Computer ArtsInterview

Finger Industries on creating a one-off logo

Each issue, Computer Arts magazine asks a top studio to give its unique take on its tagline. Find out how the designers at Finger Industries went about creating their animated Design Matters logo.

Founded in 2002 by designer and animator Marcus Kenyon and illustrator Jonny Ford, Yorkshire-based Finger Industries is known for its imaginative, original animations and illustrations. When we asked the studio to come up with a Design Matters logo for issue 217 of Computer Arts, along with an animated version for the interactive digital edition, the creatives took inspiration from their Sugary Death Machine animation, a sweetly coloured motion piece with a darker undertone.

We spoke to Kenyon, Ford and production manager Rachael Brown to find out what went on behind the scenes on the project.

Computer Arts: How did you approach the project?
Finger Industries: We started off with a sketch, taking the geometric forms and patterns from the Sugary Death Machine (SDM). Then it needed something denser for the type to pop out of – something solid, without the photographic element. The type is very clean so we could go for really bold colours and just enjoy filling the space with a variety of strong, graphic shapes.

CA: Where did you get your inspiration from?
FI: I wouldn’t say there was a specific inspiration for this piece, but SDM was strongly influenced by the sculptures of the amazing New York artist Rodney Alan Greenblat, with a bit of Hiroshi Yoshii thrown in.

CA: What was the most challenging part of the project?
FI: The hardest part was creating the illusion of depth while some of the elements overlapped the front circle. As we created it in 3D the depth was ‘real’, so for the parts that overlapped the front we had to do a separate pass with masks, before compositing it together in Photoshop to create that true ‘Escher’ illusion! Once we had figured everything out for the static image we had to then recreate that in After Effects for the animation

CA: What's your favourite part of the final design?
FI:
There’s one lovely bit of light and shadow – but it’s hidden behind the ‘E’ of Matters…

CA: If you could do it again, what would you go for?
FI:
Something very different! Maybe even more intense. We’re designing some truly revolting bugs at the minute so maybe we’d do a scary version.

CA: Tell us about Finger Industries: who are you and what do you do?
FI: Formed in 2002 by Marcus and Jonny in the heart of leafy Sheffield, Finger Industries is a creative, hard-working animation and illustration studio with a history of producing great characters and original ideas. Our specialities include animation design and production, CGI illustration & animation and series concept development.

We’ve created hundreds of illustrations for Lloyds TSB, animations for HSBC, Ribena, The Car People, Mamas & Papas, Seabrooks as well as lots of healthcare campaigns. We also do design work for children’s TV and have contributed to programmes like Mike the Knight and Chuggington, as well as developing our own concepts.

CA: Why does design matter?
FI: Because design is one of the things that separates us from the monkeys, along with shoes, taxes and hats. Not that we have anything against monkeys.

Find out more on the Finger Industries website.

If you're a designer or studio interested in creating a Design Matters logo for Computer Arts, get in touch with art editor Jo Gulliver at Jo.Gulliver@Futurenet.com.

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