Narratives using Imagery

1. CBS Action Ident

Currently running a couple of idents on UK TV.

  1. Chase ident
  2. Crime and Punishment ident

They can be  played and viewed here. The Lead Designer is Laura Hulme. First thing that surprised me is how short they are. Less than 20 sec. Before doing this write-up I never considered this. They have much more presence in my mind than that; especially the chase ident. Maybe because I’ve seen it so many times.

They appeal to me on many levels. Firstly, I’m a huge fan of motion graphics, be them idents ore film title sequences, etc. I’m appreciative of the  simple 3 tone colour palette and simple outline 2D graphics style.

As well as being a great graphic style, this simple reductive form allows you to concentrate on  what is being conveyed ( in my opinion ) instead of  being overly caught up in the graphics themselves. Lets face it, you’ve got a very small window to get your message across.

In this regards it remind of the now classic ipod campaign whichs is probably the archetype.

The important thing here is not the people themselves, its that they are have a great time. The frantic expressive movement and cool sounds give that away. And it alls due to the little device in  the noticeable 3rd colour which we learn at the end is the iPod

The idents play  like a storyboard, nicely moving you along from one cell to the next. Each cell has a classic scenes from the genre  its promoting. Thus allowing to relive those moments as it progresses through. All the excitement, the adrenaline! The 2 guys running along the train is most potent for me. All 2secs of it ! It brings up nostalgic memories of 70s, 80s action ( or spy) films and cop shows.

Its a motion graphic, so any tool in the field could be used. Adobe After Effects comes to mind, not that I have any experience of it. But from my perspective it something that could be replicated  with great success in Flash. Perhaps starting in Illustrator to produce all the graphic symbols.

Wow, writing that almost seems like a challenge !. Yep I think its gonna happen!

I think the ident is not only successful in informing you what you get on the channel, but in doing it with such visual flair

Pretty cool!

2. Around the world in 80 Drinks

One of many illustrative titles by Josh Agle. Due to copyright restrictions can only veiw or find a copy on amazon to look inside.

I absolulelty love this retro image style. He describes it as

‘being based on advertising and illustration from the 50s and 60s with a modern with a modern twist’

See video link below.

I would say it has its roots in American Modernism. The strong use of colour, angular elements, but not just visually but also culturally;  the jazz music, hipster lifestyle so often depicted.

Looking a bit deeper I would say that these visually elements are born out,  or influenced by movements such as cubism. You only have to look at some of the UPA cartoons between the 40s and 60s to notice  more direct references.

The book itself is thin on text. If anything I would say that these books only exist to indulge yourself in the artwork. There is some nice freehand , or bespoke fonts befitting of the period. The main content is bog standard serifs, and san serif.

This is certainly a visual experience,  light reading,to be placed on a coffee table; perhaps at a party. Light hearted, fun.

I found a really fun quote about this book. Not sure how serious this quy is,but it made me chuckle

This work certainly suits Illustrator, with a few textures here a there to give it a bit of life. If my drawing skills were up to it I would definitely turn in a project in this style. One for the near future I think.

3. HTC – Simply Brilliant Campaign

HTC ran a series of these  a couple of years ago. They employ basic black and white outline animation. In this one we have a  person struggle with a map. Your eye follows this central character  as he struggles to find his way. Just as he gives up; up pops a phone and points him  in the right direction.

Its a very simple ad that make its point clearly, whilst having an element of charm to it.


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