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Ever wonder who's behind those cool identity graphics on broadcast and cable TV networks? Come take a peek behind the scenes at Troika Design Group, the leading firm for branding television networks. The members of the exceptionally creative team at Troika explain how they go about creating unique and dynamic on-air brand identities for some of the biggest networks in the world, including ABC, FOX, Oxygen, and ESPN. They show how the company organizes projects, develops its team members, and nurtures a highly collaborative and creative environment. Troika's employees show their creative solutions and tell the stories behind the work. The company begins with a deep understanding of the client's needs, and develops solutions that may include live action elements and a whole range of graphic animation techniques. This installment of Creative Inspirations takes viewers to the very epicenter of TV network branding.
Rich Feldman: Troika is always pretty much on the forefront of technology. We try and stay just a little behind the curve, so that we know that all our systems will operate and the software will work together. And that really is beneficial to our designers and animators, to keep them on the forefront of the technology and have the tools to be able to do their work. How do you balance technology with design? Dale Everett: Technology is your pen and pencil. And the design part of it is the thinking and the creative energy and the problem solving and the tools are a foundation for the designers; they need them to do their work. What we find when we bring in- When we bring in people we find that there is often two paths that they take and that those paths, in its simplest way it's a design, people become designers and they become animators.
The animators are very much absorbed in their tools and they use their tools. They kind of become masters of their tools. They are technicians and they are artists of the tool. The designers are working at a higher level where they are hopefully a little removed from the tool and they are problem solving at an intellectual level and at a level of ideation and thinking about the problem. And then working down to use the tools to sketch and design and prepare their work to be taken to the animators and the animators then breath life into it through the tools.
Rich Feldman: And for me sometimes my tools are tape and twine and whatever it takes to get the station fixed and the designer and animator to be working, because in the fast paced business that we live in, television, which is brain surgery by the way, people have to working all the time and 24 hours a day. So, what we strive on is to make sure that the tools are available at all times and that no one is down for any long period of time waiting on the technology.
Dale Everett: So what kind of tools are the animators clamoring forth? Rich Feldman: Well, we have basically full Adobe CS3 Suite, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator. We have Maya on many of the machines, Maya 2008, looking forward to Maya 2009. We have Cinema 4D. All these the 3D programs that we have, we have a render farm for the designers to use, the animators to use.
We have Office, Keynote, we have all the good programs. We have everything basically that anybody wants; we have it here for them. We even bring in a Flame if we need it for the project. Dale Everett: At Troika we have a fantastic technological foundation and we use that as, again, as a foundation that we then can build our creative ideas on top of. Everything is available to everyone whenever they need it. I can look at anyone's files, the animators have all the up-to-date stuff, designers have the programs they need, but ultimately it's about the people and it's about the creators and it's about ideas and that's what elevates the work. The technology is a tool and it's a very important tool. But beyond that it's the creative, it's the thinking and it's the people that come together collaboratively that really make our work shine.
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