For the fourth Next Billion forum the team at Quartz wanted to take the event space to the next level with an immersive, branded environment that included animations in the main hall at One Marylebone in London.
The Quartz creative team brought us on board to design and animate site-specific motion elements, which we were thrilled to find popping up on Twitter and Instagram. We love the way our animations worked with the lighting design by Full Circle and site graphics by Pureworks. The total effect was truly greater than the sum of the parts.
The process involved tight collaboration with Associate Design Director Eric Trott (who designed all the Next Billion graphic elements) and Event Manager Maggee Dorsey (who worked closely with Eric on the design and look of the space.) Event Producer Laurea de Ocampo was instrumental in facilitating seamless coordination with the tech team across the pond, ensuring all went down without a hitch on event day.
(All photos by Holly Clark, taken at Quartz’s The Next Billion London, used by permission.)
The stage is set with our looping spirals framing the presentation slides.
The stage in context with the looping spiral animation in the arch above during Fareed Zakaria’s opening remarks.
Wide shot of the main hall
Our task was to create elements that work with the architectural elegance of the event space and the minimal, sophisticated luxury of the Quartz and Next Billion brand.
I believe design expertise is most evident the times when the assignment is to create “less” rather than “more.”
We enjoyed exploring solutions that were subtly complex, but not in competition with either the space or the content on stage. The work actually got more minimal as it evolved. How do you make a loop that’s not predictable? How do you design animation that can recede into the periphery, but still add interest?
Ultimately the most effective approach included a subtle animation for the morning session that changed to a more energetic motif for the afternoon session. Additionally, we created a subtle motion environment branding the content on the main screen, and one visually dynamic “flourish” to use during stage transitions.
And of course, part of the fun of any branded project is creating variety within a system, keeping the optimal balance between coherent and fresh, and seeing it all come together.
Morning Arch Projection
This seamless loop played in each arch, and was also the primary element used (at various scales and speeds) in the main content frame. The spiral is evocative of the Next Billion graphic element with an added layer of dynamism. A visual paradox, the element appears to grow ever larger while remaining the same size. A subtle touch is that the speed varies slightly over the course of the long loop, adding a “wait, is it changing or did I imagine that?” layer of complexity.
This (and the next) is shown in a template with 2 arches, to evoke the effect on-site.
Afternoon Arch Projection
For the afternoon session we wanted to bring the energy level up a notch in the arch projections. The solution here used the logo element directly, playing off its mandala motif and then leaving the 2D plane as the circles flip over in 3D space to reform the element. Again, we created 3 nearly identical loops, lending a subtle variation to the repetition.
Main Screen Flourish
This short flourish was developed as a visual burst to enhance key moments like speaker introductions. At the root this is again simplicity itself: concentric circles. But by varying the speed and size of the waves and allowing the offset center to create a quick, evolving moiré, we ended up with a beautiful element that had it own internal rhythms and worked with the various music stings used for the transitions.
We look forward to creating with Quartz as their brand and events continue to grow.