Behind the scenes on WWF UK's Earth Hour 2015 campaign

London-based designer Radim Malinic reveals all about this year's Lights Out campaign.

At 8:30pm local time on Saturday 28th March, WWF Earth Hour 2015 will see hundreds of millions of people around the world switch off their lights for one hour, in a symbolic pledge of support for our planet.

As a campaign, it's huge. Last year Earth Hour hit an all-time record with 162 countries taking part.

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If you're the designer responsible for refreshing your country's national Earth Hour campaign, that's a lot of potential eyeballs on your work – which is precisely the position London-based designer and illustrator Radim Malinic, aka Brand Nu, found himself in last year.

This year, pleased with Brand Nu's refeshed 2014 campaign, WWF UK came back for more, charging Malinic with further developing his creative route.

To roll out the project, which spans print, digital, online, social, environmental and more, he enlisted the help of Dazzle Ship creative director Alex Donne-Johnson and digital artist Maciej Hajnrich, otherwise known as Velp.

Here, Malinic goes behind the scenes on some of the key campaign elements, and reveals the most surprising place his visuals have travelled to…

What was your brief for Earth Hour 2015?

Having built a good relationship with WWF UK in 2014, Malinic pushed the Earth Hour UK visuals further this year

To develop, design and supply all deliverables of Earth Hour 2015 for WWF UK. The visuals are continuation the campaign I developed in 2014, which was a full refresh on the Earth Hour campaign.

How does your creative communicate the campaign's message?

The message of the campaign is: 'Lights out, do it for your planet'

On the last Saturday in March people switch off their lights for Earth Hour. It's a big symbolic gesture to show the world that they care about it. It's a peaceful moment, when people reconnect and think about nature, their impact on the world and how to reduce it.

In 2015, we have decided to go with the main messaging 'Lights out, do it for your planet'. It's an encouraging and engaging message to convey.

Which campaign elements did you particularly develop this year?

Earth Hour UK 2015 is a cross-platform campaign, spanning online, digital, print, environmental and more

I wanted to take the good stuff from 2014 and make it even better for this year. The design is more intricate, yet bold, and it feels to me more confident and celebratory. We aimed to look big, equal to the size of an event that hundreds of millions of people take part in.

What was the most challenging part of the campaign, and why?

A star-shaped Earth Hour pin badge - one of many deliverables of the campaign

As with any project of this size, the turnaround times are very short, with very little margin for error. It was imperative to pay extra attention during all stages to ensure smooth delivery.

Every year, there’s a lot of new formats to cater for. One day it's a pin badge and flag design; the next day I was working on shopping mall floor stickers and a backdrop for a photoshoot with MPs. All require different skill and attention to detail.

What inspired the star-based typography?

Digital artist Maciej Hajnrich, better known as Valp, created the typography

When the lights go out, the stars can shine – that's where the the art direction came from. I wanted typography that is naturally formed from clusters of stars, space dust and constellations.

Every year, WWF explores a few different visual routes with focus groups. The starry text from last year was still very popular. This year, the main type was developed in collaboration with Valp.

We aimed for more realistic look and feel, and Maciej was the perfect collaborator. Part digital painting, part mixed-media, we also worked with textures and images sourced from NASA stock library for the most authentic visual.

What's your favourite part of the Earth Hour 2015 campaign?

For the second year, I've collaborated with Alex Donne Johnson on the creation of animated adverts for Clear Channel's digital ad sites. Although these are only 10 seconds in duration, it's always amazing to see the static visual come alive.

We only had 48 hours from sign-off to go live. It's always rather exhilarating to push for the best results in the shortest space of time. Alex took my frame boards and added extra depth and feel.

Also, a flag with my Earth Hour design has travelled to South Pole. The Poles are where the effects of climate change are most felt, so the flag design was part of the project. I was really excited about the fact that a piece of my work travelled all the way to Antarctica. How often does that happen?

How effective is digital art is as a tool for engaging the public in the charity realm?

I believe that with digital art you can create a much more immersive and exciting experience to fit the campaign message. Many charities have a very set approach, and guidelines that can never be crossed, but using digital art for the right reasons can provide a setting for very exciting campaigns. The visuals for Earth Hour 2015 seem like the perfect match for the event's ethos and values.

Where can we see the campaign in action?

Don't forget to turn your lights off on Saturday

Everywhere. Clear Chanel's digital sites, digital advertising, social media, emails, in 4,500 schools and online.

You can see more of Malinic's work on his website, and sign up to Earth Hour 2015 here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julia Sagar is a commissioning editor and writer for Creative Bloq, Computer Arts, net, 3D World and IFX magazines. Tweet her @JuliaSagar