I help brands
build relationships with people,
I trained for a number of years in Visual Communication Design, so I understand the language of both theory and practical aspects of Graphic Design.
In addition to creating self-initiated short films and video art of my own, I worked as a post-production video editor for a number of years, and was the official videographer at the 2000 Olympic games.
Having seen many poor examples of fully integrated campaigns (especially in new areas such as digital), innovation is often just a case of being able to support the creative vision in a sympathetic and practical way.
Whether it’s an online banner, stand-alone application or a website, including high quality animation can speak volumes about your brand. As many brand guidelines are also starting to include animation styles, it’s crucial to be able to translate brand values into easing and transitions. I have worked for many years in Flash, and more recently HTML5.
Having worked for upwards of 200 agencies over ten years in a freelance capacity, I’ve been able to see first-hand what works (and what doesn’t). Sometimes the smallest groups have the most efficient processes — but I was able to learn something from almost all of them.
Digital has always come naturally to me — an understanding of both the constraints and power of this medium, through many years of experimenting with both hardware and software (including building my own applications and installations).
Sure, there’s magic on the screen.
But is it all just smoke and mirrors?
In order to create the magical end result, it’s important to know two things: what your team will pass to you, and what your team expects you to give them back. It’s also helpful to know the overall objective, so you can try to add some additional value (this makes more effective use of timelines and budget).
This is true of a project in any medium, and for clients as much as agencies, but it’s surprising how often this basic principle of teamwork is neglected.
I believe in the traditional values of service, loyalty and being honest – both with your product and your potential customers (what is now called brand transparency). This yields better results for everyone in the long term. It is often hard to disagree – but that’s the only way to achieve change.
In today’s connected social world, any notion of being able to avoid the truth is soon exposed (often with expensive results).
My roots are grounded in post-modernism, metaphysics, humanism and a sustainable environment — so working deeply with efficient digital processes in a practical way comes naturally. And I read a lot of books.
“The man who has no imagination has no wings.” – Mohammed Ali
Mana, and being ‘aware’
Becoming cognizant or ‘aware’ of the context is just the start (of widening your perspective).
To create strong, reliable and robust systems, we must be able to notice fine details — however, the key to truly creative work in the digital medium is to rise above these reductive systems and become meta (using interaction).
In film theory, this is called breaking “the fourth wall” (or Brechtian distanciation and the blurred diegesis).
Mana is a New Zealand Maori word — it is difficult to translate as it reflects a non-Western view of reality, but can be taken to mean prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, success, leadership, qudos, and gravitas.
It’s a guiding principal that can be used to transcend industry buzzwords like customer experience, user journeys and the importance of visual design. It’s no coincidence that respecting your customers and providing good service is also good business practice.
Once you are aware of the broader context (and have produced the work to to the best of your ability), focus on the last 5% — this transforms a mere ‘solution’ into something that speaks to the humanity in us all.