Banner for Shapeway for PAX
An exhibition banner for a PAX AUS Indie Games Showcase

Shapeway is an innovative puzzle platforming game where players guide a little square fellow through a variety of challenging levels. Getting to the exit isn't as simple as it appears, with seemingly no way past the pits and hazards in the way. The solution is to place various platforms, gadgets, and traps within the level and then run and jump on them to victory!


Paperbox Studios were preparing to exhibit the newly released Shapeway at PAX Australia. As a local Indie studio, they would join a pavilion of exhibitors within the convention hall. Every stand required an eye-catching banner showcasing the game, and Paperbox commissioned me to design one.


PAX Aus used a standardised 'pod' for each exhibitor on the Indie Pavilion, as away to maximise use of available floorspace and keep displays consistent. The banner consists of two poster panels approximately 2m tall that sit above the display table.

Exhibitors were free to use any type of design and could use either separate designs or one single banner. Paperbox needed something exciting and illustrative of the fun gameplay.

Diagram Showing PAX Banner Specifications


Paperbox Studios provided some screenshots and showed me how the game played. As implied by the name, 'Shapeway' takes its visual style from geometric shapes and simple pixelated graphics.

Overall themes present as an approachable cartoon look with an adorable blue cube as our hero set against a world of colourful blocks.

Shapeway Game Screenshot - Dangerous Lava-filled EnvironmentShapeway Game Screenshot - Surviving a Pounding MachineShapeway Game Screenshot - Switching Block PuzzleShapeway Game Screenshot - A devious Block Maze


The immediate match for this games presentation is the classic illustrated style found on retro video game box-art. Platforming games with rudimentary graphics of the time couldn't grab the audiences attention with artwork that actually looked like the game, so they had energetic illustrated boxes and advertisements designed to capture the imagination.

This style has returned alongside the indie revival of classic platforming gameplay and nostalgia educing pixel art.

Box Art for the game: Super Mario Bros.Box Art for the game: FezBox Art for the game: The Cool Croc Twins


With the Cube Fellow being the protagonist for our adventure, I made them the focus. Following cues from the classic illustrated box-art, I pulled them out of the 2D game graphics and iterated on a bunch of 3D viewpoints. Then I bent and pulled the linework, imbuing a sense of cartoony life into the character. Finally I placed them into a dynamic scene leaping toward the viewer as they encounter obstacles found in the gameplay.

Shapeway Banner Concept Art Collection 1
Playing in 3d Space
Shapeway Banner Concept Art Collection 2
Layout tests and Thumbnail
The Final Shapeway Banner Concept Design
Illustrated Concept


With the final design I went for a hybrid single but separate application for the two panels. Not wanting the beautiful artwork to be bisected by the the bezels on each panel, it is put on one side. On the other I placed some useful information and some screenshots for an easy glance of the game for passers-by. The logotype is spaced across both panels as an easily readable billboard from across the hall and contains the entire pods display-space under it. Careful attention was also paid to moving all artwork towards the top, as demonstration equipment typically obscured the bottom.

Photograph of Shapeway Banner with playable game on show at PAX
Banner on the Show Floor
Photograph of PAX Attendees enjoying Shapeway
Attendees enjoying Shapeway


It's easy to become enamoured by the little Cube Fellow. Their diminutive, non-threatening design and simple eyes-only face is a great canvas for the imagination. I designed some DIY papercraft models of the Fellow to decorate the stand and for Paperbox staff to give away as souvenirs. There were reports of the Cube Fellow travelling across the convention and out to the sights of Melbourne!

Front Side of the Shapeway Papercraft Cube Fellow
Back Side of the Shapeway Papercraft Cube Fellow
Flats of the Shapeway Papercraft Cube Fellow


Credit supplied for images used on this page to illustrate design inspiration and strategy.