Back in 2020 I had the great opportunity to work on illustrations and animations for an investment app. Unfortunately the project didn't cross the finish line and it got axed after a few months of development. I wish I could show these in situ as they looked great surrounded by all the UX elements. It ended up being a massive job as it was growing arms and legs every other week or so: on top of the app I also got to work on website and social media assets, editorial illustrations, a launch campaign and a few other bits and bobs like survey and report assets.
The idea of the app was to make investment more accessible to a wider audience by appointing a Choisemaker based on your day to day financial habits or other lifestyle preferences. The Choisemaker would then guide you through your investment journey.
It took us quite a few iterations till we got there but in the end we had our heroes, all lined up at the top (from left to right): Tracker, Buffer, Guider, Catcher, Grouper and DoGooder.
Tracker was the very first character that we developed and all the other Choisemakers kind of fell in line following her narrative. She is a hunter with an Indiana Jones twist that would track down your spare cash and help you invest it.
Buffer on the other hand would've helped build up your short-term savings if life would ever go off-track. So we wanted to convey that idea by creating a strong, athletic character that you could rely on at any point.
Buffer and Tracker were the two Choicemakers that would've existed in the prototype version of the app. At this point I think the idea of investment as an adventure fully took off and we've developed more characters that would've helped you along the way. So the next two Choisemakers were based on a mountain rescuer and her Saint Bernard dog and a sherpa inspired Choicemaker that would offer you full support whenever needed. Unfortunately the project reached the end at this point and I didn't get a chance to animate them but at least I got the opportunity to put them in some more interesting poses. I wish I would've been able to do the same with the group of alpacas and DoGooder
Like I said at the start: the project grew arms and legs. I ended up working on a launch campaign (the video below on the left + the grid) and animations that were annexed to a survey (bellow on the right). The interesting thing about the survey is that the animations were split into five loop sections and four transitions. As you would fill out the form the coin would spin in a loop until you'd click to go to the next section of the survey. That's when the transition from coin to tennis ball would kick in and now you would get stuck in another loop - the ball bouncing - until you'd finish this bit and move on to the next section. Transition to the spinning heads and so on until the end where the end result was that you would've got a confirmation email.
Going back to the characters, it took us a while till we settled on our heroes and there were quite a few designs that didn't make it very far. I think we needed to find the glue to hold them all together. I still quite like some of these even now, but they do feel disjointed, like they don't belong in the same universe. I think once we found the glue, the common theme of a journey, exploration and adventure, things started to click and our characters looked like part of the same family.
Tracker was decided right from the start but the other Choicemakers went through a few development stages: there was a different kind of Catcher, Grouper was a bunch of kids stacked one on top of each other, Buffer looked very different - a knight, there was also a robot - we called him the (Fortune) Teller.
And right at the very beginning Tracker was in the company of Cooler and Earner. Two characters that I really enjoyed designing and animating (see below).
If all of the above wasn't enough, there was also a series of articles meaning to give the future investor some insight into this new world. And that's how I got into what I call the closest thing to editorial illustrations. There were guest interviews but also articles written by the investment company's staff.
The whole thing could have been really big but somehow it ended up axed and all that is left are these illustrations and animations that I am still very happy I am able to share.