Objective

The Highcross Beacons, comprising seven digital columns, sit slap-bang in the middle of the bustling St. Peter’s Square. We were approached by Highcross, due to our extensive portfolio of motion graphics and animation, to display some of our own work. For our theme, it didn’t take us long to decide on a ‘90s vibe for our digital canvas, adopting one of our favourite styles – Memphis Pop.

Memphis Pop is a distinctive style that whisks you back to a bygone decade, with its bright colours and bold geometric shapes. Despite being created in the 1980s, by architecture company The Memphis Group, it took a good few years to take off and become widely accepted. Commonly used in music videos with hip-hop artists such as De la Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, and in TV shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Saved by the Bell, this style, to certain generations, epitomises early ‘90s pop and urban culture.

The influences of Memphis Pop had been creeping into a lot of our work leading up to this project: incorporating recognisably retro characteristics into modern motion graphics techniques, we were putting a fresh spin on things and making it our own. Designer Dan Arab was tasked with creating a design that incorporated both our chosen theme and our brand colour palette. We wanted a striking piece of artwork that would also indirectly promote our brand. Dan then passed his creation over to animator Will Ruhl, who brought the work to life using eye-catching motions and hypnotic movement.

Outcome

The animations worked brilliantly in situ, and created a vivid focal point in the square. Displayed multiple times a day, for a number of weeks, the work was seen by a huge volume of shoppers and diners. Jo Tallack, General Manager Highcross, was hugely impressed with the outcome, commenting, “The Beacons have given us a great opportunity to work with agencies such as Seed and create these unique pieces of art for the city. The Memphis Pop animations will give Leicester the opportunity to reminisce in some ‘90s nostalgia”. From this project, we’ve been given more opportunities to brighten up St. Peter’s Square with our work, such as our animations for World Culture Day, where we used inspiration from the flags of 23 Leicester-dwelling nationalities, all tied together in a springtime theme. You can see the work here.

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