The wonderful folks at Blue Mountain are always amazing clients and they continue to let me try so many different things! Even though they did the animation in-house, Tom, the super patient and awesome AD, gently guided me into figuring out the best way to plan not only how the lettering and illustrations were structured on each frame but also how the frames slid into each other as they were animated. I worked on four separate card animations with voice-overs for this line and the style guide swung toward hand-drawn/doodle-y/casual illustrations and lettering. And, of course, since these needed to be legible at the smaller screen size of an iPhone, the action words and lettering style had to be fun but not too delicate.
Check out that framing map! That's what I meant by frames sliding into each other. Each frame would be stationary as the lettering and illustrations were animated on screen then the frames would slide either below or to the right and a new set of illustrations and lettering would then flow in. But these needed to flow smoothly into the next frame, so I needed to consider what would lay in the areas of frame overlap. Without anything in those "in-between" spaces, there'd be too much of a visual gap if they were left blank. So we worked on having lettering or illustrations start in those overlap areas so as the frames slid to the next, the new set of phrasing would already be in motion in order to keep up with the voice-over.
Action Words and Voice-Overs
They sent me the voice-over file to listen to as I worked which was incredibly helpful! So when I heard her put more stress on certain words, I then put the same emphasis on the visuals by utilizing scale or color. When she says "thank you" on Frame 2, it's bolder with a color outline and on Frame 3, "whole year!" is stressed so it gets more visual interest too. You can really see this through their animation style as well! Certain phrases or words might get a slower entrance if the voice-over stresses it, like the phrase "soooooo much" on the very first frame.
Honest to Goodness Hand-drawn Lettering
I'm usually an all digital gal. Not even a Wacom tablet gal, I'm all magic mouse and clicky clickies. But these needed to be legit doodle-y, so what's a digital girl to do?? I hand lettered it, of course! All 130 sheets of vellum and paper to be scan and liquefied and colored. So. Many. Sheets.
Working Within a Series
Since these were part of a series, meaning multiples within the line, they needed to keep with the doodle-y style with general dark ink for the lettering and illustrations with brighter colors helping everything pop. The other thing to consider, of course, is since these are part of a series, keep the general inky feel, but don't exactly copy! So for the Thank You animation, the voice-over has buzzwords like universe and moon, so that helped build the visuals of space and sky.
For Amazing You shown above, the style was pushed even further by being even more youthful, almost like individual stickers slapped on the front of a notebook with doodles you'd make in class. I had a lot of fun keeping this one bold and playing with geometric lettering, like you see in "box" in Frame 3 and "1000" in Frame 8.