We're through creative a branding and digital agency from Macclesfield near Manchester. We've put together this site to create a source of inspiration, we hope you like it.

Stair Bears

Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Digital, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

A self-initiated project from creative agency DBLG creates a charming stop motion animation using 50 3D printed model bears

Natalie Greenwood, a producer at DBLG says "We often undertake studio projects as a platform to experiment and above all have fun. Fascinated by 3D printing we embarked on a project to explore the use of stop frame animation using 3D printing technology. Collaborating with our friends at animation studio Blue Zoo we set ourselves the goal of creating a two-second continuous loop using a bear originally designed for our Animal Planet rebrand [which we covered here]. After four weeks of continuous printing we created 50 3D printed bears walking up stairs each making a frame of our animation."

Here's the finished project

 

And some making-of shots


The Hilda Stories

Posted: April 11th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Damien Florébert Cuypers has animated a series of shorts for furniture brand Herman Miller, in which 80-year-old Hilda Longinotti reflects on her 21-year tenure at design director George Nelson's New York studio.

Nelson was design director at Herman Miller from 1947 until 1972 and worked with Ray and Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia and Richard Schultz on some of the brand's most iconic designs. His studio also produced exhibition graphics and catalogues for the company.

 

Longinotti was hired as a receptionist at the firm after answering a job ad in the New York Times and stayed until 1974. In 1979, she was appointed as manager of design community programmes at Herman Miller and later became a liason for their A+D programme.

In four videos produced by Hello Design, Longinotti recounts her experiences of joining the studio, playing truant from the office when Nelson was on holiday and the inspiration for one of his best-known products, the Marshmallow Sofa.

She also recalls Andy Warhol's work for Nelson before he was famous. "We were asked to do a restaurant and Nelson's concept was a plexi glass ceiling with butterflies running across, backlit," she says.

"One day, in walks Andy Warhol - didn't have his white wig, was not famous at all. George gave him the concept...a week or so later in walks Andy with renderings in pastel colours of the most beautiful butterflies." After three office moves, Longinotti looked for the artwork but discovered it had gone missing.

The films offer a charming insight into daily life at one of the world's leading design practices, and Cuypers' colourful and witty illustrations complement Longinotti's reflections perfectly, bringing to life New York's city scapes, the company's products and its staff.

You can see more of Cuypers' work, including some excellent illustrations for London and New York Fashion Weeks, on his website or see Herman Miller's site for an interview with Longinotti.


Ten illustrated posters for The Double up for grabs

Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Illustration, Music Video / Film, Type / Typography | Comments Off

With the film opening in the UK today, we have ten copies of Empire Design's fantastic illustrated poster for The Double to give away (detail shown, above). Click through to see how you can win one...

This competition is now closed. For the list of the ten winning entries, please see the bottom of the post. Well done to all the winners.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska, the Double is based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name and follows the story of a rather awkward fellow (Eisenberg), driven to despair after his life is usurped by someone who looks exactly like him, but is his behavioural opposite.

In our post about the eye-catching new photographic posters created for the film, Empire say that the illustrated version (above) was inspired by one created for Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps which also features bold 3D type.

In keeping with the darkness and claustrophobic atmosphere of the photographic versions, the illustrated cityscape is lit solely by a spotlight shining on a lone protagonist. Empire art director John Calvert worked on the poster with illustrator Warren Holder – the full version is shown below.

And we have ten copies of the illustrated poster to give away, courtesy of StudioCanal.

To win one all you have to do is come up with a suitable title for a film of any genre starring a designer, or with design as its subject. Puns are more than welcomed. The Kern of the Screw, Dr Embargo, or even The Man With the Golden Swatch, for example, could easily be ones you might not want to use.

And, really, we know you can do much better.

So leave your film title suggestions in the comments below, along with your name and email address, and we'll pick our top five and annouce the winners next week. The deadline for entries is 10am GMT on Monday April 7.

The Double is in UK cinemas today. See more of Empire's work here.

Thank you for all your entries. We have now picked our ten winners! They are...


A Clockwork 165C
Russ

The 10 ⌘ments
Russell Reid

There Will Be Bleed
Victor

Less'is Moreables
doof

Who's Afraid of Wolff Olins?
Tom

Jpeg-gy Sue Got Married
dougie Scott

Let The Range Right One In
Jeff

Midnight QuarkXPress
Murray

Death Proofs
Rich W

2001: A White Space Odyssey
Al Kinley

 

If yours is one of the above winning entries which was submitted without an email address – Victor, doof, Tom, Jeff and Murray – please repost a comment including that information and we can check that the IP address is the same (please use the same device to comment as you did before). For everyone else, we will be in touch!



