Archives for category: Motion Graphics

In recent years, much has been made about America’s addiction to sugar (eye-opening 60 Minutes piece of journalism, here). It really is an epidemic whose impact has yet to be truly realized. But we are slowly waking up to the fact that our sugar-loaded diet is not only making us fat, but it’s also killing us with covert toxicity. New York-based production company Dress Code recently tackled the subject through a thoughtful animated short, aptly titled Coke Habit. Though Dress Code’s usual workload is of the commercial variety, original content plays an important role in any creative enterprise. This superbly crafted surrealist mini masterpiece, featuring arguably the most iconic brand on the planet, tells a true childhood story of staffer “Mike” and his Coke addiction… as in seemingly benign Coca-Cola. From their adept use of color to their masterful storytelling, Dress Code hits all the marks with this brilliant little film.

Via Vimeo and dresscodeny.com

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Just when we thought the golden age of music videos has passed and true innovation was practically impossible, enter Los Angeles-based pop/rock band OK Go, who have made a reputation for music video ingenuity again and again. Their latest two videos, “Upside Down & Inside Out” and “The One Moment” (both released within about the past 13 months) continue to push boundaries. The former is a gravity-defying feat via what is referred to as parabolic flight. Without knowing the context, one would think it was an exercise in CGI and green screen trickery. But what makes this gem of a music video so special is the fact that the video was shot in a single, 45 minute take. Then non-micro-gravity portions were simply edited out, for a seamless looking weightless romp to the song’s three-minute length. The latter, “The One Moment”, is touted with the distinct honor of “the shortest amount ever filmed for a music video.” The video uses just 4.2 seconds of footage, stretched out to the song’s full-length by slowing down portions by some 20,000 percent. Sounds pretty straightforward, but rest assured the logistics behind this were meticulously orchestrated by some super creative minds. OK Go is diligent about offering a behind the scenes look at these mini masterpieces, which just bolsters our assertion that some folks simply use more of their creative potential than others. We cannot even begin to wrap our minds around how one would even dream up these concepts, let alone bring them to life. But we’re certainly glad these guys did. In a single word: inspiring. Now watch the videos… okay, go!

Via okgo.net

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There’s “plenty” to love about the work of Argentinian designer/art director (and co-founder of Buenos Aires-based motion studio Plenty, and now at the helm of Playful studio) Pablo Alfieri. His vibrant and playful portfolio is crammed full of lighthearted designs that are heavy on conceptually and compositionally sound foundations. Though we don’t know him personally, we can safely deduce that Alfieri’s irreverent sense of humor shines through his fantastic designs. Be sure to peruse his robust portfolio, but we will simply leave you with a New Year greeting (yes, made from bendy straws). Hope you love Alfieri’s work as much as we do. Oh, and happy 2017 too!

Via Behance

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On this Election Day eve, perhaps the most historic U.S. election in our lifetime, a large swath of the population is bound to be unsatisfied with the outcome. With that in mind, we bring you a short video by Paris-based motion design studio Parallel that’s both amusing and unnerving. Though it has no relation to the election itself, it’s a terrifically animated short about everyday situations that are simply unsatisfying. The appeal of this video is twofold for us: not only is it highly relatable (we can honestly say that we’ve felt the frustration of every scenario depicted), but the quality of the work, from the overall style, use of color, animation and sound design, are totally on point. Having realized they really tapped into something, Parallel Studio is now conducting a challenge (here) to fellow animators no matter their skill level, to submit creative takes on other unsatisfying situations.

Via parallelproduction.tv

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We are compelled to check in on the work of renowned Russian illustrator/graphic designer Eiko Ojala every so often (here and here) because he’s just so good. Ojala’s style is distinct… we now recognize it from a mile away. These are truly mixed media endeavors, mixing digital illustration, paper textures, and both real and artificial shadows. His adept sense of color, composition and depth are hallmarks of his incredible body of work, which includes illustrations for a variety of impressive clients including The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Herman Miller, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American Mind, Ebony Magazine and The New Yorker. Here’s a sampling of some of his more recent work, including a children’s book he recently illustrated (available for purchase here). Enjoy.

Via ploom.tv

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No matter what you think of CNN’s new corporate font, aptly named CNN Sans, CNN’s investment in not only the font itself, but this humorous, highly-produced video touting its attributes seems like a win for those of us who hold the value of typography in the highest regard. As far as we’re concerned, increased awareness of the importance of typography can only be a good thing. Albeit, there are some haters who consider CNN Sans to be a blatant ripoff of Helvetica (CNN even acknowledges the, um, resemblance between the two). In case you’re wondering about possible copyright infringement, no worries… CNN Sans was developed by type foundry powerhouse Monotype Imaging, who has brought us ubiquitous typefaces such as Times New Roman, Gill Sans and Arial. Oh, and they own the rights to Helvetica.

