Grimwoods Design
Illustrator | InDesign | Figma | Photoshop
Card Layout and Tokens
I created the card layout and token design for an upcoming cooperative card game called Grimwoods.
Tree and axe card art supplied by the game designer. Mockups created in Photoshop.
Grimwoods is a card game where players work together to try to survive in a spooky forest filled with monsters, magic, and dark humor.
The game designer (the client) needed a card layout design and tokens to use for virtual play testing in Tabletop Simulator, as well as for the eventual printed game.
The client wanted the card art to be the focal point, and wanted a layout adaptable to a variety of title and description lengths. The client also wanted to use InDesign's merge field capability to effortlessly edit, generate, and export cards. This allowed for seamless play testing in Table Top Simulator.
The tokens represent abstract concepts in the game (Focus, Reputation, and Success), which are used like currency and rewards in game play.
Mood board
To get started, the client wanted the card and token design to be a jumping off point for the game's entire aesthetic. Mostly focused on the game mechanics and user feedback, the client felt that before the play testing could advance into the final virtual stages, it would be beneficial to users to have a guiding aesthetic.
Being set in the woods, I gathered images and colors that I felt would best fit the tone. I used the video game Don't Starve as a jumping off point for the aesthetic because it has a similar dark yet sometimes whimsical tone that the client was trying to capture.
Initial Sketches
These are the rough sketches for the card layout and token icons that the client approved from the initial batch of options. We focused on having a large area for the card art, which I made even larger in the final rendition of the card. The token icons needed to be visible at 1 inch for the token itself, as well as at about 1/4 inch for representation on the bottom of the card.
Card Design
The final card design has a dark red background with a subtle fog texture, which will contrast well with the mostly green palette of the card art. (This is temporary card art supplied by the client).
The wood sign background for the card name also fits with the rustic aesthetic of the woods while providing contrast for the white card title as well as popping out from the dark background.
The papyrus texture for the card description allows for readability while adhering to the natural and worn-in feeling of the game.

Token Design
The token art needed to have contrast again light and dark background because it appears on the large round tokens and at the bottom of the card descriptions.
The client wanted the Reputation (sun) and Success (fire) icons to be visually related because their functions in the game are closely linked. These tokens used the same dominant colors.
The Focus (eye) icon is also related to the Success token in game play, so the pupil of the eye is the same silhouette of the flame.
All icons have black outlines with a slight off-white offset to help them stand out again both light and dark backgrounds.
Merge Fields
The client wanted to be able to handle all exporting and editing of the cards, so I combined the background design made in Illustrator with the text editing abilities of InDesign so the client could update the card content through spreadsheets using InDesign's merge fields.
All text effects were applied in InDesign so they can adapt to each card's unique text.
Virtual Testing
The designs are currently being used in the final stages of the virtual play testing while the game mechanics are being polished.
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