What is a brand? How do you ensure yours is strong (and real)? At Visage and Column Five, we find that when our partners struggle to craft a unifying brand story, it’s because they don’t entirely know who they are. It’s not surprising. It’s tough work that requires deep self-reflection about your core purpose, vision, mission, and values. Each is a pillar of your brand’s foundation, but it’s sometimes hard to see how it all fits together.
The totality of a brand can feel like an abstraction. As you’ve probably heard, it’s not a single product or logo. It’s the composite of both your expression and your audience’s experiences with—and perception of—that expression. That’s why it can be hard to get a clear picture of the entirety of your brand.
Still, there are core elements that influence the way you craft and present your brand to the world. Understanding how these elements interact helps you ensure you’re building your brand the right way. If something in your organization feels like it’s off track or could simply be better, looking to the core is the best place to start.
As visual communicators, we wanted to make the layers of your brand easier to understand. So, we decided to visualize it in our new 360-degree motion graphic. And we wanted to put you in the front seat.
“The Spacecraft of Your Brand” is a unique motion graphic experience, created by Visage and Column Five, that lets you explore the journey of a brand through space. See what it takes to build your spacecraft (aka brand), how it travels through the universe, and how it interacts with the outside world. (FYI, we used the same framework outlined in the motion graphic to shape our brands.)
Dive in and take a look for yourself. For the most immersive experience, it’s best enjoyed with a VR headset with headphones (some cheap ones here).
This project was inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. (You probably know his famous geodesic dome at Epcot.) We found this dome to be a great visual brand metaphor, as we explained in our post about the many facets of a healthy brand. But we wanted to expand on the idea. So, we created a full universe—in 360.
It was an awesome opportunity to experiment with a new medium. (Experiment Often is actually one of Column Five’s core brand values and a Visage philosophy too.) But bringing it to life was no easy task.
“The hardest and most fulfilling part about the creating the 360-degree virtual environment was figuring out an efficient, technical workflow. There are many resources on the web that show step-by-step processes, but they were all very different approaches that required expensive plug-ins. The initial stage involved a heavy amount of independent research and experimentation.” —Remo Bangayan, Lead Designer
“Every step of the process was solved through trial-and-error, which included rounds and rounds of failed overnight renders.” —Remo Bangayan, Lead Designer
“The goal was to be able to take a virtual environment modeled in Cinema 4D and place the viewer within that environment using a universal 360 video host like YouTube. Fortunately, we stumbled across the plug-in Mettle 360, which allowed me to stitch together the 6 omnidirectional camera renders (front, left, top, etc.) into an equirectangular format, as well as add graphic overlays and audio cues, all within Adobe After Effects.” —Remo Bangayan, Lead Designer
“Still, there were a lot of complex steps between modeling the virtual environment in Cinema 4D and hosting the finished 360 video on YouTube. One small discrepancy or number would wreck the entire delicate system, so I had to be very careful and very organized. ” —Remo Bangayan, Lead Designer
We’re thrilled with how our first foray into 360 turned out. We hope it inspires you to move into your own orbit with confidence.