An interview with Milton Glaser

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Advertising, Graphic Design, Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

At creative conference Offset in Dublin last month, audiences were treated to an exclusive video interview with Milton Glaser by author Steve Heller. Offset has now released the film online and you can watch it in full below.

The interview was filmed in New York where Glaser, now 85, lives and works. In it, he discusses his iconic I Heart NY logo, his love of making things and his thoughts on advertising and design today. He also reflects on the importance of collaboration and creating work with real social value - and expresses concern that contemporary advertising and design is more concerned with persuasion than communication.

It's a thought-provoking piece and worth watching the whole 53 minutes...

Filmed & edited by Areaman Productions
Titles: Steve MacD
Music: Gerry Horan


Suspended

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Filmmaker Andrew Telling has collaborated with artist Chloe Early on a mesmerising short to promote her forthcoming exhibition, Suspended.

Suspended opens at The Outsiders Gallery in London this week and features a series of paintings exploring weightlessness and gravity. "It's also a contemporary response to religious renaissance paintings and questions what we worship, and how we experience ecstacy and wonder, in today's society," says Early.

In a striking alternative to a traditional documentary-style teaser, Telling uses colour, textures and movement to create a "meditative" piece capturing Early's source material and creative process.

The film opens with hazy shots of aerial performer Tamzen Moulding suspended in mid-air, before cutting to close-ups of swirling paints and Early at work:

Early has previously worked with Moulding on a number of projects and conducts photoshoots with aerial artists to use as inspiration for her paintings.

Telling's footage of the performer jumping on a trampoline was filmed at London's Truman Brewery using a 20-foot-high scaffolding structure, which allowed him to capture a range of angles and backdrops.

The hazy opening scenes were created using a smoke machine, explains Telling: "as Tamzen would jump and go through various movements, it would turn to this haze for around 15 to 20 seconds, before it ended up looking like actual smoke. We did lots of takes to capture that moment in between but for me, it adds to the euphoric feeling you see in Chloe's paintings," he says.

Beautifully vivid shots of colliding paint were filmed in one take using no specialist rig or equipment, just a Pyrex roasting dish. "I think we did ten different colour scenarios, and whatever we had left after that, we just kept adding on top," says Telling.

"[Using] a Pyrex dish meant we could light it below, but work with a small surface area for greater effect, which is why you see waves of colour from all different angles," he adds.

"I was worried about treading common ground filming liquids, but I feel it works well as it incorporates Chloe's colour palette whilst mirroring the movement from Tamzen," he says.

Telling has worked on several promotional films for artists including HelloVon and Conor Harington, as well as brand films for Rapha, Kvadrat, Cos and Converse - you can read a feature on his work in our December 2013 issue.

He often works alone, single-handedly directing, filming, editing and composing an original score, but says Suspended is his most collaborative project yet.

"Working with a bigger team in production and post-production... allowed me to concentrate on the concept and the film's narrative. When you see Chloe's paintings in the flesh, there is so much depth and motion and you always see the figures in a wider context.

"The overall concept of the film, for me, is about this feeling of movement that you see [from] the documentary style shots of Chloe working in her studio to the more polished slow-mo ones of Tamzen and paints colliding. I felt the film needed to be [an] introspective view inside the paintings, [capturing] what is happening in the movement, and what it feels like and sounds like," he adds.

Credits

Director/Editor - Andrew Telling

DOP - Thomas Wooton

Assistant - Alex Hyndman

Music - Lucinda Chua

Grade - Jon Leese-Pomfret

Titles - Christopher Thompson


0800 Fun: animated silliness from The Layzell Bros and W+K

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Advertising, Illustration, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

The Layzell Bros have created a weird and wonderful series of animations for a new campaign promoting mobile network Three's decision to give customers free access to 0800 numbers.

0800 fun was launched by Wieden + Kennedy last week. The agency set up a series of automated 0800 numbers including a compliments line, a singing dictionary, a time wasting service and a sympathy line, and asked Matt and Paul Layzell to illustrate recordings of calls made to each.

The amusing online videos feature a colourful range of creatures, including a 'cool cucumber', a glamorous pineapple, a cheerleading robot and a sand castle in need of cheering up:





Chris Palmer has also directed three TV spots for the campaign, the first of which aired on March 18:

CR readers might remember The Layzell Bros from our 'animators to watch' issue last April. Since graduating from Brighton and Kingston, they have produced surreal and silly animations for Fox, Adam Buxton, E4 and US band Crystal Antlers - you can see more of their work on the pair's website, or view their moving image showreel at Blinkink.

 


Superman With a GoPro

Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Digital, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

In the April issue of CR we discuss the rapid rise of the GoPro camera and its many creative uses, but we didn't realise that superheroes were among its fans... until now

 

 

The film was created by Corridor Digital using a drone.

