Tag Archives: animation

D&AD Identity 2017: The Beautiful Meme

Agency ‘The Beautiful Meme’ have been commissioned by D&AD again to design the creative for the 2017 D&AD Festival. The iconic D&AD Pencils have been animated alongside textures, designed to individually represent the award levels or categories from the D&AD Professional Awards.

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Ben Haworth, Creative Director says:

In advertising and design the D&AD pencil, the symbol of excellence, is ever-present. Around it the industry is weft and warp and flux. Nothing stays still and that’s as it should be. That’s what this year’s identity is about.

This amalgamation of 3D, geometry and motion design is proving to be a very popular design trend, and this has to be my favourite identity for D&AD to date. I particularly love the black Pencil above as it’s using just one colour (bar the yellow D&AD logo), which also happens to be my favourite colour… Also, the animation reflects the popular gif culture that has taken over the art and design world, with the designs working well as both statics and animations.

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The Boy Who Fell and the Man Who Picked Him Up Again

Illustrator and animator Hanne berkaak collaborated with the Norwegian leading professional organisation in psychological trauma, RVTS Sør, for an animation about self-harm. RVTS Sør work with those experiencing violence and traumas, migration health issues, and suicide prevention. Their primary goal is to ensure that those in need of support are met by conscious and competent professionals in all areas of the health services, with dignity and care.

This topic is really hard to tackle without creating something really obvious, or cringe-worthy, or untrue, or triggering. The list goes on! Hanne has managed to convey the struggles with self harm in an imaginative, relatable and warm way. As someone who is open about my own mental health and self harm addiction, Hanne has created something that I find incredibly relatable, totally appropriate and not like anything I’ve ever seen for this sort of topic. I also like the way in which the adult is portrayed – he is not hysterical or accusatory – which is how the adult confided in usually reacts (from my experience). Hanne portrays the teacher who clearly goes the extra mile for the boy, in a sensitive and calm way. Using muted colours contrasted with bold reds, she represents the physical cuts metaphorically without being distasteful or graphic.

Hanne said:

Doing research for the project, I found that children and teenagers often could remember that one person who did something out of the ordinary and made a huge difference. The film tries to encourage professional support workers to have the courage to meet traumatised children in a dignified way, not as clients, but as humans.

Hanne brought her emotional illustration to life with the help of lead animator My Eklund and producers from Mikrofilm.

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Vicious Cycle

Vicious Cycle by Michael Marczewski features a group of robots performing a range of repetitive functions. Driven by mechanical devices, the machines speed up and the robots struggle to cope. Aside from the bizarre and mesmerizing animation, I love the colours and typeface Michael used for this animation!
You can watch the making of here.

Of course Michael works as a motion designer at ManvsMachine! What a guy.

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Mainframe: For Approval

Look at those renders. Motion Graphics studio Mainframe took an idea for a downtime project by using recognised objects and movements, and turned them on their head. For Approval is a combination of seamless motion graphics elevated by the work of sound designer Max Greening. Chris Hardcastle (Mainframe, Manchester) says that the concept was “simply to subvert the physical properties of objects and materials and have some fun with a viewer’s expectations of how those things should behave”.

I could literally watch this on loop all day. Also, love the art direction.

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CANAL: Kitchen

One of my favourite ads of all time is for CANAL+ (‘The Bear’), which has raised the bar for the ads by BETC Paris for CANAL (they recently merged CANAL+ and CANALSAT).
Whilst their newest spot to celebrate a the revamped network isn’t on par with ‘The Bear’, the idea, execution and visuals are fantastic! As always, BETC Paris has nailed alternative concepts to TV advertising amongst their competitors.

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Aldi Christmas Advert: Kevin the Carrot

Ok I promise this is the last Christmas ad post.

Another unexpectedly good idea from Aldi for Christmas. Never thought I’d find a carrot cute, but there’s a first time for everything.
Wonderfully narrated by Jim Broadbent, this adorable tale has made perfect timing – Aldi has been in the headlines this month for recently releasing a statement that the store will soon introduce an affordable range of organic produce at affordable prices.

For part of the Christmas campaign, Aldi has also released a limited-edition Kevin The Carrot soft toy (John Lewis vibes happening here) that will be sold for £2.99, with the profits going towards its charity of the year, Barnardo’s.

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Dear Apple. Are you high?

Almost a week ago, Apple‘s highly anticipated event became big news in the creative and tech world – but for all the wrong reasons. The new MacBook Pro features a Touch Bar display, high resolution retina display (not massively different) and Touch ID, along with a tummy-tuck, resulting in a lighter device at 17% thinner. So… it’s a new MacBook Air? Not a MacBook Pro?

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Apple’s main demographic – creatives – seem to have been forgotten about with this update… it’s as if Apple have entirely ignored all feedback and requirements of the rapidly evolving creative industry. The Touch Bar and Touch ID seem like just another gimmick – that should be left to the iPhones and iPads – and another way to encourage consumers to purchase the next new thing. MacBook Pro has always been the best notebook for creatives and developers, but now that we’re presented with two MacBook Pro’s, what’s the difference other than a touch function bar? WELL it has two less ports, slower memory and a worse GPU. Great.

