It is quite remarkable that EIZO, a company which develops and produces computer monitors dedicated to the specific fields of Graphic Design, Photography, Digital Film Production, Medical Imaging, Financial Trading and Air Traffic Control has chosen to promote its ColorEdge products with an animated Christmas message commissioned to the young emerging designer Katy Beveridge.
Colin Woodley, Business Manager of EIZO Limited, said that when the company first met the designer in 2012 they were convinced that both would have got the most out of the collaboration; “We met Katy in 2012 and decided then that she was someone we wanted to work with to help tie our two industries together”.
The promoting Christmas message (a 40 second animated film launched yesterday on EIZO Global YouTube page), instead of exploiting the most cutting edge digital software for animation, relied on the creativity of the young London-based designer who recently graduated with a first class honours at Central Saint Martin’s college of art and design.
The designer achieved interesting results throughout a combination of traditional and contemporary animation techniques. Especially inspired by the early Russian Stop-Motion animation films, Katy designed a 3D set out of paper and foam and did rendering with a contemporary digital animation software with the aid of a EIZO CG246W monitor.
The short video, which shows a little bird flying in the snow around Christmas trees, is appealing for its naïf taste. It brilliantly combines the low-fi look of the paper and foam set with the promotional message. The last frame shows the backstage of the animation set including the EIZO monitor which instead of disturbing the “Christmas tale” seems the appropriate conclusion and representation of the contemporary integration of technology with the film narrative.
The technology advertised here seems to promote creativity as its integral part or as the recognizable outcome of the products (in this case the monitors) rather than representing the latest technical achievements. It acknowledges its total belonging and dedication to the design market it mostly works and develops for.
In this sense it is not surprising that the choice of designer Katy Beveridge suited this implicit message. She has recently been picked by Selfridges to be part of the “Bright Young Things” project run by the famous department store. The project promotes 15 emerging designers, who during Christmas time will sell some of their creations in a concept store within Selfridges and have also signed the design of the outstanding original windows of the store in Oxford Street.
Even if still at early stages Katy’s work has already received attention both in the UK and abroad. Some of her previous works have been exhibited at international film and animation festivals like Kilk Amsterdam and the Toronto International Film Festival. One of her most successful projects is certainly “The Bicycle Animation” realized with a white laser-cut sheet overlapped on the back wheel of a bicycle which creates animated loops when the wheel is in motion. The project was so successful that the decorated wheel support is now on sale at the above mentioned concept store in Selfridges and the video was featured on Discovery channel, The Huffington Post and The Atlantic.
What seems to be the secret ingredient of her work is the focus on the concept and process of the animation as it is evident in the film for EIZO. Nowadays the hegemony of digital techniques often overcomes the importance of ideas and creative process but the young designer’s work proves how powerful the latter can still be. Beveridge’s work and collaboration with EIZO stands out as a breath of fresh air in comparison to research on photorealism and special effects; it goes back to the early stages of animation to rediscover its expressive and communicative potential and to put it in an effective dialogue with the latest software and production techniques.
How can designers working with companies like EIZO involve them in a discourse about creative process of design and stimulate a different dialogue between technological research and design work?