Every year, Steptember challenges people to take 10,000 steps a day in, yep, September. My job was to draw a big old filthy mountain and some landscapes for the site where you log your steps.

Also, my team at work won because we’re awesome.
This was one the first pieces I did as a test for the illustration style, which I had in my mind for a while.
The concept
In previous years, there were several mountains that you could climb up. But they were all fairly samey and far too many of them. For this year, we just went with one mountain.

The idea is that each time your good self or someone in your team logs steps, it adds to the overall step count, which in turn moves you up the mountain. At certain spots, you pass points of interest and receive a postcard. When you get to the top, that’s pretty much it. You can feel warm and fuzzy about raising money for a good cause and getting off ya fat arse.

It’s all about the journey anyway, not the ending. Deep.

Anyway, once the general concept was approved, I spent a few hours doing a whole bunch of sketches for the mountain—to figure out it's overall scale and what would actually be on it.
Yep, I use a Moleskine. I’m a wanker.
After this, I did a final sketch, which was presented to the client in the form of a paper prototype. Which was good, as it gave them an idea of how the online experience would play out for the user.
Once that was all tickity boo, I went ahead and started doing some look and feel illustrations.
As you can see, the mountain changed quite a bit throughout the process. I wanted to go with a super minimal colour palette—consisting of teal, orange and purple. But it made all the different regions of the mountain, such as the forest, the peak, and so on, all look the same. Instead, we ended up going with a more realistic colour palette. Probably the better way to go. Eh.
The mountain
In the end, I didn’t have a great deal of time to finish off the mountain, which was a bit of a bummer. All I was able to do was polish up what I had started with the look and feel.

Anyway, below is the final mountain, with the path and locations in. Plus a few well sexy closeups to get a look at all them sweet deets.
User dashboard
I only polished certain areas—you never actually see the whole mountain anyway when you’re on the site. So I blocked out what you wouldn’t see and focused on the details within the visible sections.

Below you can see the blocked out areas of the mountain. Even though those areas wouldn’t be seen on the site, the mountain illustration itself was used in various marketing materials and that.
But it did come out quite well in the end and I felt like I was doing a map for a Legend of Zelda game at times. I was initially inspired by this laser cut map of Hyrule, which I have on my desk at work. It has this really nice rounded geometric style about it. Plus anything laser cut is instantly awesome.
The postcards
The final thing was the landmarks for the postcards, which are fantastical magical locations, just to give the experience a bit of life. From an old WWII destroyer resting over a cliff to a magical fire temple. That’s the whole point of these illustrations really—to make what is a pretty bog standard interaction of logging steps, into a more aesthetically pleasing experience. By wrapping it up in this magical journey up the Mountain of Awesome. I don’t know if it’s called the Mountain of Awesome. I don’t care. But it bloody well should be.
I didn’t really sketch these up at all. I only did rough little thumbnails, because of the tight timing. But they came out all right me thinks.
The avatars
Actually, I lied. I also knocked up a few avatars if people don’t want to use a photo of their own ugly mug. Sah cute.

It's too late to sign up now, but be sure to do it next year to raise some money for the children. Think of the children. Won't somebody please think of the children!
Role — Illustrator
Client — 
Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Studio — Digital Eskimo
Credits — Creative Director: Ben Hoh, Interaction Designer: Sash Singh

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