If entering a specific arm of graphic design it really helps to know the landscape of what other studios and companies are actually out there, what niches are already being fulfilled and where each company finds its place in the industry. I thought I’d post up a top 5 motion graphics studios, much like the last big blog post I did on the matter. So without further ado I present to you the leading names in Scottish motion graphics.
Bleep is the moniker of Edinburgh-based motion designer Steven Horne. It’s a smart move to treat his design name “Bleep” more like a company. It allows flexibility for expansion, in case Bleep becomes a more established entity and wishes to employ more staff without having to overhaul the entire brand identity and potentially alienate clients. Bleep works with local clients for the most part, and has worked on motion graphics for title sequences, TV commercials and also online advertisements, a massive sector of motion design few studios have yet to tap into.
Showreel Highlight: Essential Edinburgh
Zutto is another studio mostly run by a single designer, Gerard Moris, who has worked for larger companies and turned to freelance work under a moniker. It’s a smart move as it helps the designer be taken more seriously, and speaks of a greater capability and talent than going under your individual name typically does. Zutto’s showreel covers commercials, title sequences, TV graphics and entire adverts and promotional videos accompanying other marketing campaign collateral. One interesting project features 3D reconstructions of shipping accidents for educational purposes. It’s another good example of motion graphics helping educate through visualisation.
The Edinburgh Film Company, Edinburgh
Well, they weren’t exactly going to be based in Glasgow now, were they. Director Luke Moodley comes from more of a film background, and consequently a lot of what the studio produce is filming and shooting, generating new footage. This opens up a lot of possibility for clients. Their portfolio includes music videos, documentary work and even filming at weddings. Events also provide a lot of good motion graphics work for the studio as can be seen in the showreel highlight link.
Showreel Highlight: Everywoman Event Conference Graphics
Toad’s Caravan, Glasgow
Toad’s Caravan aren’t the normal motion graphics or design studio, but rather a ‘collective’, much like Dundee’s Fleet Collective. They have a strong focus on motion graphics and the artists in the collective’s work is a wide spread of project types. This variety of skills in-house allows for pretty vast projects to be undertaken. Filming, production, editing and motion graphics are all handled on a brilliantly high-level. Much of their motion graphics work goes into online video promotion, another rapidly expanding market, as companies realise the potential of a strong online and social media presence.
Showreel Highlight: Betrayal Trailer
UpUp Design, Glasgow
Closely tied in with the aforementioned Toad’s Caravan, UpUp specialise solely in motion graphics, working mostly with 3D typography and photography manipulation. They, once again, work mostly with local clients, as Scotland’s demand for motion graphics seems ample to keep all the previously featured companies going without venturing further afield. UpUp tend to specialise exclusively in motion graphics, as opposed to other featured studios who also include video production as part of their services. This helps UpUp feel more focused and easier to understand from a client’s perspective than competitors.
Touzie Tyke, Glasgow
I may be a touch biased to Touzie Tyke, considering my brother is one half of it, but nevertheless Touzie Tyke have one of the most varied portfolios of a motion graphics studio in Scotland. Both members come from animation backgrounds and fulfill both the role of animators and motion graphics artists. Their showreel includes the typical examples of TV commercials, event graphics and online promotional videos but additionally they have produced 3D interactive models used for medical education. It’s a brilliantly unique use to, once again, use motion design to visualise a difficult subject matter and educate an audience.
Showreel Highlight: The Re:Design Option
Playdead are another studio solely dedicated to motion graphics. It gives their brand focus and makes their role easier to understand from a client’s perspective. Their work covers an immensely wide variety of formats, including the typical idents, title sequences and commercials, but also motion graphics as a educational visualisation of information. Both their BBC Bitesize and Planet Ant projects show motion graphics utilised in a completely unique and innovative way. I’ll be lucky enough to be featuring them on the blog over the next few days – watch this space.
Showreel Highlight: Motion Comics
Make sure to catch the next couple of blog posts for news on my interview with Playdead and additionally more analysis of what I’ve found in this post, in discovering more of the landscape of what the local motion graphics industry really is…
Listening to: We Work Nights by Gold Panda