Award winning documentary director, Morgan Matthews asked Painting Practice for some help in updating the branding for his company Minnow Films.

As well as developing the logo itself we created a short animated ident for bookending productions on televeision and the big screen. This was a great brief for us, as it gave plenty of scope for different artists in the studio to combine forces. The end result was richer and more enjoyable because of the collaboration, and we are pleased to say that Morgan was very happy.

The Minnow logo had to work on screen as part of the ident, but also in printed formats as a stand alone (and versatile) element; this had its challenging moments! Morgan was keen to capture the shimmering essence of a minnow, which as you may or may not know, it is a small fish which looks rather humble and plain at first sight, when struck with light or held in the hand, shimmers and glows with a rainbow of colour. Not always an easy translation to the media of paper or exterior signage!

Saying that, this lovely quality of the minnow gave us our visual key to solving the design for the animation, the logo, and how to marry everything together.

R&D on water, light, shoaling fish, bokeh and the minnow itself were essential exercises for the animation component. Some initial previs helped us nail the key timings as these idents need to be so fast.

Once the 3D, animation, caustics and lighting were rendered (cinema 4D) it was brought into After Effects for compositing with some additional effects, grading and of course the logo element.

The final ident came together like this:

A few shots from the look development for the animation

Some earlier logo ideas we explored…