepared?
After a brainstorming session, Cosplay Watch started to form as a project. The main purpose of the Cosplay Watch would be to inspire cosplayers and help them identify their needs for a cosplay. We would design pinnable cards that would include all the elements that are necessary to cosplay a specific character, providing a visual shopping list. Also to allow cosplayers to easily buy all of the items for that cosplay, all of the elements would be displayed with their prices. The same would apply to the blog of the portal, allowing cosplayers with an option to buy other items that they might need for the hobby. Aside from the cosplay ideas that would be published on the website weekly, friday would be the day for the casual cosplay. And that would allow cosplayers to bring their favorite characters in their daily lives. Also, they would have an option to subscribe to a newsletter list that would allow them to get those ideas in their inbox.
After identifying the purpose of Cosplay Watch, next step was to create the brand identity. Since making things easy for cosplayers was Cosplay Watch's whole purpose, easy was the word to focus on. And it would be focusing on young people, it needed to be a lively and modern brand.
With a brand language focusing on easy ideas, the slogan would show how practical brand would be for the users:
"Everything You Need For Cosplay"
Targeting people who are looking for new cosplay ideas, we focused on two keywords: "cosplay" and "watch".
With Quicksand Dash used for the cosplay text on the logo, we also made a reference to "costume" with our font choice. And the magnifier on the logo represents research and follow.
To be able to use in different situations, we have designed two logos for Cosplay Watch.
After the identity and the logo was ready, we started working on the colors for the brand. Cosplay Watch was focused on a niche with a small user base: Cosplay. Most cosplayers are young and considering that we choose a fun and sophisticated color: Purple.
To have the effect of sewing on the logo we went with Quicksand Dash and to complete the look, we chose Quicksand Book. Since Cosplay Watch was based on a website, fonts to be used on the website were equally important. To have the modern look on the logo, we chose Dosis for the headings. Because of its legibility and familiarity, we chose Arial as a body font. And for pinnable cosplay shopping cards, we used Dosis to add character information.
Pinnable Easy Cosplay Shopping Cards
Pinnable cards were the main element of Cosplay Watch. Cards were designed to show all items that are needed for any specific character, creating a visual shopping list. Under the cards, who that character was and which show they were from would be noted. This would allow the cosplayers visiting the cards to pin the cards on pinterest and they would be able to see every detail when they wanted to cosplay that character.
The success of Cosplay Watch was tied to interactions with website visitors. Considering the fact that the potential users being young people, Cosplay Watch needed a highly usable, modern and minimal design. The main page would present the most recent cosplay idea and anyone visiting the website would see that day's cosplay idea and then easily browse through the previous ones. On easy cosplay ideas, the text was kept minimum making the cards primary focus, which is the main part of Cosplay Watch. We have placed hotspots for each item on the cards, which would allow people to buy the item easily.
Since we wanted the visitors to subscribe to the newsletter to get the new cosplay ideas when they're published. We placed a subscription form right next to cosplay ideas and created a popup for the subscription.
Easy cosplay ideas that are published on Cosplay Watch were also to be sent as an email to the followers. This would allow the users to see the idea from their inbox, pin the cards and visit the site to get more information when they're interested. On the email design, pinnable cards were designed featuring purple accompanied by the character of the cosplay.
With branding in place and website live, we soon started to receive data indicating our success. Cosplay Watch was an inside project built as a branding exercise for us executed with $0 budget. Without any ad spending, Cosplay Watch soon started to get visitors with our SEO practices. Pinnable easy cosplay shopping cards soon started to serve its purpose by finding their way into Pinterest boards of visitors. Newsletter subscriptions also started to show stable growth. By the time we decided to freeze the project, it had already served its purpose and gave us more experience on every side of branding, design, development, and marketing.
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