studio: Zoï Environment Network
design, art direction: Joel Rabijns
animation: Joel Rabijns
typography design: Isacco Chiaf
treatment, copywriting: Zoï Environment Network
Overview of various chemical-related topics being treated by SAICM, or the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. This animation (along with shorter episodes focusing more specifically on individual topics) was made for their Open Ended Working Group 3 which took place in Montevideo in april 2019. The prime directive of this event –and SAICM’s daily activities– is the improvement of worldwide waste and chemicals management, beyond the 2020 environmental goals.
Aside from the main 3-minute-long animation included above, SAICM commissioned several shorter pieces, each highlighting one of their emerging policy issues, ie distinct topics or fields of interest as briefly mentioned in the main video. Topics such as Highly Hazardous Pesticides, Perfluorinated Chemicals and Environmentally Persistent Pharmaceutical Pollutants. These shorter episodes reuse much of the visual material from the main animation, though they also feature some unique sequences, which we will share on our instagram page in the course of april 2019. If you clicked on the project thumbnail expecting some under-the-sea action, be not disappointed! The fish animations will be among the instagram scenes.
Some words on the making of this animation.
Along with another recent Zoï project, the SAICM animation marks a huge step away from the smooth tight corporate vector style, towards something more handmade and organic. Though the general design, like much online-oriented illustration, is still based on the logic of digital interface icons, we opted for a rough chalky look, bright colors and strategic use of textured surfaces. Any outlines retain one line thickness, regardless of whether we zoom in on it, giving the impression that any object, big or small, close or distant has been drawn with the same pencil.
The animation is not primarily character-based. Nevertheless, a lot of attention was spent to character design. Skin tones are the only element breaking out of the general colour palette, which draws full attention to the characters whenever they appear onscreen. They are designed to emphasize diversity, kindness and relatability. They give a human face to our shared stakes in ethical chemical management.
For typographic elements we worked with Brussels-based designer Isaccco Chiaf. His balanced type compositions create an elegant dynamic with rough illustration-style of the other elements, which enables the animation to remain fresh and visually interesting.