Gravemire, a tabletop roleplaying game, was Kickstarted in 2021 and published in 2022. I was responsible for layout and graphic design work.


Project Summary

Designed a 160 page book in hardcover, softcover, and digital versions. Provided additional design support for marketing purposes, including running a successful kickstarter campaign.

Gravemire is a tabletop roleplaying game written by Sylvan Lawrence and published by Clawhammer Games. I was brought onto the project to do the page layout and graphic design for the book itself, the Kickstarter campaign and also the marketing materials.

Putting together the Playkit PDF

Part of running a successful Kickstarter campaign involves giving potential backers a preview of the final product, but this can be difficult when you're relying on funds from a successful campaign to actually produce it.

A half dozen page samples from the Kickstarter playkit are presented in a marketing-friendly manner.
Prior to the Kickstarter campaign, we released an abbreviated playable copy of the game.

With the Gravemire Kickstarter, Sylvan had prepared an abbreviated copy of the game's rules as a google document. Working with early illustrations prepared for the book by Sara Belote and Reese Hill, I was able to assemble a PDF that was visually effective as well as setting the right expectations about the final product.

An early design mock-up, using unfinished artwork.

This period also gave me time to iterate on the book's look and feel, testing out different designs. I settled on a look and feel that harkens back to the time and place of the setting, Louisiana in the 1890s.

A selection of graphical flourishes and fonts from various books, including "Soils of the Hill Lands"
Reference images gathered from books published in 1890s Louisiana.

The Kickstarter

After 30 days, Gravemire raised $23,959 and sold copies direct to 413 backers. You can check out the finished campaign here.

I was in charge of the non-video graphic design of the campaign page. Kickstarter campaign pages are built using the website's limited built in editor, but we were still able to create a highly impactful and accessible campaign.

Small portion of the Kickstarter page, captured after the campaign successfully raised $23,949
An illustration of a crocodile by Sara Belote. The eyes blink as it peers up at you half-submerged.
I added subtle animation to this illustration by Sara Belote, to add visual impact to the campaign page.
Multiple tiers of backer rewards are illustrated with mockups to supplement Kickstarter's text.
I created product mockups alongside Reese Hill's illustrations to make the backer rewards visually appealing.

Final Product

I'd set up the basic design language such as the page backgrounds, borders, and typography when assembling the playkit, but it was only after the Kickstarter finished that all the illustrations and text were ready for me to layout.

Working with illustrations by Sara Belote, Reese Hill and Alberich Komidov, I developed final page designs, how best to present the information in the text, and which images thematically fit with which topics.

Off to the presses

Working with the printing press to ensure all designs were perfectly color-matched, we printed two full-color versions of the 160 page book (one hardcover with dust jacket, the other softcover) each with unique ISBNs appropriate for sale in brick-and-mortar stores.

The same production files were then used to produce digital versions of the book as PDFs. The Gravemire Kickstarter campaign was a solid success, and funded the printing of additional copies which are sold around the world through Indie Press Revolution.

The final result is a book that I'm proud to have been involved in making.