• Craig Martinson

The Vibe: It Sounds Better On Vinyl

Updated: May 18, 2021

Before We Start

This installment of Vibe Check is a celebration of Black artists, Black culture and Black excellence. I will personally be donating 100$ to the Black Art Futures Fund and I encourage you to give what you can. I also put together a playlist of Black artists who have inspired me over the years. Black Lives Matter. Thank you. Alright, let's vibe.


10 design hours

5 episodes of WandaVision

2 slices of my signature french toast

1 Killer Playlist

The Concept

A mobile app that connects record collectors with the global collecting community

So What Do We Call This Thing?

1. VNYL - I love dropping vowels

2. Vinyl Offer - I TOLD YOU I LOVE PUNS

3. Fresh Trax - why does that sound so familiar? (Pow Pass anyone?)

4. Wax On - am I going to get sued by the Karate Kid? WORTH IT!

Who Is It For?

Wax On is for vinyl obsessed collectors who want to connect with their fellow audiophiles and seamlessly buy and sell the records they love.

The Color Palette

With so many wonderful colors to choose from, I decided to create a retro 70's palette. A neutral cream sets the table for the warm reds and oranges, and the cooler, balancing greens and blues. These colors can be combined in so many beautiful ways. I had a ton of fun playing with them.

Logo Concepts

First up - 3 iterations of "The Crate"

Then we have 3 versions of "Vinyl and Sleeve"

But none of these ideas were moving me. I really wanted something that could pop as an icon on a smartphone. Ultimately, I landed on this killer retro font (PiePie) and paired it with a minimalist "Records On the Shelf" concept. These designs also helped me solidify the color palette.


I haven't shared my wireframes recently, so I thought it was time to give a little peak behind the curtain. First and foremost, I really wanted to enable users to connect with each other. I accomplished this in two ways, one - having nearby collectors appear on the search screen, and two - carrying the messaging and sharing functionality across every screen.

Major Screens

I didn't have to deviate much from my initial wireframes. The ui patterns are clean and consistent, and the content is easy to digest. Shoutout to the collectors Russ and AOC and the legendary artists that populate these screens.


I'm still not sure which of these screens is my favorite. I think I'm leaning towards the blue on the left. Let me know which one you prefer in the comments!

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed these designs as much as I enjoyed making them. There is so much more functionality to explore, but I think I executed some key features at a high level. Full disclosure, the only record I own is an original pressing of Jesus Christ Superstar that I stole from my mom. It slaps...

This was an amazing opportunity to reflect on the role Black artists have played in shaping the creator I am today. Social Justice needs to be at the forefront of everything we do. White folx, how can we be better allies and advocates? Too many of us (self included) have sat on the sidelines for most of our lives. It is not enough to simply say "I am not racist". We must be actively ANTI-RACIST. Once again, here is the link to the Black Art Futures Fund. Thank you.