More in this behind the scenes clip


Mind-boggling film from ATYP Studio

Posted: March 18th, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Design studio ATYP has created this striking studio project – a short film that messes with your sense of perception...

According to ATYP co-founder, Chris Angelkov, the piece was born out of a conceptual investigation into "the idea of matter vs mind". "Which touches on themes involving the world and how we interpret it," he continues. "What is real and what is perceived, the relationship between science and philosophy etc. It's quite a far out starting point for a film that looks the way it does, but we focused down on a more tangible execution involving the relationship between reality and perception: how something as pure as a physics involving Newton's three laws of motion can be altered by perception, infiltrating and affecting the course of events."

To create it, the team at ATYP used the dynamics engine inside Maxons Cinema 4D to drive all the animation and events that happen within the film. "The chain of events that unfold are one constant simulation that we are observing, primarily from a single camera locked in proximity to the ‘atoms'," Angelkov continues. "The simulation happens from top to bottom in our 3D software as objects fall to the ground, so we rotated the camera head through 90 degrees to make the atom appear to be travelling sideways. Yes there are a few occasions where we break out from this locked position but for the majority we chose to record this from a surreal, and physically impossible, viewpoint.

"This is because we wanted to experience the film from the atom's point of view, in order to see what it experiences as it is invaded by the surrounding landscapes. It's more claustrophobic and this adds a unexpected element to the film. Kind of like when you’re diving with a mask on and keep thinking that the next thing that comes into view might be a shark. It keeps one on one's toes, and we liked that element of trapping you into the viewing experience.

"So… we dropped our ‘atom’ and set it off on a constant path, and to a certain extent, the film really made itself. There was quite a bit of chasing going on, as wind speeds and impact forces threw the spheres this way and that as we worked out where to position obstacles within the simulation. But after some careful and tedious arrangement we were able to hit go and the whole dynamic simulation was left to its own devices from that initial launch. We of course ‘painted’ and textured the environments as we imagined, but we used tessellated textures to cement the idea of synthesis and mathematic models. But their origins are organic and lie in microscopic photography of areas far too small for the human eye to read." Mind-boggling, right?

Credits:
Design and direction: ATYP
Audio composition: Benji Merrison


Wes Anderson: Centered

Posted: March 18th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Graphic Design, Music Video / Film | Comments Off

As the last few weeks have shown, with a new Wes Anderson film comes an opportunity for his fans to admire his aesthetic and design sensibility. Now a new compilation on Vimeo brings out the director's love of 'centred' compositions and symmetry in his shots...

Fans of Anderson's work will be well aware of the visual elements the director regularly incorporates into his films from The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, to Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The attention to detail that he invests in his latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, was more than evident in our interview with the film's lead graphic designer, Annie Atkins. And only the other day a tumblr of the colour palettes from various of his films was doing the rounds on Twitter.

But now Kogonada, a filmmaker who has made compilations of Stanley Kubrick's use of 'one-point perspective' and also considered Terence Malick's use of fire and water imagery, has assembled a tribute to Anderson's love of centred imagery, which appears in nearly all of his films.


New Placebo video voiced by Bret Easton Ellis

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Music Video / Film | Comments Off

Placebo has released a sequel to its inventive 'Unfortunate Details' promo of last year. In the new video – for track Loud Like Love – viewers are given another curious scenario to examine, while Bret Easton Ellis provides the voiceover.

In this film, the story begins with a young, beautiful woman vomiting dramatically over a young man at a pool party. With Easton Ellis as our guide, we are shown how to read all the various clues that appear in the scene in order to work out what might have happened. As in the previous 'Unfortunate Details' video (for song Too Many Friends, shown below), the film is clever, unusual and very stylish.

Both films were written and directed by Saman Kesh, who reveals that there will also be a third video to come. "The band and I always had the notion of a cryptic trilogy that dealt with social interactions across three times," he says. "Too Many Friends was about the isolationist future we could possibly live in. In Loud Like Love, we show a time that was almost the exact opposite. In the late 60s, it was a time of sexual revolution and almost 'too much' interaction.

"To keep the idea fresh from Too Many Friends, we wanted to focus deeper on our main characters and their relations to one another. On top of that, we wanted the video to be more invitational, poppy and overall 'fun', which would make sense with the time period."

On working again with Easton Ellis, who also voiced the Too Many Friends promo, Kesh commented: "Bret is a champ. He has become the voice of these videos, and there isn't a better person to really put the cherry on top our ice cream. The process was essentially like working with an actor, and Bret embodied the 'unreliable narrator' with flying 'psychedelic' colours!"

Credits:
Director: Saman Kesh
Production company: 890 Productions, in association with Skunk