We’re regularly asked to create marketing art for TV, games and film. To ensure we create the best possible art that works for industry marketing teams and audiences alike, we focus on four key areas.
Make it Distinctive
Whatever the format or channel, if the marketing imagery is to work, it needs to be distinctive and compelling. The challenge is finding a direction that has strong visual impact but also communicates the content, tone and proposition in a way that is understandable and stimulating.
“Concept art tells a very specific story, but marketing art is about evoking a whole range of possibilities in one image. I’m quite keen on mysterious or atmospheric marketing art that raises questions and makes me want to find out more; still telling a story but using far less information to do it.” Dan Gilmore, Lead UI/UX Designer, Atomhawk
Important considerations are: who is the target audience? What is it that we think will excite and hook them? What is the overall mood and tone of the product? Also, what scenes, characters or other elements already exist which could be deployed to sum up all of these things in one or two single images?
The best ideas often begin with collaboration between the marketing team, with their in-depth knowledge of the product, and the art team who can supply a fresh perspective and a vision of the final execution.
Keep it Flexible
Flexibility is a key factor we focus on throughout the marketing art process.
“When we’re producing one or two key pieces of art that will potentially need to be used across a whole host of media applications, it’s essential that the images are created and delivered in a way that will maximise the marketing team’s investment.” Tim Wilson, Head of Production, Atomhawk
We like to use oversized canvases to create a large image that can be re-used at various scales and crops for different applications.
We also keep the artwork layered so that characters, objects and backgrounds can be re-used, re-arranged and re-integrated across different formats. Even elements like lighting and atmospheric effects need to be layered as they may no longer make sense when the composition is changed or an element of the image is used in isolation.
Keeping things flexible means that all elements can be carefully placed to provide storytelling cues but still be rearranged without losing the impact and sense of narrative.
Raise the Quality Bar
When it comes to marketing art, size really does matter!
Keeping it big not only gives flexibility, it also delivers on the quality, resolution and definition that helps marketing art to do its job even when viewed from a distance or in a brief snap-shot of time.
“When I think about marketing art that has caught my eye, it’s always been about the colours, the action and the story. Give me a cool, dynamic scene smack-full of colours that immediately grabs your attention, and I’m reading that email, or buying that game.” Viktoria Gavrilenko, Concept Artist, Atomhawk
3D is increasingly being used in marketing art to give a more realistic and tangible effect. Achieving this effect may not mean working entirely in 3D but can also include using existing 3D assets and textures which can be up rezzed for rendering then touched up by hand to produce a high quality finish.
To perfect this high quality finish, it’s important to put as much detail as possible into the 3D model to make it easier to repose and light. We then use Photoshop for atmosphere and embellishments, employing photos where possible to avoid hand-painted textures clashing with the photo-realistic 3D.
Marketing art also plays an important role in elevating the audience’s expectations and generating desirability.
“Whether it’s for a poster, box art or magazine cover, marketing art is essentially a call to action to buy, watch or talk about the product. So no matter how good the artwork is, if it fails to elevate expectations then the audience is unlikely to be inspired to engage.” Karen Hinchliffe, Marketing Manager, Atomhawk
Determining and highlighting the elements that the audience are going to be most interested in and passionate about is essential to making the image work its hardest. Whether it’s the upgradeable elements of a game, the theme of a new TV programme or the big name actors or characters in a film, the best marketing images will bring these elements to the fore and make them look awesome!
You can check out our latest Marketing Art Showreel and find our more about our marketing work here.