Via cnncommentary.com

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Paper craft, using paper as the primary artistic medium for the creation of three-dimensional objects, is a highly specialized expression of one’s creativity. Though we don’t create this type of art ourselves, we certainly admire those who do (here and here and here). Milan-based artist Mauro Seresini is no exception. With little more than X-Acto knives and stockpiles of Bristol board, Seresini’s work ranges from editorial to advertising to commissions to large and small scale installations, and has attracted such luxury brands as Valentino, Tod’s and Lavazza. There is a certain unmistakable elegance to Seresini’s work, which clearly drew these clients to him. And the fact that Seresini is self-taught only heightens our affinity for his work. A true artist, through and through.

Via mauroseresini.com and Behance

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Just this week, Uber unveiled a global rebranding that not only strayed a bit from its recognizable logotype, but also introduced a rather detached set of app icons. Can’t say that we suffered from extreme design envy over the previous Uber logotype, but it was fine. While their new logotype seems like a step in the right direction (thicker letterforms and tighter composition for maximum readability), the highbrow concept behind the app icons and larger identity seems rather misguided, and will surely be lost on most. Yes, Uber’s official statement references “bits and atoms” (“The unique aspect of Uber is that we exist in the physical world. When you push a button on your phone, a car moves across the city and appears where you are. We exist in the place where bits and atoms come together. That is Uber. We are not just technology but technology that moves cities and their citizens.”) In theory, the thought process behind the concept, which is customized identities for specific markets that aim to draw colors and patterns from “art, architecture, tradition, old and new fashion, textiles, the environment”, is a thoughtful one. But from a branding perspective, it seems to dilute the impact of the Uber brand as a whole. And that doesn’t even address that larger concern that the icon itself is not identifiable in any way as Uber. Though we had issues with the previous icon employing a dissimilar “U” letterform from the Uber logotype, at least it was just that, a letter U. This icon, or rather set of icons – one for riders, another for divers – make no effort to resemble the new Uber logotype in any way. Why abandon the “U”? Our view is not the basis of some pretentious design theory, but simple human nature. In our estimation, the biggest stumble here was not hiring branding experts for the task. We are not knocking in-house designers… they are often immensely talented with an invaluable familiarity and investment in a given brand. But this was surely not a 12+ months-long task meant to be spearheaded by a non-designer CEO. There are experts in the field who do this sort of thing, we are among them. We hear the cry among our peers: “Help us help you!” Sure, the presentation of Uber’s new identity is slick, but the principals behind the design concept as a whole indicate a lack of design leadership. An unfortunate case of just looking pretty, but not meeting a brand’s true potential.

Visuals via Uber

 

 

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New look. Same ride.

A post shared by Uber (@uber) on

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Though recent weather patterns may suggest otherwise, summer is merely a fleeting memory, with that autumn feeling fast approaching. We recently stumbled upon the phenomenal work of Madrid-based studio Serial Cut, and more particularly a video they created for fashion/style giant DIESEL (who we are also especially fond of), that harkens back to those sultry summer days in the not so distant past. Showcasing their Spring/Summer collection, DIESEL commissioned Serial Cut to create this glossy, gravity defying promo loop, Melting Props, to display in store windows. We often find ourselves in awe of really well executed 3D/CGI work (here and here and here)… and Serial Cut’s work is among the best we’ve seen. In their own words: “A digital celebration of summer featuring pieces from this collection, including footwear, sunglasses, and bags, all inhabiting a glossy landscape. An ice cream cone, surfboard, and basketball all melt and dripping in the heat, encapsulated in a candy coating that shimmers through a rainbow of blues, greens, and pinks, with movements emphasizing the suspension of natural law as texture. Get into a surreal summer immersion, where gravity is merely a suggestion!”

Via serialcut.com

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On the heels of the 87th Annual Academy Awards, we can’t help but feature this funny compilation of parodied clips featuring kids reenacting scenes from this year’s Best Picture nominees (American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, Selma, Boyhood and Whiplash). Directed by Los Angeles-based producer/director Ethan Cushing for CineFix, “Kid Oscars 2015” is comical and awkward all at the same time (just picture child actors impersonating Martin Luther King Jr. and Stephen Hawking). It’s all in good fun, and highly entertaining.

Via YouTube

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