When the studio was founded, we set out a clear ambition to go beyond production and not be ‘just another 3D studio’. That meant resetting our focus on defining a clear strategy and art direction approach for our clients from the get-go. It meant setting out a clear process to ensure there’s always smart, considered thinking involved.
As an experienced team, we’ve seen a too often short-sighted approach to image production. Making creative ideas that fit one brief but are quickly shelved for the next idea.The result is often a haphazard collection of images with little or no consistency which can tarnish brand awareness, consideration and equity.
Today, marketing teams are increasingly focused on producing visual content. We believe that great visual storytelling starts with a foundation in brand strategy. The visual part is the ‘tip of the iceberg’. It’s an invitation into your brand’s ecosystem.
We set out to build a robust approach to building visual worlds. These worlds need to grow and change at the pace of content creation and work across a myriad of communication channels — always with a distinct visual signature.
Commerce: The big picture
We start with a business perspective that takes into consideration your brand's unique characteristics, organisational objectives and the context it lives in to deliver a consistent, effective solution.
Beyond the business objectives, is the audience. We ask, how can we align business objectives with the customer? It’s essential to establish communication goals for the project. What are we trying to prompt in the customer? What should they take away from this interaction? How will this resonate?
Art: Take A Perspective
Once the business and communication goals of the project are established, we begin a process of research and creative experimentation. The goal is to create arresting aesthetic worlds for your brand. Visuals with stopping power.
What gives an image stopping power? The results are never clear cut as in any creative process and there is no universal definition of an arresting image. However, like great art the goal is to trigger an emotional response in the audience. Wonder, desire, beauty, intrigue perhaps even disgust. It’s also about asking ourselves, ‘Have we seen this before?’. We seek something original, fresh and unexpected that demands a second look and prompts deeper consideration.
When looking at other artistic disciplines, the aesthetic of auteurs like Wes Anderson or Xavier Dolan make their films immediately recognisable. Simultaneously, their styles can shapeshift and adapt to the context of the film’s storyline.
The increasing demands of visual production mean styles need to shapeshift too. It’s not enough to simply outline a set of principles in a guideline PDF. Brands need to evolve, the subject matter is always changing, campaigns communicate different things, in different markets, in different channels.
The situation is complex and nuanced. Can we build a more conceptual framework for a brand to inhabit and grow within? Go beyond simple principles like ‘colourful’ or ‘human’. We want to rethink how we approach guidelines and principles and move to a narrative-driven framework that is flexible enough to allow reinterpretation and evolution. It’s about finding the conceptual ‘red-thread’ that ties visual worlds together.