A website redesign
Formkraft came to Prodoto for our design and creative services. Our brief; to create concepts and images for their re-designed website.
It was a big investment for Formkraft, with their branding of their business at stake, they wanted to make sure we were the right team for the challenge. As it happened, we weren't the first studio they had approached to create the images for their website. Formkraft had engaged with a different studio prior to contacting Prodoto. As the project went on they felt the first studio hadn't quite understood the direction they wanted to follow and chose to part ways after initial test photography had taken place. Formkraft were keen to move forward, but cautious. The concepts needed to be right, perfect for their brand and new website design.
In step Prodoto
An exciting project to be part of; Formkraft had already undergone exhaustive research, thinking about what they wanted their website images to convey. This meant we had a host of inspiration images to review and notes from Formkraft on elements they liked or didn't like. This was a great starting point for us creatively, but the challenge still remained to present a number of different concepts ideas for the multiple products across their ranges of consumables, mechanising and clothing – all to be connected by a recurring theme/concept.
To refine these inspirations into a concise story and to fit the Formkraft brand, it meant we had to approach the brief as a 2 step process; Concept Design and Photography Production
Steve and Cat worked together to create 3 to 4 different concept ideas for each of the 18 master categories Formkraft needed to shoot. This worked out, as needing to produce at least 54 different concept ideas for Formkraft to review. It was going to take time, focus and plenty of creative thinking.
The overriding theme we were to convey, was to create concepts with story and movement. Within this idea, we were to reflect Formkrafts branding guidelines:
* Tone of voice – personal, purposeful, honest, clear and knowledgeable
* Photography guidelines to be based on simplicity; adding personality, confident and grown up and to stand out from a busy marketplace.
From the inspiration images Formkraft preferred, they included the following elements:
* Telling a story or creating a scene
* Simple, using one or two props
* Pastel backgrounds
* Carefully styled
* Action shots with a quirky edge
The creative process
Steve and Cat set to work. Working quickly to arrange for the products to arrive at the studio, so that we could work hands on. Creating ideas through handling the products, playing about with the shapes and colours, formulating concepts from multiple angles and viewpoints.
We really enjoyed the concept process, both enabling and challenging our creative thinking. It brought a playful approach to our creative product photography.
Where we were able, we set up a camera and basic backdrop to help illustrate as many concepts as we could using the products Formkraft had sent us.
Visualising a concept without an image to anchor and bounce ideas from is not easy for most. Having a minds eye to visualise and interpret written concepts is difficult, even for the most artistic of minds. We knew it would be important for our client and for us, to bring Formkraft into our ideas and onboard our concepts by providing them with a visual starting point.
Regular client meetings
We were embarking on this creative journey together, we wanted Formkraft to feel confident in our approach and encouraged with our ability to support them.
Working in this industry, we understand how the creative touches of talented photographers, considered lighting and expert post-production plays an important part with how final images look.
We needed to instil a belief and a confidence in our ideas, to help our client understand what was possible. But when formulating concepts we needed to be able to convey this, from an ideas stage. How we presented our concepts was important.
It was necessary to balance the level of production introduced at the ideas stage, making sure we didn't throw expense and high levels of production into a concept, before we knew if it was going to hit the mark and be selected to be taken forward into the next stage of realisation; Photography.
It was a fine balance – Formkraft were great clients to work with, they were encouraged by our progress. We set up regular meetings with the team at Formkraft where we presented our concept ideas and refined selected ideas to take forward into production.
With the majority of our 18 concepts finalised, we headed into the production stage - Photography. We enlisted our experienced Prodoto photographer Paul and stylists Amanda and Beck to take on the project from Steve and Cats hard work in pre-production.
Formkraft were keen to attend the shoot, we were happy to host them throughout the 5 day shoot – we'd become a great team through the concept process and we were pleased they were able to join us on the shoot and provide feedback on set. The creative process is fluid and open to adjustment and amendment, it was great to have our stylist, photographer and client all working together on set to achieve the aims of the brief.
During photography, a couple of the concepts needed to be radically changed. The client decided that they didn't feel like a couple of the concepts were working in photography. So it was back to the drawing board. Steve and Cat worked again to find a way to create new concept ideas. Inspiration strikes! Producing new concepts in time, the client was once again happy and progressing with the shoot on schedule.
Alongside the 18 Master Category images, we were asked to realise 4 additional concepts for the Formkraft website banners. The banners needed to fit into the aesthetics of the master category concepts. Therefore, we decided the best approach would be to see how the progress of the initial master category shoot went, before committing to the final ideas for the website banners.
Having not been in a studio environment before, Formkraft took the shoot in their stride. Trusting in the creative process our collaborative relationship blossomed. Formkraft decided on a direction for the 4 additional banner images. We helped to facilitate the concepts and bring them into production. Providing our input where needed, directing styling and composition.
We ended our 5 day shoot fulfilling the initial concepts for 18 Master Category images and the additional 4 website banner images. Formkraft left the studio after a week long shoot, happy with the images captured and looking forward to seeing the final finishes applied in post-production.
Carefully styled; creating a scene. Playful anti-gravity elements were introduced into some of the category concepts.
Entering post production
Due to the playful anti-gravity elements introduced into some of the category concepts, we had a number of post-production edits and notes to address, in order to bring the images into their final concept realisations.
Steve brought his talents to the fore, having been part of the process from the beginning he was able to bring his intimate understanding of the brief and concepts into the final hurdles of post production.
With detailed notes from the client and photography, Steve worked studiously to complete the set of category and website banner images.
The challenge set was big; the brief was detailed. The process from concept to realisation was a journey of discovery, pot holed with the occasional set back and creative dead end. But ultimately we never gave up. Trying out new ideas we found our way, working together with Formkraft, delivering all the images on brief, on time and on budget.
Formkraft were delighted with their final images, as were we! It was a great project to be part of and we're certainly looking forward to seeing the newly launched website later this year.
“I just wanted to say a really big thank-you to yourself, Steve, Paul, Amanda, Beck and all the team for all your support, expertise and guidance throughout this whole process.
You have all been absolutely fantastic and we have been so impressed by your professionalism, hospitality and teamwork.
We have really enjoyed the whole process and are so pleased with all the shots.”
Formkraft Managing Director