The VFXAI

The Visual Effects Association of Ireland (VFXAI) was founded in 2014 to showcase and represent the burgeoning Irish VFX industry. In late 2021, the VFXAI were developing a campaign that would place Ireland on the international VFX map and promote Ireland’s potential to become a major player in the global VFX industry. The VFXAI hired me to redesign and fine-tune their visual identity so that it would better reflect this potential.
Collaborators: Miguel Escobar (VFXAI manager), Natalie Finegan (marketing consultant) and Spaceship Digital Ltd. (web designers/developers)
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The VFXAI's logo (2014)
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The VFXAI's logo (2018)
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Mindmap for the VFXAI's new logo (2022)
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Rough logo sketches

Logo Concept

Although the VFXAI was founded in 2014, they weren’t officially registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) until 2018. To mark this milestone, they quickly established an online presence with a new logo and website.
Three years later, the Irish VFX industry had grown and diversified at a remarkably rapid pace, working on major international productions such as Game of Thrones, WandaVision and The Irishman. As the VFXAI geared up to promote Ireland’s new status as a VFX powerhouse, it became clear that their logo didn’t reflect that status. It had a childlike appearance, with chunky typography, pastel colours and a toylike brandmark, perhaps meant to appeal to younger generations.
As soon as they hired me, I started to explore ways in which the rapid growth and diversifying of the Irish VFX industry could be reflected in the VFXAI’s new logo. The rough sketches that I decided to further develop were centred around an abstract beam of light that replaced the letter “V”, a brandmark that could clearly symbolise growth and diversity while allowing for flexibility in the logo’s design.
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Uppercase "V" in Montserrat Thin
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Initial brandmark design
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Avengers: Infinity War (2018), before/after VFX
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Initial brandmark colour scheme

Brandmark

In the briefing stage of this project, the VFXAI had requested that their new logo maintain a link with their 2018 logo by retaining two of that logo’s key elements: the geometric sans-serif typeface Montserrat, and the blue/green/red colour scheme.
This request heavily influenced the brandmark’s design. I used Montserrat Thin’s uppercase “V” as a base for it, and I applied a colour gradient to it that reflected the process of transformation in VFX, beginning with green (screen) and ending in green’s complementary colour, red. I prevented those colours from merging into a muddy brown by placing the colour blue in between them.
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Initial logo design presented to the VFXAI
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Final logo design presented to the VFXAI

Logo Design

The VFXAI's creative team were enthusiastic about the brandmark, saying that its form was “really evocative of growth, energy and possibility” and that its gradient clearly conveyed the “transformative power of VFX”. They also “really like[d]” the “square” layout of the logo design that I presented to them, saying that “it would work really well across different mediums”. 
However, although the VFXAI had initially requested that their new logo retain their 2018 logo’s pastel colour scheme, the creative team thought that it made my logo design appear too “delicate”. They also pointed out that the title’s font weight was too light to be clearly legible, and that the brandmark’s thin, diagonal lines appeared jagged when it was scaled down to a small size.
So, taking their feedback on board, I applied a bolder version of the colour scheme to the logo, increased the font weights, and made the brandmark’s lines thicker. I also changed the logo's title from “VFX Association Ireland” to “Visual Effects Association of Ireland” at the VFXAI's request.
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Alternative version of the final logo design
Logo in motion (Music: “Evolution” by Bensound)

Alternative Logo

The VFXAI were very happy with the “bolder” version of my logo design. However, just before the logo’s finalisation, a couple of their members raised a concern that the public wouldn’t instantly recognise that the brandmark was replacing the letter “V”.
As a compromise, I designed an alternative version of the logo with the brandmark next to the wordmark, and I also created a promotional motion graphic that clearly showed the brandmark replacing the letter “V” in the logo. This alleviated the VFXAI’s concerns, and they signed off on the final version(s) of the logo.
Visual identity guidelines
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The VFXAI's website (2022)

Website Design

The VFXAI’s new website was designed and developed by Spaceship Digital Ltd. in collaboration with VFXAI manager Miguel Escobar, who created the website's initial wireframes/guidelines. I assisted Spaceship by providing them with a new set of identity guidelines for the VFXAI, and by selecting/adjusting images of productions that the Irish VFX industry had worked on for the website.
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Social media graphics
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Business card
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Conference presentation

Identity Launch

The VFXAI will publicly launch their new visual identity in 2022. Currently, the identity is appearing exclusively at key international events, such as the Ireland Connects Networking Showcase, which took place in Los Angeles as part of the city’s annual Ireland Week. At this event, members of the VFXAI took part in a panel discussion with representatives from global VFX studios, titled “Ireland at the centre of the VFX revolution”. There will be more events to come, so watch this space…
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VFXAI members at the Ireland Connects Networking Showcase in Los Angeles, 17/05/2022 (Photo courtesy of the VFXAI)
Grace Hickey | Graphic Designer
E: grace.s.hickey@gmail.com
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