Creative Inspirations: Troika Design Group, Design and Branding Agency
Illustration by John Hersey

Creative Inspirations: Troika Design Group, Design and Branding Agency

with Troika Design Group

Video: Creative culture

Mark McConnell: There is a lot of very talented designers, animators, people at Troika. And one of the things that we have discovered about creative culture at Troika is that we need to feed that team. We decided, I don't know, 2 or 3 years ago, to start figuring out how to consciously maintain a creative culture within the company.

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Watch the Online Video Course Creative Inspirations: Troika Design Group, Design and Branding Agency
1h 21m Appropriate for all Dec 18, 2008

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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.

Subject:
Design
Author:
Troika Design Group

Creative culture

Mark McConnell: There is a lot of very talented designers, animators, people at Troika. And one of the things that we have discovered about creative culture at Troika is that we need to feed that team. We decided, I don't know, 2 or 3 years ago, to start figuring out how to consciously maintain a creative culture within the company. One of the things that we started doing was having what we call an Artists' Forum, which is really just a meeting after a couple of weeks where the creatives of the company got together at lunch with really no clear agenda and just started talking. One of the things that came out of that was a desire to, what we would call cross training, where we are teaching After Effects to producers and maybe ad artists learn a little bit about producing.

So we started teaching -- we actually started running some classes on the weekends and at nights. We taught After Effects for a while and then we taught Cinema 4D for a while, and it's just something that we are always just looking for ways to maintain a high level of creative interest within the people here at Troika because that then feeds into all of the work. If the people are interested and inspired and stimulated, that shows up on the table and on the screen all the time. Dale Everett: One of the projects where the creative culture really came together was a pitch we did for the rebrand of Court TV to TruTV. It really was great because it involved everyone; it involved the whole community here together. We probably had three creative directors when we were putting up our different ways to kind of crack the nut on how to define what TruTV was.

So we would bring in writers, we had the three creative directors, all working on it at once, laying out up the five ideas, constantly challenge each other. Is that the right thing, is that the right thing? It's all up on a board and looking at them and pulling them down. I mean we probably went through six or seven broad concepts before we ended up with the final four that we pitched and then eventually won the job with. Mark McConnell: Well, it is one of the great things about working at Troika that we have an environment and leadership that encourages and expects, in fact, everyone to keep pushing the boundaries, to keep learning about what they are doing and what their neighbors are doing. So that we can continue to grow and expand and learn and do great work.

Dale Everett: And the shop is always pushing the boundaries of what we do. We have a very clear focus on branding, but we are always looking for new kinds of problems to solve. Whether it's things like interface design or environmental design. So there is always these new avenues that are kind of coming in, new areas of exploration, new areas of problem solving and that's what kind of keeps it fresh and makes it exciting.

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