Visual branding for the character-led documentary

Client: NHK
Production company: NHK Cosmomedia Europe
Creative & Visual design: Tom Kata @ Visionesque

The project

Visual Branding for the documentary series guided by a virtual character. The 4K episodic documentary features English Lake District, nature, lifestyle, and seasonal events at Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens.

*Background photos and text descriptions differ from the actual documentary.

The navigator/narrator of the documentary was Dalemain's iconic character, the red squirrel. The client wanted to design a documentary around a fairytale (e.g. peter rabbit) like atmosphere - A red squirrel guide takes audiences into "a book of Dalemain".

As the target audience was from young families to the mature generation, we designed the character friendly but not too cartoony.

We researched Peter rabbit's tale and English Lake District culture and history. We developed visual direction in delicate and warm painterly texture with a subtle movement as if wind gently moves nature, linking the Dalemain and the Lake District's atmosphere and the documentary structure/story concept.

A red squirrel guide stole viewers hearts. We directed subtle characteristic movements, such as a vibrating nose, flexible front arms, a curly tail and quick head turns.
The package also includes; Series of navigation map of the Dalemain Gardens: The 2.5D parallax map presents a multi-dimensional garden. Branded lower 3rd template.



For this series, we built the time-based SOW that covered the 4-months production period. We also created templates and layered graphics kits for the post-production so that the team could also adapt graphics at the online editing.

The creative workflow made communication effective throughout production, fulfilling requirement changes and the challenging filming schedule due to the 2020 COVID circumstances.

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