Plus et Plus recently worked with legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser to create a lush and elegant animation for
SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development), a non-profit global education program for 10 to 18 year olds funded and operated by Schlumberger Limited (www.slb.com).
Intended for use throughout the organization, the compelling animation will greet visitors as a loop on a giant screen at the company's headquarters, among many other uses.
Perhaps best known for his now-ubiquitous I Love New York logo and campaign, and as co-founder of New York magazine, Glaser contacted Plus et Plus Founder Jeremy Hollister on the strength of the company's demonstration reel.
"It was an honour to get this opportunity,'" says Jeremy Hollister, Founder, Plus et Plus. "It isn't every day that you get to work with a designer like Milton Glaser, who is handling all of the branding for SEED. We went over to his offices on New York's east side, where 'Art is Work' is emblazoned over the doors, and he showed us a simple, yet striking drawing of his. It was up to us to figure out how to animate it, and he was psyched from the very beginning. It was a tremendous experience."
Simply, yet stylishly rendered using coloured pencils, Glaser's drawing depicts a green-hued profile of Mother Nature, her hair a forward-blowing mass of blue and red flowers. As she smiles beatifically, tiny seeds are emitted from her flowers, each following its own random path across the landscape before gradually returning to the soil. After a pause, a multitude
of similar flowers emanate from the earth, growing smoothly into a small collection before revealing Glaser's original drawing. As simple as it is complex, the images of growth and regeneration provide a powerful metaphor for education.
"There is a lovely, languid feeling to the drawing that we wanted to capture," says Zu Al-Kadiri, Executive Producer at Plus et Plus. "We started out with a rough animatic, and then started doing a series of pencil tests. When that was approved, we moved on to the inking, or pencil colouring process, which was extremely time-consuming. We had to draw in and shade
every leaf, petal, and stem. That took about two and half months to accomplish, with people inking day and night. Luckily, Mr. Glaser is a patient man."
The Plus et Plus team is unanimous in their praise of Glaser who, for an advertising icon, was apparently very 'un-advertisey' in his collaborative approach:
"There's no question that the best part of this project was working with Milton," says Hollister. "He trusted us, and said 'do your thing'; he didn't micromanage us at all. From the first animation test we showed him, he was completely into it. It was truly wonderful to work on something so fresh and new."