Case Study by Ric Riordon RGD, Riordon Design
Riordon Design has built an ongoing relationship with the marketing team at Conyers Dill & Pearman by designing key marketing and advertising pieces for their 10 global offices, including a fun holiday e-card last Christmas. The mandate was to design an e-card wishing clients and partners around the world a Season's Greeting while at the same time reinforcing the company's global size and presence.
Conyers Dill & Pearman were familiar with our work through a relationship the new marketing director had with another client of ours. A couple of years ago they were looking for an outside design firm to assist with their marketing department to help improve the branding and communications. Our size, online portfolio and branding experience in corporate communications, marketing and advertising, made us an attractive proposition for their needs. They started us on one project first to test the fit, which turned into a successful ongoing relationship.
The e-card was created to reach the firm's global clients and partners; lawyers and offshore investors.
The card's message needed to be communicated in five languages in 30 seconds. For the holiday season, we wanted to create a happy and whimsical piece so we chose illustration over photography or 3D rendered imagery.
We began by researching holiday e-cards produced by other firms and looking at different approaches in terms of style, length, music, etc. and quickly identified what we did not want to do.
Samples of animated e-cards were sourced through online research using Google, YouTube, Vimeo and other websites. After an initial meeting to define the client's creative objectives for the project, we presented our research samples as part of the concept presentation along with our creative brief. This research phase is how we usually start off a new initiative with our clients.
We developed two descriptive storyboards for the client to convey the concept, content and pacing for their approval. Given the seasonal nature of the project, the company wanted a youthful approach to the styling of the card. We sourced some options of animation styles for the client to choose from. Based on the style selected, we moved forward with Chuck Gammage Animation (CGA), an animation house we've worked with in the past as both a creative partner and a client.
We worked with CGA to interpret the descriptive storyboard visually and provided art direction for the type styling and the branded opening and closing bumper. The project was broken down into manageable stages with the client having input at each step along the way.
We presented a narrowed-down selection of sample stock music tracks to the client to confirm the background sound for the animation. Once we had the track that worked best with the rough video mix, we worked on pacing and syncing the soundtrack to the animation's timing. The entire process took us through a couple of months of intense work.
One of the biggest hurdles in the process was getting the language translations correct, given that they came from multiple sources from offices around the globe.
The finished e-card has a friendly tone and successfully conveys global positioning for the firm. Finding the right balance between message, image, motion and music resulted in a fun e-card that transitioned through settings from each of the 10 countries in which Conyers Dill & Pearman are located. The e-card finishes with "Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year" in English, Arabic, Russian, Spanish and Mandarin.
We received favourable feedback for Conyers Dill & Pearman's marketing department and the welcomed opportunity for Riordon to produce this year's e-card.
For a project like this where you have such a limited time frame to create a custom solution, the key (as in most cases) is to be simple, concise and direct. Keep the client in the loop throughout every phase of the project. Schedule a time buffer to account for the unexpected. There are usually unforeseen delays or added steps along the way, so anticipating this makes working through the process smoother.
We have a great relationship with the Conyers Dill & Pearman marketing team. A tip for others working on a project like this is the same as above – be simple, concise, direct and plan well ahead. Also, trust and respect each others' input throughout the project – this is key to developing good business relationships.
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