Dr Jane Goodall is one of the world's most famous conservationists and scientists. She embarked on her pioneering research of wild chimpanzees in 1960, and 58 years later, Jane still spends over 300 days a year on the road in her relentless pursuit for conservation, research and education.
With a shared passion for conservation, existing client Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute for a campaign to raise awareness for ape conservation and their habitats. Superfried were commissioned to develop the design, identity and promo animation for a t-shirt flash sale in association with Represent.
As usual, the brief was challenging. The client requested that if possible the design should represent all of the following apes – Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans, Gibbons and Bonobos. This was tricky and various approaches were either too complex or too fun for the gravitas of the message.
One idea was to use profile illustrations of the ape’s faces. This conveyed all species, but it was not actually saying anything. I then searched for ways to connect to their habitat. This led to their forms emerging from smoke due to deforestation. However, as soon as I sent the blurred, smoke style visual I realised that it would not work as a screen print on a t-shirt. I promptly reassured myself it would not be a problem as they would never select that route. Inevitably they did!
Now the tricky brief was even more challenging – create vector smoke. After various tests, I managed to develop a technique that conveyed the fluid nature of the smoke. Then inspired by the elongated form of the trees, I developed a bespoke, high impact condensed type style for the key campaign message – Don’t Let Them Disappear.
With the design signed off it, I was only half way there as it was now time to get technical and liaise with Represent who would be producing the apparel. This was where I was informed that the line weights would need to be over twice as thick and could not taper to a point!
Multiple re-draws ensued to reduce path density / cross overs and increase negative spaces. In addition to this, in Represent’s tireless perseverance to ensure it would work, they proposed splitting the paths into two groups, with the less significant printed in a paler grey to reduce the high contrast and create a sense of depth.
With the t-shirt in production I looked at ways to promote the campaign online. One of the most compelling characteristics of smoke is the way it moves. So I decided to see if it would be possible to animate the illustration – a steep learning curve for a newbie in After Effects. Once again I hit a technical snag – tapered paths could not be used. So, another re-draw and 80 trim paths later the desired effect was finally achieved for the two promos.
In addition to the t-shirt an idea for a potential poster print was proposed to be sold at a later date. To increase the appeal FoilCo suggested printing them in foil and kindly ran a test in silver on black. The result was startling!
Further to the prints, are potential plans to develop the type style into a complete typeface for commercial sale to raise funds for the related organisations.
Support the cause and buy your t-shirt here, now.
DiCaprio + Pitt – Screen grab from Now This News.
T-shirt production by Represent.
Poster print by FoilCo.
Deforestation shot by Jan Huber via Unsplash
This project has been featured by Creative Boom, Creative Agency Showcase, Creativepool and posted by Creative Review and Novum Magazine.
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Mark Richardson has been a Contributor since 28th May 2019.