Today is a special day for those interested in numbers and predictive theories as today’s date is 09/09/09 and tonight it will be precisely 09:09.09. In light of this special event, marketing gurus have attempted to ‘play with the numbers’ offering limited time special offers such as $99.99 hotel rooms offered at Hotels.com. Out of all of these promotions, the one that caught my attention most was Shane Acker’s 9.
What began as his college thesis, Shane Acker’s ‘9’ was a humble 10 min 38 second short film that quickly grew recognition through it’s numerous awards. It later gained enough praise that it was nominated by the Academy Awards for best Animated Short Film (it fell short to John Canemaker and Peggy Stern’s “The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation”). Taking note of its potential for big screen development, Focus Films picked up the contract with Tim Burton on board as a producer (previously a director of films such as the Corpse Bride and the Nightmare Before Christmas) with Acker directing (despite misleading advertisements that play off of Tim Burton’s name, hinting that he directed the film).
As for the film’s post-apocalyptic PG-13 nature, as advertised in theatres, “this isn’t your little brother’s animated film.” What’s brilliant about this film and the animated genre’s evolving nature, is that while little kids can enjoy the incredible graphic visuals and fast paced storyline, the adult undertones and messages are enough to captivate an older audience. The visuals are otherworldly, and the concept behind it has a refreshingly dark spin on the battle between good and evil.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out Shane Acker’s original short film 9 here as well as the official HD movie trailer here. The graphics and audio alone are a sheer masterpiece, and its perfectly timed marketing strategy to release today has made it stand out as a must-see film from my perspective.
I’ll be checking it out tonight
A friend of mine who I mentioned in my previous blog post is starting up a ceramic knife company/ wanted some help with a new logo design.
History: To give a brief background on the origins, these particular knives are forged in Japan by compressing a fine Zirconia powder under 300 tons of pressure at up to 1400°C and sharpened by a master knife worker with industrial grade diamond sharpeners. They are razor sharp and chemically inert so they don’t absorb oils or transfer flavors from whatever they cut.
Logo Design: I decided to merge the knife’s features with its Japanese origins and keep it very sharp, clean, and simple. I went through a series of comps and compiled them to display the logo’s progression as well do some preliminary market testing. Here’s the comp sheet and my thoughts behind each of the design elements:
Logo Design: I decided to merge the features of the knife with its Japanese origins by keeping the logo very sharp, clean, and simple. I went through a series of comps and compiled them to display the logo’s progression as well as some preliminary market testing. The following is the comp sheet and my thoughts behind each of the design elements:
Font: When selecting a font, I was looking for one that displays sharp edges and angles to synch with the razor sharp blade of the knife. It had to be simple and crisp, and it had to synch with Japanese tradition.
Color Scheme: Ceramic knives are produced in a standard grade white and a high end black, so those two colors were the natural selection for the text font & background. The image also needed a dynamic graphic image to break things up, so I drew from the Japanese flag – the red rising sun in a white background representing purity (perfect for the chemically inert nature of the ceramic).
Graphic Addition: To break up the logo, I added a simple red bar in the background. Then, I thought it was too simple and had no meaning, so I shaped it to ambiguously represent both a sharp cutting edge as well as a chopstick. Thus, I was able to connect the product, the Japanese culture, and the food typically prepared with this type of knife, such as sushi, that requires a precision edge.
Dynamic Effect: The red bar in itself was too stagnant, so I played around with how I could make it interact with the text. I attempted to make it skewer the letters, but that looked too cluttered. Then, I simplified it and had it interact with the first A and the K. But, again, that was too cluttered. I eventually ended up resting the design in the letter K as a chopstick would sit or a knife would slice down into an object for a nice simple dynamic effect.
The high-res comp sheet and final logo can be viewed in my “Logo Designs” Section by clicking the individual images: