We make emotional connections with consumers by creating powerful, integrated visual design systems–that empower companies to tell consistent and memorable brand stories, whatever the platform.
HCI recently had the chance to collaborate with our in-house digital division, Open Bar, on a suite of websites for Skyrocket Toys. The first site was for Sky Viper, an established brand of drone products with a limited web presence. We took visual cues from the product design to establish a visual vocabulary for the site and used a series of infographics and iconography to help convey all of the cool tech included in the product design.
The other two sites were for Mebo and Real Cooking, mostly new-to-market products expected to take the toy aisle by storm this holiday. Mebo is a fun remote-controlled robot with a mechanical arm and claw that can play Jenga! And Real Cooking is a full line of baking products for kids, including baking mixes and decorating kits as well as essential tools to help kids in the kitchen, like a fool-proof egg cracker and mixing bowls that suction to the counter to help avoid spills. As these were new lines for Skyrocket, we were able to establish the brand look and dictate how it was applied throughout the site designs, incorporating some fun animations to depict Mebo’s personality.
Click the links below to see our work!
EA assures us that MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA is right on track for 2017. We’re keeping our eyes peeled and collective breath held for more reveals around this one.
Started In A Dorm Now We’re Here
Tespa asked HCI to breathe some new life into their visual identity that would allow for versatility and would fit the direction of the brand from a club at UT-Austin to the home for gaming on campuses nationwide. Their previous identity system ran into usage issues in both printed and digital formats that didn’t represent the overall vision of the brand.
Lighting the Hearth(stone)
Our first step was to key-in on what could reflect Tespa’s themes of college community, competitiveness, and growth. We chose to give the old iconography a collegiate facelift into a torch flame to signify scholastic imagery and the passing of knowledge, while also alluding to the competition of an event like the Olympics. To further expand the tie-in we created an alternate version of the logo modeled after a college crest for Tespa that we must say looks particularly dope on a t-shirt.
Nothing Like A Cool, Crisp…Logo
The typography of the logo was created to look clean and sleek, so it could live alone without the need for iconography to maximize the ways it can be used. In the end we delivered a completely new visual system that signifies the mission of Tespa to create a community and give gamers a place to make friends and the most of their college years.
Collaborating with DICE and Cinco, the composition for this piece of key art was already set in concept, then HCI finished out the artwork to a level worth of the Star Wars brand. The end results was an iconic and impactful scene only achievable with this level of realistic render.
Epic, sweeping narratives are the hallmark of Disney and Disney Pixar film-making, and the November 2016 release Moana is no exception. In search of teaser key art that breaks the mold – just like the film’s heroine – Hamagami/Carroll and our illustration partner PicturePlane created a beautiful and vast seascape reflecting the powerful beauty seen throughout the film.
Since this is a teaser poster, we had to hint at the story instead of revealing the entire gist or broader themes. By focusing on the environment and not the characters as much – although revealing them from behind – we tell just enough of the story to build some intrigue.
Keep your eyes out for an update later this year as we unfold the main theatrical key art, and then the Academy nomination campaign artwork.
Hamagami/Carroll engaged with DreamWorks Animation over a year ago on their all-new Netflix Original Series, Voltron: Legendary Defender. We completely rebranded the property by reimagining what it would take to resurrect this legacy brand in order to visually excite old fans AND delight to bring in new ones. We created the show’s sleek new logo, a suite of key art, five original pieces of Fanboy art, a style guide and an entire bank of gallery images that will live on Netflix’s digital streaming service.
When EA first approached us, our initial goal was to signal the Need for Speed reboot with a visual identity that captured an experience that trounces the status quo of the racing game genre. The key was to decide how within the art we could show confidence, depict bravery, and make this tower above the other racing titles out there.
By breathing life into the characters we were able throw away your usual faceless driver and really show the guts that it would take to live on high speed and near misses. We made the key art a celebration of car culture while showing that this game wasn’t just about takedowns or racing, but at its heart it was about the realness of the characters that you control.
To The Next Level
From the onset of our fifth year of collaborations with Activision to develop the branding, packaging, collateral, and character illustrations for the Skylanders Superchargers game we knew we had some new wrenches to deal with.
Smells Like Pre-Teen Spirit
As the pre-teen audiences make their way towards full blown teen-dom, we needed to make sure that the illustrations and packaging could still pique their interest in a highly competitive landscape.
Drive My Car (Or Boat, Or Plane)
This year the Skylanders got their licenses and took to the road, sea, and air with their new vehicle gameplay, so we wanted to let the audience knew that this game was taking the franchise to parts previously unknown.
This year the Skylanders gained some new friends with Activision’s partnership with Nintendo to bring Donkey Kong & Bowser into the 3DS, Wii, and WiiU platforms while maintaining a cohesive line look.
7,630 hours. 2 logos, 5 key arts, 51 character illustrations, 39 starters, 76 blisters, and 60 pieces of collateral later…
99 Problems, but a Skylander Ain’t One
We started by revving up this year’s main logo with new chrome detailing, racing details, and more of an aggressive attitude to spotlight the new vehicle twist in the game.
Our unique blister pack approach for this year dropped in a dynamic angle on the backer card to reflect the momentum and speed that is core to the game. The starter packs were also designed so our new friends from Nintendo could live in the SuperChargers’ world seamlessly.
Lastly, Skylander character and vehicle artwork deviated away from typical graphical backgrounds by crafting intricate environmental backgrounds that showed off the new SuperChargers’ world of speed while ramping up the character detail and render to new franchise heights.
The End of the Road
After 7,630 hours, the end result was an incredibly dynamic, cohesive, and immersive packaging and branding experience for consumers young and old focusing on new game features to draw in and keep the attention of the consumer base while driving new interest.
Activision Publishing, Inc. announced recently the launch of a new free-to-play mobile card battle game, Skylanders Battlecast. The new property is breaking the mould of the other Skylanders games with this version of play, while featuring favorite Skylanders characters – thus appealing to both Skylanders fans and card battle enthusiasts alike!
Activision and HCI have teamed up once again to bring you this exciting new venture, so keep an eye out for packaging and other reveals on the HCI website and social media channels.
More info here: