Thursday, July 23, 2009

Syfy idents

The much talked about Sci Fi channel channel rebrand to "Syfy" occurred on 7th July, and I caught up with Dan Witchell at Proud Creative from Shoreditch who was creative director for the project.

There were 6 idents delivered in all, and a brand film delivered by 4 Creative. The idents were made in collaboration with Man Vs Machine (Tim Swift & Mike Alderson) who handled the animation and were integral to the creative conception of this project

Proud_Creative_SyFy_Logo_1 from Proud Creative on Vimeo.

here is some blurb from the press release:
Proud Creative won a four-way creative pitch in October last year; being appointed lead agency for a full rebrand. The brief asked for an ownable and distinguishable brand identity; retaining the positive associations from the genre of science fiction, whilst appealing to a broader audience and embracing the benefits of imagination.

The channel approached Proud with the name change already a large part of their strategic thinking. Syfy - unlike the generic entertainment category "sci-fi"- establishes a uniquely ownable trademark that is portable across all nonlinear digital platforms and beyond; from Hulu to iTunes. Syfy also creates an umbrella brand name that can extend into new adjacent businesses under the Syfy Ventures banner, including Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids.

Proud_Creative_Syfy_Logo2 from Proud Creative on Vimeo.

Personally I really like what they have done - the rebrand has a very clean futur-ey feel to it, but at the same time has a fun and organic feel to it - always a difficult balance to make when answering a brief! I love the lighting and the texture of the purple bubbles for example - the white background lets everything breathe. My only comment is that they are too bloody short! It's always the way with idents - so much care goies into them and they seem to be over before they have begun - sigh.

Proud_Creative_Syfy_Logo3 from Proud Creative on Vimeo.

Anyway - I hope we hear more from Proud and Man Vs Machine soon...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dan Capstick - freelance

Here are the BBC Knowledge idents

BBC KNOWLEDGE - Channel brand identity from Daniel Capstick on Vimeo.

I spoke to Dan Capstick the other day - a designer that we did a job with when he was at English & Pockett - a while back, obviously, but i wanted to catch up with him again.

He is an experienced designer/director and has worked at Turquoise, Tilt, Man vs Machine and has also had some good digital experience at Imagination. He has done a bunch of different stuff - content graphics, idents, brand films - I particularly liked the BBC Knowledge work - very classy!

you can catch his showreel here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Red Bee redundancies

I just heard that Red Bee are shedding 30 jobs - a mixture of designers, creatives and producers - given the state of things in the economy - this is not really so surprising - the biggest surprise is that it has taken so long for it to happen.

This also co-incides with a fairly hefty cull in numbers at Discovery's creative services department in Chiswick Park. I don't have any numbers, but I have had a number of farewell emails and have heard of many more

Many of the other large to medium sized companies have shed staff already - although they are not particularly keen for me to say who they are! I heard about one company who is paying the rent on their office space, and no one is there - the people that are left are working from home. However, I did hear of one medium sized company who shed six staff on the same day, but who are now surviving very well and picking up lots of work.

I just hope that the saying "when you close one door it opens another" is true for all these people, and that new opportunities are out there for these highly skilled people in web and gaming perhaps...?

If any one has any opinions on this - let me know.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cath Elliott /Little Giant Pictures

I briefly met with Cath Elliot last week - an energetic motionographer, five years out of college, who runs her own company doing animation, illustration and motion graphics - you can check out her portfolio on her website. She said that she started working for "serious" clients almost straight away after graduating from the RCA - clients like Imagination, Red Bee, BBC, Radiohead, MTV and Bermuda Shorts to name a few. What I liked about Cath's approach was that she is still doing quite arty projects as well as her commercial work. For example she has just completed a book for Willard Wigan - the insanely patient micro sculptor - check out this news report on him:
She's also making a video for Daisy Ginsberg - another RCA artist, explaining what her latest project Synthetic Kingdom is about. In a nut shell it looks at the research being made into replacing petrochemicals like plastics with artificially grown items from the plant organic kingdom. The example in the film is the making of a disposable cup from Keratin - the substance makes our finger nails, hair and hooves etc. On an environmental level this is a great idea.

At any rate - Cath is a busy lady and I'm sure we'll be hearing more of her soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

UKTV rebrand mini case studies part 2

Here's another bite at the giant fruit that is/was the UKTV nine channel re-brand that has just finished last week. I caught up with Kevin Hill (creative director) & Sophia Pendar-Hughes (exec producer) for more info.

Due to the large workload of this job he came up with a process of getting the creative thinking for each channel up and running as quickly as possible Kevin described it to me thus:
UKTV would provide a brief and then he would go away and come up with broad brush-strokes concepts and mood boards. His team would then be invited to pitch in with ideas of their own – as a single sentence to begin with. eg: "this channel is about giant eyeballs", or "this channel will be about a multi coloured union jack". They would then gather all the ideas together and identify the best shortlist for presentation. After a couple of rounds of concept tweaks, the client would approve one idea to go forward. At this stage, the design team would be assigned and the process of working out full execution across the idents and presentation system would begin. – Kevin was keen to stress that a lot of thought went into the name and the personality of each of the subsequent channels. Here are some of them:
Watch – also at - the one with the big inflatable eyeball. The idea here was to say that this is a mainstream entertainment channel which is fun and accessible, and definitely not pompous. The giant eyeball and the fact that it is called "Watch" subverts your expectation of what an entertainment channel should be.

G.O.L.D. – also at – stands for Go On Laugh Daily and is TV’s heart of comedy – more
focussed on pure comedy programs than before when they had a more 'general entertainment feel'. Visually this was done by giving it a more straight forward hand crafted look.
Eden also at Eden is a sumptuous looking nature channel – the idents have a dramatic feel – enhanced by the abstract shapes mingled in with the stunning footage of wildlife habitats and creatures. (you can tell it is making a serious play at tempting people from the Nat. Geo channel...)

What is also interesting is the amount of online presence each channel has – it makes total sense to me that if your remit is to make people more curious about your channel and make it some kind of destination - then there should be plenty of opportunity to explore it online. The BBC website has done this for years and there are many people who have it as their home page - so it's about time that other channels thought in a more multi-platform engagement. Anyway - you can tell they had a lot of fun working on these channels - as lots of personality comes through for each one.

Simon Crabtree – Designer/Director on G.O.L.D. & Eden, Nick Meikle – Designer/Director on Watch
Richard Sutton -
Designer on Watch & Eden, Claire Powell – Designer/Animator on G.O.L.D
Peter Kienetz – Designer on Eden, Luke Tilly – Designer/animator on Watch
Pryce Duncalf – Animator on G.O.L.D. idents, Teak Tse – Animator on G.O.L.D. brand film
Patrick Greene – Production Manager on G.O.L.D. & Eden, Liz Timms – Production Manager on Watch
Paul Coward – Production Co-ord on Watch, Victoria Stevenson – Production Co-ord on G.O.L.D & Eden

more credits and UKTV insights next time!