The Atlantic

ATK PLN Graphics Package for the Atlantic Festival 2020

The Atlantic, like everyone else in 2020 has been turned on it’s head thanks to the Covid 19 Pandemic. Normally the Atlantic Festival would be an in person event that lasts for 3 days in September, but this year The Atlantic moved everything online for obvious reasons.

When you move a live event to an exclusively online event, one thing that needs to happen is a level of consistency across all of the visual components. Especially since your target audience is probably a little burned out from all the Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings they have attended over the last 8 months.

To achieve this the Atlantic turned to ATK PLN to develop a consistent look that could be applied across all Zoom screens, the website, videos, and other support materials. If you take the look of the video above and then jump over to the website, and the YouTube channel you can see how they pulled everything together with a very simple identity system that is effective while not distracting from the onscreen content – the speakers.

I especially love the animated swooping yellow line on the webpage. It’s such a nice simple touch.

“In 2020, premiere conferences and events are no longer working to elevate their experience from the year before, but are instead challenged with a drastic pivot to an entirely virtual experience.

For The Atlantic Festival, their 2020 virtual event in September continued to bring on revered speakers including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Samantha Bee, and Billy Porter.

Don Mischer Productions brought on design-first creative studio ATK PLN to elevate the virtual 2020 Atlantic Festival using a broadcast level graphics package, enhancing the viewing experience for participants.

With a Zoom-fatigued audience tuning in to be enlightened, engaged, and inspired, ATK PLN paid careful attention to bringing heightened production values that would distinguish this experience from the daily lineup of virtual meetings they had become accustomed to.

The ATK PLN team crafted an original opening sequence for the virtual event that also served as a promotional trailer for the conference, with the words literally jumping off the page in a whirling movement of typeface highlighting the latest top headlines.

The design-driven piece is a graphic realization of The Atlantic’s mission to illuminate the American idea, bringing to life some of the publication’s most thought-provoking pieces of 2020 with flowing text cascading out of one story and fusing together in the next.

In addition to the opening sequence, ATK PLN also created a comprehensive graphics package for use across all of the event’s virtual sessions, creating a cohesive visual aesthetic that would convey the premium experience of this marquee event.

This mirrored the standard offerings of a broadcast design package, including original backgrounds, animated logos, lower thirds, titles, transitions, text backgrounds, idents, and screen bugs. This strategy transported viewers out of a stale and generic video interface and into a fully designed and cohesive platform as carefully curated as its in-person versions.”

Don Mischer Productions

Ahead of 2020, Beware the Deepfake – The Atlantic

There is plenty of political implications in the video below, but that isn’t why I’m posting it. The animation is really really nice, and when coupled to the voice over it becomes an engaging piece that draws you in and holds your attention for three and a half minutes.

Produced for the Atlantic this team of designers, animators, illustrators, and writers have crafted an informative short that addresses an issue that is going to become more problematic in the near future. The use of Deepfake technology.

I watched this first with the sound on, taking in the entirety of the messaging. Then I hit the mute button and watched it again. There is a great rhythm to the piece. Sections flow together and create nice visual layouts. The sparse color pallet adds to the drama and focuses your attention.

I don’t care what your political stance is, or which side you choose to vote for or why. This technology will have some crazy implications for things beyond elections in the near future. Oh, and be forewarned. If you google Deepfakes to see examples of how this is being used, there are a ton of adult videos that will show up.

“We are crossing over into an era where we have to be skeptical of what we see on video,” says John Villasenor, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Villasenor is talking about deepfakes—videos that are digitally manipulated in imperceptible ways, often using a machine-learning technique that superimposes existing images or audio onto source material. The technology’s verisimilitude is alarming, Villasenor argues because it undermines our perception of truth and could have disastrous consequences for the upcoming U.S. presidential election. I’do think deepfakes are going to be a feature of the 2020 elections in some way,” Villasenor says. “And their shadow will be long.”

A full credits list is at the end of the animated short if you are interested in the team that put this together.