Today, we are joined by Mike Tosetto, he is a Motion Director . You can view his portfolio here.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you are currently doing – give us a brief bio.
I’m obsessed with animation and love making things move. I currently work with Interbrand Australia as the Motion Director where I’m surrounded by designers, writers and strategists who are driven by big ideas. Over the years as a motion designer, I’ve won some awards and had work featured by some of my favorite animation blogs and design magazines. I spend way too much of my spare time on side projects, experimenting with new techniques and collaborating with other creatives. I also play the didgeridoo, which took me to Glastonbury Festival in a past life.
Business owners often pay to have everything taken care of by professionals except their identity mark. Why should a business care about its logo?
Coming at this question with a background in branding, I think sometimes businesses put too much emphasis on their logo. A business’s brand goes far beyond how how it looks. Just like a person, looks are only skin deep. Creating an effective brand is about creating a personality with values and a vision from within, sometimes sparking a change that isn’t just visual, but one that affects everything in that business, for the better. A brand needs to stand for something to build trust with its customers.
What constitutes a good identity mark?
There’s something really beautiful about a well crafted mark, where the designer has taken the time and care to get the design and proportions just right. I think a good mark should clearly communicate an idea and it’s a real bonus when the designer has found a gift from the name or product to incorporate into the mark, that ‘smile in the mind moment’ that seems so obvious once you’ve seen it. But it’s not essential, sometimes a mark just needs to convey the right feeling or the right connotations.
What are some common mistakes which identity designers make?
A common pitfall is to put too much focus on the logo alone. An effective identity is part of a flexible system that can effortlessly stretch across multiple platforms. Gone are the days where identity stops at a stationary set. These days brands live on screen more than they do in any other format and identities need to be able to easily adapt to any format. A brand is often heard, not just seen, for instance, we hear a lot from brands through social media, so often the way they speak is overlooked by designers.
Can you detail the identity design process and how long this usually takes?
Everyone’s process and approach is different. At Interbrand, we always start with a group brainstorming session where we get excited by the potential of what the brand can possibly become.
We then work as a team to develop a thought or idea that will shape all of our future decisions. Thinking always comes first and we never settle on an early idea. We work tirelessly to come up with the best solution we possibly can. It’s usually a few days before we even touch a computer.
How much time the process actually takes really depends on each individual project and the brief itself.
What has been your favorite project to date? Why?
It’s not every day you get to be involved in re branding one of the most visited destinations in Sydney. With over 25 million visitors a year, Darling Harbour is a vibrant, colorful place where the city goes to celebrate.
Inter brand were commissioned by SHFA (Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority) to develop a brand that would build a platform for the future. To do this we created the world’s first inflatable brand identity, a highly innovative solution including a bespoke balloon typeface, an inflatable wayfinding system and a playful app.
To create the balloon typeface, I hand modeled and crafted each individual letter in 3D. We then created a set of useable guidelines for any designer who will use the brand, without needing any knowledge of 3D software. Designers can easily change colors, scale and arrange the letter forms in any configuration they please.
The Darling Harbour project has been featured on many design platforms including Creative Review, Computer Arts, Brand New, Brandemia and Form Fifty Five. It also won a D&AD In-book Award for Signage and Way finding along with a Cannes Lions Nomination for Typography.
If you’d like to see the whole case study, you can check it out on our blog:
What software do you use?
The tool I rely on most heavily is After Effects. I work very closely with designers at Inter brand who predominantly work in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. After Effects allows me to take their files and start bringing static designs to life with animation.
Sound design plays such an important role in our work because the power of audio and visuals combined is exciting, engaging and emotional. Able ton Live is the tool I use for all my sound design.
I use Premiere Pro for video editing and Cinema 4D for all 3D work.
I’m also very familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator as I often need to create assets and prepare files before importing them into After Effects.
Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?
The motion graphics industry is extremely competitive with a steep learning curve required to create good work.
An efficient workflow is crucial when working across multiple software packages but when starting out I think it’s best to focus on making good animation. Forget the fancy plugins and particle effects, learn the animation principles and learn them well. Smooth movement is a joy to watch.
What are common challenges which identity designers encounter?
I think some designers try to get to a particular look before they arrive at a solid idea. Reference is important but I feel sometimes designers find work they like the look of and then work hard to recreate it. Design thinking revolves around the premise that good ideas drive all design decisions, from color palette to typography, and from tone of voice to motion. I also think there is a danger for identity designers to follow the ‘zeitgeist’ of the moment instead of delivering something that is genuinely relevant for the client.
How do you account for the great disagreement over the quality of identity marks even among identity designers ?
There’s always going to be an element of subjectivity and designers will always debate over design. A good identity should be about communication, not decoration. I think if there’s a solid idea behind a nice looking identity that its audience can relate to, then it’s a job well done.
How much do top identity designers usually charge for a logo and how much is it really worth?
Every studio will have its own rates but you really do pay for what you get. These days you can get a logo online for five dollars but as I mentioned previously, an identity that will actually work for a business is so much more than a logo.
In your opinion who are the top five identity companies in the world?
That’s a very tough question to answer as there are so many great studios all over the world doing amazing work. In no particular order here are five of my favorites right now.
Wolff Olin’s, Pentagram, The Chase, Sagmeister & Walsh and of course I’m a little biased with this one but I think we’re doing great work at Inter brand Australia.