We are animated
24th April, 2017
For the last few months we have been taking a turn at being the client.
It’s always tricky for design agencies to work on their own creative. When we spent over 12 months redesigning our website last year we discovered that when it comes to your own work the objective angle often just isn’t there. A design agency’s own brand has an added importance too because it reflects the abilities of the in-house team. It has to be perfect. So when the idea arose to create a piece of animation for Nexus, we knew that outsourcing the work would be the sensible choice and we knew that the agency we collaborated with would need to be worthy of taking the reigns of the brand we’ve always guarded so closely.
The partner we worked with for this project was ticktockrobot - a Sussex based animation studio. We knew them well already from working on their website a few years ago - creative director and friend of Nexus Simon Armstrong was at the helm of the project. It was his task to get to know our brand values and company ethos, developing a concept that truly reflected the message we wanted to put across whilst patiently fielding our anxious questions as the project progressed. What began as an idea to make an ident for our logo soon evolved into a plan to create a short animated video. Simon’s energy and enthusiasm for the project allowed the brief to grow and once the initial visuals and narrative started to take shape, we were really excited to see the final piece. For us, it was nice to be on the other side of the fence, waiting eagerly to see what ticktockrobot could come up with rather than painstakingly going through the process ourselves.
"True collaboration is about the client being listened to and understood, the brief being met, and the expert being trusted to do what you’ve hired them to do".
We got the result we wanted and more - our video is awesome. This isn’t because we forced Simon to roll out all of our ideas, neither is it because we let him run away with a completely open brief. We found a sweet spot in the middle somewhere. True collaboration is about the client being listened to and understood, the brief being met, and the expert being trusted to do what you’ve hired them to do. Meeting up to discuss progress over a beer can also be a huge help, we’ve found.
Visually quite an abstract piece, the film follows the path of a golden orb used to represent a new idea starting out on its journey. As the orb travels through each scene the video begins to tell our story using a voiceover. Simon initially read out the script himself as a placeholder, but when it came to picking a voice for the final cut we found we had warmed to Simon’s version - it was far more natural and friendly than some of the more polished options we had to choose from. Decisions like this enabled us to add a personal stamp to the film.
Although it’s a first for Nexus, using video to support company branding is a no-brainer. Every day YouTube is used to watch literally hundreds of millions of hours of video footage and Facebook alone boasts over 8 billion video views per day - the digital world is utilising video on an unprecedented scale. Animations have the power to take design a step further and communicate on a different level, with engagement rates consistently soaring above other types of content out in the social media space.
If you’re thinking about exploring where animation could take your brand, our paramount recommendation is to chose a partner who really understands who you are and what you’re looking to achieve. Having that basic enthusiasm and a shared goal for the project will enable you to step back and let the creative team do what they do best safe in knowledge that they have your best interests at heart.
To find out more about the project and see what else ticktockrobot do, head over to their website ticktockrobot.co.uk
If you speak to Simon, tell him we said hi!