Julian Brown RGD shares tips for working with clients who are 'motion graphics virgins'

Case Study by Julian Brown RGD, On The Chase!


In early 2012, On The Chase! was approached to produce a video introducing ShopLocket, an ecommerce platform for selling products through blogs, websites and social networks.



Katherine, one of the co-founders, had worked with OTC! before in her position at a previous company. She reached out early in the branding development process to collaborate on a video—which she knew would be an important selling tool for her new venture.


The objective of the project was to create a short video communicating the unique selling proposition of a new start-up in the crowded online shopping market.



Potential users of the service are young creatives looking for a simple way to begin selling goods online. The message needed to emphasize that users are able to focus on social media sharing without maintaining a complicated storefront.


Concept / Design Process

Using the example of a simple product, like a t-shirt, the video shows viewers how simple and easy ShopLocket is to use by referencing popular internet humor (you know, unicorns, double-rainbows, bacon). ShopLocket is pushing the envelope by offering a complex service to a tech ‘beginner’ audience. The video needed to make ShopLocket look easy to use and apply to processing sales and handling transactions.


I collaborated with one of the startup’s co-founders to help shape the core concept of the script. Initial branding work had been completed by another designer and it was important to push that mood into an engaging animated video.




"Since this video was created, ShopLocket secured funding over $1 million and participated in a prominent tech accelerator program. Their service has been covered in international media and the organization was recently named one of 7 Canadian Tech Stars to Watch by the Financial Post."  - Katherine Hague, Co-Founder, ShopLocket



For On The Chase!, this video is a great portfolio piece that resonates with almost all prospective start-up clients. If new business meetings are like rock concerts (...what, most aren't?), this is the project clients are shouting out requests for. Ironically, part of why this video is so successful is that it reflects ShopLocket's very unique brand personality. Other clients gravitate towards it, but then have a hard time seeing how their own brand would look and sound if given the same opportunity.


Challenges in Motion Graphic Design

There are a few challenges unique to specializing in motion graphic design. When I begin work with a new client, most of the time they are motion graphics virgins. As this blunt but colourful metaphor implies, there are pros and cons (some clients will think they know how to do it just because they've watched videos online). It's as important as ever to take the lead and follow the design process with your client, step by step. Only then will you arrive at a design solution that is unique and effective.

Another challenge is minimizing the production time/budget required for animation work, while also maximizing the creative possibility of every project. I'm a strong believer in not just capturing all my ideas on paper as sketches and storyboards, but also collaborating at this stage with my client. The rougher nature of hand-drawn storyboards puts the focus on the image concepts & connotations, not the technical details. Clients appreciate being part of those early iterations, and recognize that their budget is being used to it's fullest.


1. Highlight work that resonates with prospective clients, but recognize that each project will require a unique approach to correspond with the voice of the brand

2. Collaborate with the client in the early stages of a project when focusing on image concepts and connotations

3. Take the lead and follow the design process with your client - only then will you arrive at a design solution that is unique and effective


View the 'Introducing ShopLocket' video here: