Today, we are joined by Shane Griffin, he is a Creative Director. You can view his portfolio here.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you are currently doing – give us a brief bio.
I’m an Irish born designer / director, working in the field of TV & film. I’ve just moved to NYC from Ireland, to build up the design division of Method Studios. I’m Creative Director there. Method are known for their Hollywood FX on big blockbuster movies, so the design team is like a little boutique start up in the back. It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. Plus, I’m really enjoying NYC!
What are the common criticisms of identity design and is there any validity to them?
Common criticisms are different in and out of the industry bubble. Inside you hear things like “I’ve seen that before”, “I could have done that”, and “that looks just like…”. Of course there is validity to them, but more often then not the client takes the creative reigns and sucks the creativity out of a project, so you have to take that into account. Being European, the American design aesthetic is so alien to me. I think that’s a good thing.
Business owners often pay to have everything taken care of by professionals except their identity mark. Why should a business care about its logo?
The subconscious 10%. Identity evokes much more than a familiarity, it’s trust, it’s status, it’s a lifestyle.
What constitutes a good identity mark?
Timelessness. A couple of competitors have timeless identity marks, makes me very jealous. haha! Some of my friends have amazing hand-styles, and will do custom lettering for clients. I love that, you can communicate so much with hand lettering. It’s powerful.
What are some common mistakes which identity designers make?
Following trends is the major one. Have you seen the hipster logo generator?
It’s pretty accurate!
Can you detail the identity design process and how long this usually takes?
Unlike print work, motion identities are still in their infancy. People are still experimenting, creating new ways for their brand to interact with people. Motion identities usually take a couple a months. There’s a lot of troubleshooting & exploration that goes in at an early phase. This for me is the most exciting part. We’re all just a bunch of hackers, trying to push software limits and create original work. When we establish what the client is trying to communicate, we explore various routes & concepts, and
create test work. Collaboration is key. Then we pop champagne out of a limo when it’s over.
What has been your favourite project to date? Why?
Working on the ‘Yeezy – Red Octobers’ project with Nike And Kanye West was cool. It was a piece of pop culture history. The internet hype was crazy, and the visuals looked really striking in the end. I like to do fashion work, I’ve a keen interest in that.
What software do you use?
Software is always changing, so I know a bunch of stuff. The adobe creative suite is the jump off point, everyone needs to know that. In 3D I use 3DsMax and Softimage XSI. I know Foundry Nuke, and a few others.
Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?
Ask questions!! Sometimes, we’ll have an intern and they won’t ask how to make their work better, or take critique as a positive, it’s a kind of stubborn teenager attitude you’ve got to lose. Creativity comes from collaboration. If you want to teach yourself at home, that’s cool, there’s a bunch of tutorials on the internet for everything, but concept & creativity is key. No one wants to see that you can follow a tutorial, they want to see your
voice in the work, your style, for lack of a better word, your swag.
What are common challenges which identity designers encounter?
Playing it safe is the main one. This accounts for a lot of the generic work you see. There’s always a lot of client feedback which sometimes can kill your moral on the job.
How do you account for the great disagreement over the quality of identity marks even among identity designers ?
Subjectivity. I’ve judged on a couple of award shows, and when you get down to the nitty gritty, there’s a lot of subjective opinions. Most of the time, the talent is there, it’s just whether you like it or not! This can be a hard pill to swallow for some.
In your opinion who are the top five identity companies in the world?
I really shouldn’t say. I’m sure you understand!