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When working with clients it is very important that we understand what they like, what they don’t like and how we can best represent their voice and brand visually. According to SolidLine’s Art Director and Motion Artist extraordinaire, Mike Petrik, “As much as we’d like someone to say, ‘Make us something cool and give it to us at the end,’ that would never in a million years work out.” So, we ask our clients a series of simple questions and put together a styleboard to define the look and feel of a project.

First things first: the styleboard is not the storyboard. It’s an innocent mistake, but they are immensely different things and mixing them up could cause some serious breakdowns and confusion in communication. Styleboards are a jumping off point for the art department. Their purpose is to evoke the feeling of the project (color palette, design, layout, etc). The storyboard is the next step: taking the approved style from the styleboard and applying it and the script to a shot by shot map of the project.

We like everybody to be on the same page. Which is basically what the styleboards are all about. When someone comes to SolidLine for a project they usually have something in mind. “Some style they like,” explains Petrik, “or a video or commercial that they’ve seen that they think would work well for their brand and the video they want to achieve.” This is where the creative brief comes in to play. We ask the right questions to get an idea of what the client is looking for; something as simple as a brief summary of the project and three adjectives the client would use to describe the look and feel of the video they want.

We take those bits and pieces along with the current branding (logos and colors), chew on them for a while and create up to 6 panels representing what the final look of the video will be. We try to translate what you said into a visual sneak peek. “Panels that might be included in this are a title with the logo, how an interview would look, how a section break title would look, a list or definition, the call to action page with logo and contact information as well as other custom animation examples…depending on what the project calls for,” explains Petrik.

A lot of work goes into those six panels and it is the first thing our clients will see from the SolidLine art team. Styleboards are incredibly important because they are the groundwork for the entire video. Once the client approves the boards we can move onto animation, planning and storyboarding.

“Every aspect of the video will be based on what we learned and developed in the styleboards,” says Motion Artist Adam Marzec, “All ideas start and end with the style, so nothing in this stage can go over-looked.”

Here’s a sample styleboard from the Nutri-Vet Joint Care video we produced recently:NutriVet_Joint_Styleboards_V2Check out the finished product:

Get started on your next video project today. Contact SolidLine Media to take your vision from inspiration, to styleboards and reality.