Struck + Nick Animation Studio

Design Talk: Struck Portland

A couple of weeks ago, AIGA Portland hosted a talk with the brilliant creative agency Struck. The talk centered around their work with Nick Animation Studio. I was enamored with their process, and their ability to produce engaging content that harkened back to the quirky and wild visuals I enjoyed as a kid of the 90s.

They emphasized the importance of showing what you're doing, rather than telling people. In our world where nearly everything is conveyed digitally, this resonated so much with me as I consider the kinds of experiences I want to create through my own brand, online and in person. How can I make that experience more personal? More compelling? What kinds of stories inspire and excite others? How might I grow and nurture a community with my art and photography?

During their talk, I was fascinated with their thought process, how they approached different problems they encountered along the way, how they worked with budget constraints. These are the things that excite and inspire me, and encourage me to go forth and create my own content from a place of enthusiasm and authenticity. So much of the content they created for NAS was centered around creating an experience, lifting a veil by showing process sketches of what Spongebob could have been, for instance. Creating walls in their office that looked like a giant yellow sponge added playfulness and demonstrated an abstract way to incorporate the characters they create into their work environment, so that walking through their offices becomes a unique experience unto itself. I was especially struck by the brilliance of this idea.

My biggest takeaway from this talk was that there are endless ways to approach a branding problem, that goals can drastically change in the discovery process, and that unforeseen obstacles are opportunities to create something even more brilliant. What started out as a website redesign blossomed into the creation of engaging video content, environmental design, and even a custom puppet resembling a camera-shy employee who was being interviewed. All in all, I came away from the talk feeling empowered by Struck's willingness to face challenges head-on and create beautiful solutions on the fly when it was necessary.