Volume 1

April 11, 2016

Generation X

Show Package

How do you capture almost two decades worth of social change and political shifting and turn it into a show brand? That was the question we faced teaming up with Jeff Cooperman and our friends at Left/Right to create a graphics package and a show open for National Geographic’s series Generation X. Bottling that special brand of Gen X attitude — a powerful mix of resilience, cynicism, independence, and edge — would be tough, but essential.

contact sheet

We started with a long look in the mirror, reflecting about our own lives and what it meant to us to be part of that generation. Through several lengthy conversations with Jeff, we developed a visual storytelling device that transports the viewer from a singular moment that defined Gen X back through time, in the end revealing the root of the event or, in some instances, the problem.

The technical revolution from the seventies through the nineties became our inspiration — the shift from rotary to mobile, from vinyl to tape to CD, from film to video. The physical changes to daily life and how we live, capture and catalogue it led us organically toward mixing the mediums. We combined contact sheets, zoetrope motion effects, digital readouts, and photography and video of all kinds to create a single, dynamic graphic look for the series.

The time we spent meditating on our individual histories prior to our design work was not only fun and interesting, it paid dividends throughout the project. The collaboration with the fantastic Left/Right team became more personal for all involved. Our work was not only creatively rewarding, the end product — our graphics fused with their series — resulted in a fresh, new take and much-deserved spotlight on a generation once dubbed by the Pew Research Center as “America’s neglected middle child.” Break out that flannel shirt and have a look.


April 11, 2016

Cookies for Kids' Cancer

Benefit Video

There are always projects that you want to do and are excited to produce. But every once in a while, there is a project that you not only want to do, but feel honored to be asked. The Cookies for Kids’ Cancer benefit video really tops our list this year.

design exploration

If you do not yet know the name Liam Witt, you will be glad you do by the end of this post. Liam, a curious, smart, and loving child, bravely fought pediatric cancer for four years. When he lost that battle, his parents, Gretchen and Larry, turned their sorrow into action, starting Cookies as a way to raise money for pediatric cancer research (which typically receives less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget).

design exploration

Since they started in 2008, they have helped fund over 80 research projects. The work that they do is truly amazing.

Inspired by Liam’s love of cooking and his desire to one day become a chef, every year, Cookies is joined by several top chefs in New York City for an evening of food and fundraising. Our partners at Left/Right asked us to join them in creating a video for the event that would speak to Liam’s courage and charisma, as well as the incredible impact Cookies has made in saving children’s lives.

We began by looking at what inspired us most — Liam’s positivity and his insatiable curiosity throughout his journey. His doctors recall him as always ready with a question. We shot at the clinic where Liam spent months receiving treatments. His parents remember him looking out one window in particular — a window that looked directly across the street and into research labs with scientists racing to find a cure — his cure. That never happened for Liam, but his parents are doing everything they can to create a cure for the next child sitting at that window. We are so grateful to Cookies for their work, their heart and their message, and to Left/Right for allowing us to help spread the word.

Watch “Windows & Bridges” to hear the full, incredible story.


April 11, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Josh Norton

Founder / Exec. Creative Director

Josh Norton, Co-founder and Creative Director of BigStar, always had a hard time being told what to do. After graduating from the highly regarded Savannah College of Art and Design and cutting his teeth at top production companies like Imaginary Forces and Version 2, it seemed only fitting that he would break out on his own. With longtime friend, Alex Krawitz, Norton started BigStar over a decade ago with the idea of providing clients with powerful, effective communications through quality and timeless design work. But more than that, Norton wanted the work that came from his studio to stir the emotions of his clients and viewers.

In achieving that goal, Norton plays a hands-on role in all levels of production, setting the creative tone for all projects and overseeing all motion graphics, animation and live-action production. Touching every part of what BIGSTAR generates is an extension of his client-driven focus. He is a collaborator by reputation, one that has helped a range of clients identify and achieve their goals. From major networks like HBO, Showtime and AMC, to Academy Award-winning directors, to global advertising agencies, BigStar’s client base continues to expand with every new commission.

BIGSTAR’s title reel: created, curated, and edited by Josh Norton.

"Design and communications overall have a lot of subjectivity and a lot of personality that goes into the craft, so you have to connect with people", Norton said. "We find the best solution and take into account what our clients are dealing with. We’re here to make their lives easier and do great creative work."

Norton says it never really feels like work; the world of motion graphics combines so much of what he loves — animation, illustration, typography, film, sound, music and story.

"I’m constantly listening to new music, and thinking about sounds, motion, and physics. The combination of worlds is what keeps it exciting."

He also looks for inspiration in the worlds of fashion, photography and graphic design, but is just as easily moved by a walk through his downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Though his beard and his cat might indicate otherwise, he does not live in Brooklyn.


Volume 30

Next Project: Volume 30
Telling the Bigger Story