New York-based conceptual design, animation and VFX studio SUSPECT recently completed an outstanding collaboration with Nicktoons Network on a fully integrated design campaign. Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon’s 24-hour animation channel, approached SUSPECT to execute the creative for this year’s fifth annual Nicktoons Network Animation Festival – the first and only multiplatform animation festival of its kind, and the largest animation festival in North America.
SUSPECT eagerly accepted the challenge of taking total responsibility for creating the look, feel, and flavor for a sprawling festival that took place simultaneously on air, online, and on location at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, Calif. To compound SUSPECT’s challenge, the festival was split into two separate days that catered to two distinct audiences: the first day for the professional animation community, “Creator Night,” and a second day dedicated to kids and their families on “Kid’s Day.”
In order to accommodate the diverse and widespread audience, SUSPECT created a dynamic campaign using an L.A./Hollywood theme, complete with five characters that each fit a Southern California prototype: celebrity, director, movie agent, paparazzi and surfer. The end product was a world of fun, tongue-in-cheek humor, and quirky characters.
“The great challenge was to create compelling and appropriate characters that would satisfy the industry folks while also appealing to children,” said Hoon Chong, SUSPECT’s Creative Director. “Luckily we have an incredible team that is able to create subtle, entertaining design and animation that appeals to a broad demographic.”
SUSPECT launched a highly integrated effort to maintain a consistent message across the various mediums of print, Internet, TV, and on-site at the festival. SUSPECT created nearly every visual effect and design animation, a style guide and all accompanying collaterals, and several short, entertaining spots that played during the festival and on Nicktoons Network afterward.
“Nicktoons Network is a tremendous partner,” said SUSPECT Producer Stefanie Bassett. “They are accommodating, well organized, and they have a clear vision of what they need and want. At the same time, they gave us enough creative license to be able to produce the sort of unique product in which SUSPECT excels.”
Evidence of SUSPECT’s creativity was on display throughout the festival, including ID badges, brochures, letterhead, T-shirts and bags. SUSPECT also created an event package that featured a two-minute looping animated short, unique logo animations, and animated title cards and intros to accompany the presentation of individual awards. This event package played on the main stage for the event’s duration.
“SUSPECT welcomed the opportunity to rally all of our resources for our first adventure in wholly integrated branding,” said SUSPECT Co-Founder and Executive Producer Rob Appelblatt. “After our phenomenal experience with Nicktoons Network, we’re looking forward to launching similar campaigns in the future.”
Branding/Animation/VFX Company: SUSPECT
Creative Director: Hoon Chong
Lead Designer/Animator: Jean Marco Ruesta
Designer/Animator: Frank Lee
Animators: Keng-Ming Liu, Paul Villacis, Nazaria Zahir, Henry Pena, Rex Kim,
Joe Perno, Bora Lee
Executive Producer: Robert Appelblatt
Producer: Stefanie Bassett
Executive in Charge of Production: Christina Vann
Director of Production, on-air: Laura Lundgren
Producer, on-air: Jon McNally
Director Event Production: Danielle Mannino
NY-based Conceptual Design, Animation and Visual Effects studio, SUSPECT was co-founded in 2003 by CD/VFX Artist Tim Crean and Executive Producer Rob Appelblatt, creating an environment that reflects both their personal style and creative sensibilities.
Since then SUSPECT has blossomed into a collective of designers, animators, 3D and VFX artists. Whether it’s a complex Visual Effect, a sensitive Brand solution or a fully design driven concept, SUSPECT consistently surpasses client expectations and produces a dynamic range of creative solutions. SUSPECT has recently worked on major campaigns for PUMA, Fathead, Eucerin,
Reebok, FedEx, MTV, L’Oreal, AT&T, Motorola, Miller Lite, Samsung, Visa, Sierra Mist and Christina Aguilera Fragrances. The studio has collaborated with leading agencies, including BBDO, Wieden+Kennedy, Y&R, McCann-Erickson, mcgarrybowen and SelectNY.