Visual Direction

Visual design and direction is a where I feel most at home.  I've learned so much from those that I've worked with over the years.  Some common themes have emerged as guidelines that I use every day.   The guidelines below are just a few that I implement to ensure the greatest vision is created with synergy and buy in from the teams I work with.  You can see the effect of applying these principals and guidelines in my work on EA's and Illumination Entertainment's Minions Paradise.
  • Why?  I always ask why are we doing this.  Sounds simple, but asking why helps you solidify your thinking and ensures the vision solves the problem at hand.  It also helps focus efforts on the right part of the image, animation, or design which ultimately makes the vision stronger.
  • What?  Same as above, asking what can help answer a lot of technical questions that inevitably come up during production.  
  • How?  Understanding how things need to be developed and communicated to the team is essential to a smooth efficient production.  Finding out deadlines, and what your resources are will help inform your decisions on how you are going to create your vision.
  • Simple, Clean, Elegant and Iconic are the words I use to measure my design and vision.  
    • Simple:  A design should be simple and uncomplicated.  It should allow the viewer to easily digest the concept in a glance, and feel an emotional connection to the piece
    • Clean:  A design should be technically clean.  There should be a clear focus that utilizes fundamentals in composition, color, and technique to communicate the vision without distraction
    • Elegant:  The solution should appear simple and appear effortless.  The resolve of  good visual design should allow the viewer's eye travel and appreciate the piece in the same way one might listen to and appreciate music composition.  There should be moments of discovery and delight, mood and contrast.
    • Iconic:  Timeless and easily understood design leads to iconic long standing recognition.  This is the essence of branding and creating an identity.  This to me is the antithesis of being abstract.  An idea that is iconic is one that feels familiar but displayed in a unique way that evokes an immediate response of being well known and understood.