Motion Graphics Design @ The Arnolfini

Posted by Shane Casey on Tue, 01 Mar 2011

After the fun of Ignite Bristol‘s recent SS Great Britain event (this one was hilarious!) we had another great event for the creative-minded of Bristol – this time in the form of an evening of talks by some pretty amazing motion graphics designers that gave some valuable insight in to the minds and creative processes behind their work. The West of England Design Forum did a great job lining up the formidable talents of Jack Laurence (Moving Brands), Shane Walter (onedotzero), Charlie Mawer (Red Bee Media) and Matthew Rudd (Rudd Studio). Unfortunately, The Mill had to pull out due to “unforeseen client complications” (we’ve all been there!) but it was a sell-out event nonetheless.

Personally, I think W of E Design Forum missed a trick not having at least one of their speakers from the interactive side of motion graphics design. Here’s a snapshot of what they were talking about.

Jack Laurence (Moving Brands)

Jack talked through some of the work that Moving Brands do and mainly focused on the rebrand of Nokia they did that swapped the old “hand-in-hand” schmaltz for the more modern style you’ll recognise from anything post-2007. Still conveying the core message “Connecting People” but giving it a much more up-to-date feel.

Moving Brands created a ‘living identity’ that uses Processing to generate 3d visuals dynamically. This way they created tools that could be given to all the brand managers internationally. Tweaking a few settings they could create animated or static artwork that was unique and fitting for their uses and also stayed consistent with the overall brand identity. Smart stuff.

Processing, if you haven’t come across it before, is an open framework based on Java that allows for some pretty rapid experimentation with generative art, without getting you bogged down in the complexity of Java programming. Check it out here.

Also nice in his talk was a mood video Moving Brands made for Nokia, not for public consumption, but just as their response to the brief and to show their interpretation of the brand. Lovely stuff.

Shane Walter (onedotzero)

Shane is something of a rock-star of the motion graphics world. CEO & Creative Director of onedotzero, he’s a busy guy and it’s not surprising when you see the scale and number of festivals and events that onedotzero run worldwide. Adventures in Motion 2010 was a big success this year and you can check it out here. He was just back from their latest festival in St Petersburg that looked pretty cool. I’ll definitely be marking Adventures in Motion in my calendar for next year!

Charlie Mawer (Red Bee Media)

Charlie gave us a brief intro to what Red Bee Media do, and they do a lot… rebranding BBC1, BBC3, Dave, Virgin1, Disney, Discovery, ESPN, Canal+… pretty much every TV station has had the Red Bee treatment. On the night, Charlie took us through the work they’d done for Belgian children’s broadcaster KetNet. They did a great job of creating reusable and adaptable stings and idents for KetNet that allowed them to keep the visuals fresh and interactive by integrating programme trailers, live action presenters and also user generated content. The case study is on their site here.

A five year old could do this...

 

"Chair designed by committee" - Hockney

Matthew Rudd (Rudd Studio)

And finally we had Matthew Rudd, of the eponymous Rudd Studios. When he walked out first I thought he was a recent art-school graduate but it became quickly apparent he’s an insanely accomplished and talented visual artist.

Matthew’s session was an inspirational meander through his background as an artist and how he applies that thinking to his work. Along with some of his own photography, Matthew showed how art informs his thought process. For example, the way that Picasso’s cubist paintings and also David Hockney’s photo montages (pictured) capture the same moment from different angles led directly to his recent work for Channel 4.

Given that the existing Channel 4 idents were so still popular, Rudd came up with the elegant solution you can see in the video above. Using this simple device of splitting the screen to show the same animation from different perspectives managed to breathe a whole new life in to their idents without clashing with the existing ones.

The best ideas are often the simplest. Inspirational stuff.

Follow Shane on Twitter: @shane_casey

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