Pixar is a billion dollar company because it knows how to tell a story.
They know how important it is and that without a strong story at the core, all the technical wizardry and aesthetic mastery of their films would be overly sweet.
Story telling is often as important in graphic design as it is in animation and film making, even if it isn’t as obvious — we use grids, type, colour and imagery to help bring stories to life.
When there is a lack of a story—of an idea—there is nothing but average design to be found. Why? Because there’s a lack of a point of interest — there’s nothing for the audience to grab onto.
So let’s learn from the mistakes and glories of others, comparing two story tellers who act on the same stage—Pixar and Dreamworks, of course—and the stories told through the branding of their films.
I’m talkin’ logos, baby.
Playful and fun — a great way to start!
This logo is a winner because it’s appropriate without being condescending.
The primary colour pallet aims it perfectly at its audience and nothing says “gimmie” like red and yellow. The type size, the chunkiness of it, as well as the playful way it’s laid out, make this cute in the right way and screams, well, “Toy”.
It’s also nice to see a logo which has depth (hinting at the 3D of the animation) without going straight to embossed trickery.
A Bug’s Life
Another nice and flat logo from Pixar. It’s lovely to see a beveled look isn’t what they go for just because their films are CGI.
The bugs eating away at the letters are cute and the little one between Disney & Pixar is a great touch.
The typeface is appropriately playful and has an exaggeration to it that suggests that we’re going to be shown little things really big (I’m looking at the i, f and e mostly), but it’ll be a gentle ride.
The slight warmth of the yellow is nice little ray of sunshine that gently touches down on the bug covered leaf.
All this adds up to a little reflection of the film — it has its footing in it.
I’m sorry, what?