Cengage is an educational technology company that produces textbooks and online learning materials. As a media designer, my usual day is spent creating animations and illustrations for various subjects, ranging from neuroscience to economics to cosmetology.
Sometimes I work on an entire project by myself, and other times I get to collaborate with some amazing designers, animators, and editors. Every project is different, so it's a lot of fun to be able to create new styles for each one and find solutions for a video's unique needs.
Finding the Right Style
For nearly every project, I create a few frames in different styles so the team can choose which direction to go in. We may get a general idea of what the team wants, but the initial direction is often a bit vague. It helps to bring a few options to the table and then revise as needed.
Below you'll find a few examples of how I'll take one scene in a video and create it multiple times in different styles.
A crucial part of creating a style is also designing the characters. We often work on tight deadlines, so when we have characters in our videos, we need to find ways to keep them simple and save time. Throughout these different styles, you can see how some characters are more complex in their shapes and details than others.
Not all my work at Cengage is animation though. I often work on illustrations for interactive tools and internal promotions. When I need to make a lot of illustrations in one style, it's helpful to create rules for myself and limit complexity so that I can work quickly.