Apple decided to dive in headfirst with the introduction of USB Type-C ports on the MacBook Pro (which is a good thing, as it will happen eventually), providing four USB Type-C/Thunderbolt connections. Each connection can be used as a power, thunderbolt, USB, display port, HDMI, or VGA port. That’s pretty awesome and innovative but of course you have to buy an adapter for your ‘old’ USB ports and wires. How much will that cost on top the 15-inch costing £2,349?! If I buy a cheaper version on Amazon will it set alight and burn my house down?

There seems to be a strong disconnect between not only Apple’s target market and their needs, but also the rest of Apple’s products. Remember Lightning headphone gate? Well, despite Apple claiming wireless headphones are the future, the new MacBook Pro has a headphone jack. This works vice versa for iPhones as it’s release didn’t come with the right cable for the new MacBook Pro. Need to charge your Lightning mouse? You’ll probably need an adapter for that now too. It feels like switching from VCR to DVD all over again.

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Following a hilarious Reddit thread (“It just works” – Apple), users showed what a nightmare the removal all wires and the handful of dongles is, resulting in having to carry around even more wires in the fist place! Don’t forget, you can’t use wire headphones with the iPhone 7 whilst plugged into the new MacBook Pro. By the way, the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is £69.00. I wouldn’t even spend that on a pair of shoes.

Beyond the total cost, (which is a huge issue in itself as Apple should be aware that young creatives may struggle to afford MacBooks at school or at university – I had to receive financial help from my parents on both my MacBook and MacBook Pro, and could only afford an iMac after 2 years of working) once more the main issue here is the lack of consideration for creatives – the SD card slot has disappeared! What about photographers? That will be another adapter they have to buy on top of their already expensive cameras. (Clearly Apple gives no fucks about Photographers after they killed off Aperture in 2014, the beloved photo-editing software, RIP).

The vibe I’m getting from the launch is that Apple wanted to release something as quickly as possible (even though it took 4 years…). There seems to be a lot of loose ends and a huge disconnect between product and consumer. Apple’s main success is their involvement in the creative industry from the very beginning. As technology advanced Windows didn’t catch up, missing the boat on a huge demographic, however, the tables seem to be slowly turning… the updated Mac isn’t suitable for the heavy graphics, virtual reality or 3D work, but Windows 10 have just released a huge update called ‘Creative Update‘ that focuses on 3D, gaming, VR and social.

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella:

We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators.

I don’t know the last time I laid a finger on a Windows machine, but as a digital designer I’m expecting to see a lot more of Windows in the workplace, unless Apple steps up their game. Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be a home for not only virtual reality, but also augmented reality and holographic computing – this is all hugely on the rise in every aspect of the creative industry, so why did Apple ignore this? Unlike Apple, Microsoft are clearly aware of the average consumer’s budget as not only will the latest version be free to update, they are also teaming up with a number of tech firms to make accessing VR cheaper. It’s as if the new MacBook Pro features were pitched 4 years ago, and they decided to just stay with those ideas despite an enormous technological breakthrough in that short space of time.

There is a huge disassociation between marketing and consumers, particularly when it comes to who needs a MacBook Air and who needs a MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro isn’t faster, only thinner. Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller suggested the 13-inch MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) was designed for MacBook Air buyers:

We think that a lot of potential MacBook Air customers are going to be very excited by this product, too.

The creative industry doesn’t care for the MacBook Air. I’d probably throw myself off a tall building if I had to do photo-retouching or mobile banner design on a MacBook Air! Whilst the new Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Book seem pretty niche (the niche being creatives), I still can’t imagine them being as popular as Macs in design and advertising agencies. I could be wrong.

The “you can’t do that on a Mac” ads really pissed me off up until the Apple launch. I found myself yelling “SHUT UP!” every time the annoying animator couple demonstrated their skills on the Surface Studio by Windows:

However, now it’s totally gone in Windows favour as the new Apple update is simply not for artists and graphic designers who use pens or touchscreens to do their work (or anyone who needs more than 16GB of memory).

HEY maybe they’re saving all the special features for creatives for a new iMac next year! Let’s pray.

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UKTV: Purpose

What a delightful animation by Cookie Studio! The brief was to “conceptualise and develop a virtual journey through the versatile and rich world of UKTV’s iconic brands, channels and shows”. Cookie Studio successfully did this by creating 3D models of ephemera from the office, such as furniture, mementos etc.

The animation is both quirky and enchanting, which is complemented by the colour-scheme (which I love!)

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Dream: WCFF

Grab the tissues! A tear-jerking animation video for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, of animals facing extinction by Zombie Studios.

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League of Legends Epic 6-Minute Trailer

“A New Dawn” is the free-to-play game’s newest cinematic trailer, clocking in at a sprawling six minutes and enjoyable right to the end.

I know nothing about League of Legends, nor do I play such video games – but watching this cinematic trailer really hits home how incredible technology is. It must be bizarre for someone who was born before computers etc. to see this kind of animation, and watch a character who looks unbelievably human.

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