Post Magazine

March 2018

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Page 37 of 43 36 POST MARCH 2018 DESIGN & ANIMATION oing into 2018, the superb craft put into the design and ani- mation industry will be stron- ger than ever, giving the industry the strength it needs to grab and hold on to consumer attention. Software advancements and the access creatives have to powerful design and animation tools continue to raise the bar. Realtime render engines like Octane and Redshift are making virtually photore- alistic CGI much easier to achieve; and there are countless 2D tools that make cel animation, for instance, more intuitive than ever — and quite popular. All in all, the "standard" of great work is the highest it has ever been and it's an exciting time. While it's important to engage creative professionals who are skilled in the art of communication, it's equally important to recruit talent who can think, direct and verbalize conceptual thinking to clients. With all the tools and talent at our dispos- al, there's still a need for more people who can sell great image-making as a viable solution for the needs of the brand. Such dual talents are so rare that it feels like a lot of well-crafted work goes to waste and never sees the light of day. Lately, I'm also noticing a lot of in- credible illustration-based approaches to design and animation, especially in advertising. Meanwhile, clean, typogra- phy-driven creators seem really hard to find. Ironically, many of those creatives are on the entertainment marketing side; however, they aren't crossing industries entirely yet, or they're great image-makers but not necessarily great animators. With the majority of 2018 still ahead of us, I believe design and animation applications of branding will come back in a major way this year with TV net- works, and corporate and retail brands. Moreover, we will start to see how much more effective design and animation can be, especially in social media vs. traditional live-action or photographic approaches to advertising and content. This is because viewers are able to iden- tify a brand more quickly when scrolling through "designed" content. With shrinking budgets, it is also cheaper, faster and more editable to produce designed and animated media. Notwithstanding, the design and anima- tion industry as a whole must be wary of settling for the sake of being competitive — and the same can be said, really, for the advertising industry as a whole. With many agencies owned by larger parent companies, the need to keep billing up compromises critical creative pushback towards clients, which is some- times necessary for the greater good of the brand. This is dangerous because it trickles down to the creators — and the limited risks they're approved to take in order to make great solutions — which, in turn, risks yielding less memorable results. Because of this, brands lose confidence and loyalty to agencies and studios, which in turn leads to "one-off" projects. Making isolated creative, even if it's good, means it's harder for consumers to stay loyal be- cause the marketing content doesn't feel consistent. This sets all of us up for a very difficult place to work from creatively and, as such, it's harder to win work even with really good creative. The lack of talent, again, will be a threat to design and animation in 2018. With a much higher number of talent at an average level out there, it drives down day rates but also gives clients an abundance of options. This seems good on the surface but it creates a culture of saying "yes" to everything on the creative side in order to stay competitive, which is not the best solution for brands, even if they think so in the moment. The really great studios will continue to accelerate regardless, and the teams that position themselves as experts will do so as well. TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2018 G GRABBING AND HOLDING CONSUMER ATTENTION BY PJ RICHARDSON PARTNER/ECD LAUNDRY LOS ANGELES LAUNDRYMAT.TV Laundry's recent SyFy25: Origin Stories animated short. The studio's LA location. An animation project for a recent fan-centric podcast.

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