Role: on-site visual designer
Contribution:
icon/illustration library, design systems, brand support, event support, in-house swag
Duration:
1.5 years
Target User:
AWS users
Client:
AWS, Filter Digital

As part of Amazon Web Services’ in-house design team, I was tasked with helping develop a more concise way of communicating complicated cloud computing products and services. The style originally known as “sketch”, was previously developed in a way to make cloud computing more approachable and fun, but it was unscalable, overcomplicated, and overcrowded page layouts. We wanted to approach illustrations to be read and understood quickly, was scalable (worked with an outside agency to develop brand guidelines) and kept pages cleaner.

Homepage

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the aws.amazon.com homepage. The hero backgrounds (orange) were reworked to be much bolder with color gradient meshes, and much more minimized graphic language. The editorial illustrations (4 graphic boxes below hero-nav) are a much quicker read while still keeping some playfulness in the visual language.

Ca. 2015, homepage had too much missused whitespace and felt sterile yet chaotic. No real visual hierarchy.

Ca. 2016, homepage has more intentional hierarchy. Homepage banner is obvious first read, and editorial graphics much more discernible.

Hero Banner specifications for the homepage (illustration by myself) detailing stroke weight, line caps, alignment, colors, and sizing specs for consistency and scalability.

How and where to use Hero Banners, including intention, color, and minimizing copy to maximize interest.

Creative brief

Navigating the world of business partners or Project Marketing Manager design needs + marketing objectives and goals using SIM.

Research

Scour the web, read use-cases, research trends, and possible approaches. If further clarification needed, set-up 1-on-1’s.

ITERATIONS

Develop 3-4 good ideas to present to stakeholders/BPs that can show your approach to their product or marketing needs and communicate your thinking.

delivery

After final design approval, send deliverables originally outlined in design brief. If extra asks arise, PM’s communicate scope extensions, etc.

Build-outs

Design build-outs for a Tier-1 product launch including hero (aws homepage), social, email, and on-page graphics (editorial & 2up). We developed design systems so we could create scalable assets as quickly as aws was growing and to create visual cohesion as multiple designers worked on tackling multiple asks from stakeholders.

Line points, gradient meshes, colors, logo placements and graphic sizes were all designed strategically and added to the brand guidelines for reference or for outside agencies to help.

Social media graphics

Social graphics created for various business partners and stakeholders using the above 4-part process of brief, research, iteration, delivery

10-minute tutorials

This is another feature offered by AWS at aws.amazon.com/getting-started/ that I worked directly with the Digital Marketing Manager Song-I Yang on branding for prospective customers to show how easy it is to get started on AWS.

Features

Editorials were sort of the stepping stone for the much greater breadth of aws illustration work on the product pages called features or feature illustrations. Like editorial illustrations, features were illustrated concepts/products/services by using more objects and more variations. Below are some illustrations that I developed to communicate different features on product pages and were often a starting point for other designers on the team to work from to create illustration assets.

Swag

Aside from my work in developing a new design language and transitioning an incredible amount of assets on existing web-pages, I was able to create some other fun, internal promotional items.

AWS NYC Loft

Another super fun project I was able to design for while at AWS was the AWS New York Loft. The AWS Lofts are a place where startups and developers can meet over coffee, work on their apps, attend educational sessions, and get in-person answers to AWS technical questions – all at no cost.

Isometric style and colors developed by Mason Catt. All the assets for the AWS NYC Loft were created and tailored for the NYC Loft myself.

In final, I had the incredible opportunity to work on a large breadth of projects from illustration language, to print (stickers, shirts, booklets, etc.) as well as with a lot of creative, talented, and driven designers, PM’s, and stakeholders.

To review the brand guidelines for AWS while I was working there please email at benharthun@gmail.com. To view the case study that was produced by my creative agency while working as their sole designer, click here.