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Bright Ideas


A small group of retail architects at CallisonRTKL approached me with rough ideas about a story they wanted to develop for a client presentation. They brought with them beautiful, abstract inspiration images that had nothing to do with their concept, a complicated, under-developed but compelling story about the future of retail, and very little idea about what to do next. 

A colleague and I took leading roles as creative director, content developer, copywriter, designer, illustrator, and animator – yes, all those things at the same time. Together, we processed the architects' inspiration, held collaborative work sessions to work through kinks in the story, sketched storyboard after storyboard, and wrote script after script until the concept was finally distilled into an inspiring, palatable nugget.

By focusing on content first we discovered a few very important things. 1. The story would ultimately have multiple chapters. 2. We had both internal and external audiences, so the technical content needed to be presented simply, in small doses and in an entertaining way. 3. The idea was worth more than one client presentation – it presented an opportunity for a corporate thought leadership piece, so the medium needed to be easily shareable.

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By anchoring around five consumer experience filters (product, services, technology, events, and environment), we organized a long and sometimes complicated story into palatable and inspiring doses. From a brand and marketing perspective we turned one idea into a 5-part thought leadership series.

Because we needed to describe a process in motion in a way that was easily share-able, we designed a series of short animated videos to act as jump-starts to more in-depth presentations. Typography, illustration style, and color palette were designed to be identifiably CallisonRTKL and appeal to our friends in retail. Where our corporate brand might've felt too stiff we used subtle tricks of animation to add touches of playfulness and add an endearing quality to the style of motion.

In this first chapter, a shape-shifting composition of abstract geometry, explanatory typography, data-based infographics, representational illustrations, and voice-over weave together to present a compelling introduction to the future of retail for all of CallisonRTKL's followers and clients.


Creative Direction

Content Creation