Branding a conference is always a tough task. But branding a creative conference is a monumental task. Not only because you’ll have thousands of designers analyzing and disecting each piece – for good or bad – but because the concept and execution bar has been set really, really high. FITC is one of the few conferences that constantly delivers beautiful concepts through collaborations with great artists around the world, and as usual, they have outdone themselves this year with the release of the new FITC Tokyo conference branding. But as if the beautiful design was not enough, the recently launched opening titles, created by a team of superstars including Ash Thorp, Andrew Hawryluk, Michael Rigley, Albert Omoss, Chris Bjerre, Alasdair Willson, Nicolas Girard, Franck Deron – Yup, talk about a badass dream team – is one that will make you feel warm inside, fall in love even more with type+animation, and make you want to book your trip to Tokyo. Motiongrapher interviewed these great artists about their experience and online collaboration, and here are some of my favorite excerpts.
MG: How did you manage your workflow with so many people involved?
All nine of us were working remotely from three different countries and time zones.
Normally, this would have been a tremendous stress on everyone involved, but with the help of Dropbox we were all working out of the same folder hierarchy, sharing references, project files, and assets without any headaches. We then used Basecamp to store inspiration and references, coordinate everyone’s availability, set deadlines, and share our thoughts on progress made along the way.
Overall, I believe everyone involved felt very much a part of the team, mainly because we were all super passionate about making this piece something special. With the unique opportunity to collaborate with such a dedicated and talented group of artists on the title sequence for a conference that typically doesn’t have one, this project seemed to be a perfect excuse to try something groundbreaking.
Nicolas Girard: After testing out a few faces, I designed a typographical one-sheet to experiment further with Norm Replica. That became my main reference for the language I was going to build.
“After testing out a few faces, I designed a typographical one-sheet to experiment further with Norm Replica.”
The way some of the letters are sliced worked really well with our plan to typeset each name into a strict grid system, which we’d planned to navigate with a 3D camera.
“Each glyph is a blend between slices of Roman letters and Japanese characters”
I simplified a few of the original characters and designed a large set of custom glyphs based on Replica’s geometry. Each glyph is a blend between slices of Roman letters and Japanese characters: abstract on their own, but legible when contextualized and combined.
Once we had a language and a motion test that felt right, I designed all the name cards following Michael’s camera work. Alasdair and I then started to cut and animate the glyphs individually. We animated almost around the clock for two weeks — him being in Berlin and me taking over later on Toronto time.
Check out the entire interview HERE