Switch Entertainment

For their 10th anniversary, local animation studio Yowza Digital approached us for a website redesign. After meeting with us, they discovered they needed more than just a website for their portfolio; they needed an entire rebrand and restructure.


Our Approach
“At the time, Yowza Digital was going through a huge overhaul. It had split from its co-department, Yowza Animation. And it was in the early stages of partnering with another entity, the visual effects branch Switch VFX. So we were in effect meeting with two clients — Yowza Digital and Switch VFX — who were trying to figure out how to represent themselves together, and coherently, as a new company. With so many names juggling around, we felt the need to unite both departments as a unified brand under one banner. That is how Switch Entertainment was born.”

Client
switchvfx.ca switchanimation.ca switchent.com
Ingredients
Branding
UI/UX Design
Web Development
Duration
Audience
Distributor Producers Animation/VFX fans
Inspired By
Disney’s Fantasia (1940)
Brand Swatch

Our Approach: A Story Of 2 Brands Merging Into One

We broke down a possible branding restructure that was appealing to the heads of the company. We created a parent brand called Switch Entertainment, which branched into two smaller departments: Switch Animation and Switch VFX.

We had three goals:

  • To brand the company so it could establish a recognizable identity and world-class reputation in the digital animation and visual effects industries. This brand would also provide flexibility for the company’s growth: they could develop other departments and child brands under their banner, as the need arose.

  • Next, we wanted to create an innovative, eye-catching website that highlighted their digital animation and visual effects portfolios to advantage.

  • Lastly, we wanted to provide them with a smooth brand transition, while distancing them from the previous Yowza establishment.
  • The Rebrand

    Excellence, creativity, and storytelling. These were the words we wanted associated with the new Switch Entertainment brand. The look of the company would be essential in establishing a powerful identity for the business.

    Since both movement and storytelling are at the core of animation and VFX, we knew the brand of the company should be modular, animated and flexible.

    We used a dynamic Switch wordmark as the primary symbol for both departments, to help keep the child brands united with the parent brand. But each logo had a little variation on the theme.

    The Website

    "Not only a showcase, but a celebration of the team that grew into a family over the years."

    The website needed to showcase two very different types of portfolios — animation and VFX. With these goals in mind, we made sure that the back-end structure met the needs of both departments, but we kept the front-end design consistent so that everything looked unified under the Switch Entertainment banner.

    Needing to distinguish the departments but still have the user realize Switch Animation and Switch VFX were part of the same parent brand, we made changes to the colours, textures, and themes. Switch Animation’s design is fun, youthful, with an overall bright colour palette to reflect their work, while Switch VFX’s design has a darker, dynamic and dramatic look.

    Another priority for us: introducing and showcasing the people behind the company. We felt that we needed to celebrate the makers, animators, coordinators, compositors, and the co-founders for their amazing work.

    The Cards

    Being artists ourselves, we understood the Switch Entertainment’s desire (and challenge) to showcase their work at every possible stage, from character design to post-production. We found an elegant, creative and interactive solution to this problem: cards! Users can now click on a project’s custom-card to navigate through each phase of content development.

    Select

    The Travels of the Young Marco Polo

    3d animation | 26 x 25min. | Age 6 - 9

    This 2D series chronicles Marco‘s search as he travels through fantas- tic settings and exotic locales.

    With a burning curiosity, a thirst for knowledge and a knack for stumbling into trouble, young Marco Polo sets off on a wild adventure through distant lands and mystical times to find his missing father, who vanished while exploring the Road to the East. Accompanied by his strong, good-natured friend Luigi and the mysterious young princess, Shi La Won, the brash Marco is ready to take on the world... once he finds his missing boots that is. A roller-coaster of comedy and action, young Marco Polo follows the rollicking misadventures of the three friends on their epic journey.

    MagPie Media, Motionworks

    Production Partner

    BBC Kids, Knowledge:Kids

    Distributor

    Marco

    Marco

    Marco is an energetic ten-year-old with an insatia- ble curiosity and unbridled enthusiasm. Although quick-witted and book-smart, he is also impetuo- us and impatient. Bristling with impulsive excite- ment, he‘ll barge headlong into situations, leaping before looking, speaking before thinking.

    Luigi

    Luigi

    Luigi is a lumbering, gentle-hearted 12-year old with a simple, open nature. His slower, quiet temperament is a contrast to Marco‘s quicksilver approach to things - which balances them... Although uneducated, Luigi‘s clear-cut values and level- headedness often finds solutions to their predicaments. He is very strong and skil- led with his hands. Being very superstitious, however, and has several amulets, charms and talismans to ward off danger habits that drive Marco up the wall. Luigi is very sensitive, and has great empathy for others, which endear him to every- one he meets. He considers himself Marco‘s protector and he would do anything, and go anywhere, for him... except maybe the forest at night...

    Shi La Won

    Shi La Won

    Shi La Won is eleven years old. Claiming to be a princess, her background is shrouded in mystery - she has secrets. Truth be told, she is a runaway daughter of a Royal Court cook who dares to dream of being something more and she will do or say anything it takes to make that dream come true... including a few white lies now and then.

    THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY

    Feature Film| 2014 | IMDB

    The coming-of-age story of Cayden Richards. Forced to hit the road after the murder of his parents, Cayden wanders, lost, without purpose...

    The family of talented cook, Hassan Kadam, has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss. Drifting through Europe after fleeing political violence in India that killed the family restaurant business and their mother, the Kadams arrive in France. Once there, a chance auto accident and the kindness of a young woman, Marguerite, in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val inspires Papa Kadam to set up a Indian restaurant there. Unfortunately, this puts the Kadams in direct competition with the snobbish Madame Mallory's acclaimed haute cuisine establishment across the street where Marguerite also works as a sous-chef. The resulting rivalry eventually escalates in personal intensity until it goes too far. In response, there is a bridging of sides initiated by Hassan, Marguerite and Madame Mallory herself, both professional and personal, that encourages an understanding that will change both sides forever.

    Lasse Hallström

    Director

    DreamWorks, Participant Media’s

    Producer

    The Result

    The new branding of Switch Entertainment and its website launch gave the team new energy, and the company reinvigorated look. Both departments have now been able to showcase their new brand at various festivals, while increasing their exposure in the industry. The branding structure we have built for Switch is also motivating the company to keep expanding and developing.