We are completely infatuated with all things Simpsons, especially as seen through the perfectly unique lens of the FXX brand. Stylistically minimal, graphically abstract, with a twist of weird. We jumped at the chance to build upon the launch and push the visual dynamic of these IDs while remaining unmistakably Simpsons.
We began this design endeavor with a specific challenge dictated by FXX: Keep the elements of the design "absolutely minimal", while adhering to the “complete bombardment” mantra, part of their “EVERY SIMPSONS EVER” approach to the series and brand. We then set out to create a series of designs that were unmistakably Simpsons, yet visually unprecedented and surprising in how the animations would play out. Fans want whats familiar but are also critical and dismissive if it doesn't feel like there's a twist. Add our studios complete infatuation and love of all things Simpsons that started in the 4th grade, Sombrero donning vinyl Homer Simpsons around the office, and our editor's obession with all things kaws x Simpsons and the pressure was on.
We designed and sketched several dozen ways these graphic ID's could go. Influences ranged greatly, beginning with a key direction from FXX in finding inspiration from collage artist Cyriak and the countless episodes in the archive of the series, down to Pinterest searches and Instagram fan art. As all of this cooked down into the stew of our collective minds, we were able to begin putting brush to canvas (digitally) and let it move into some far out areas.
Another key direction from FXX was to make sure and highlight other interesting elements of the this enormous series by giving some concentrated thoughts to secondary and even third level characters, so as to not always focus on the key family members. It opened many new doors to us in imagining mash ups based on themes from the series, key locations throughout the episodes, and even getting to pay some attention to the featuring of other species found in the show, as seen in the Fluid ID with the 3 eyed fish, Santa’s Little Helper, and Itchy & Scratchy.
As we progressed, what we started to notice was that being too simple worked at times, but there were moments that adding a lot more layers also added a quirky element that felt very Simpsons-esque. Still very much in this world of sliding abstraction, we approached the second pass with a tidal wave of graphic elements to jolt viewers minds.
Like with most creative processes, you have to just jump in and try many ideas in order to find what might actually work, or often times one idea that inspires a totally different approach and results in something so beautifully chaotic that you could have never imagined it from the start. You have to begin traveling down many roads of in order to find the path that you might have never thought to explore, but when you see and feel it you just start sprinting.