This project was for the TV show “Mercy Street” on PBS. My task was to create an interface for their “Portraits From Mercy Street” app, which allowed users to connect to Facebook and transform any photo into a Civil War era Tintype style portrait.

Bring Users to Their World

Since the show is a Civil War drama, the goal was to create an environment that made use of old textures and rustic, sepia colors. The actual functional part of the interface was kept as minimal as possible so that it would never feel cluttered or intimidating to use.

A Simple, Fun Interface

By default, a tintype is automatically generated once a photo is chosen as a way of encouraging the user to play around and explore the possibilities of the app. Users can adjust the size of the image, the tint, the texture, or change their nameplate. Users can also opt to start over or swap out the photo if they change their mind.

Sharing Tintypes

Users are encouraged to share their tintyped photos on social media, turning a fun app into a social app. The activity ties together fun social engagement with the show, driving more interest and viewership.


In the first two weeks leading up to the show's premiere, there were 935 tweeted tintypes, reaching 2.7M eyes and generating 10.7M impressions. The app drove 4800 new likes on the Mercy Street Facebook page and a 25k fan lift to PBS’ Facebook page. The app targeted the digital pre-premiere, resulting in 200k streams in the 3 days prior to the on-air premiere.


  • Doug Dimon

    Creative Director

  • Tomoko Nakamura


  • Jason Roth