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Keys Designed For New York Times Magazine launch

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Trollbäck + Company was recently contacted by Arem Duplessis, Art Director of the New York Times Magazine, to conceive and design a page for the inaugural edition of its new bi-annual real estate magazine supplement to the paper called 'KEY', which launches on Sunday, September 10. The New York Times invited seven artists, graphic designers, architects, and Trollbäck + Company, to each come up with a visual based on one of their own personal keys.

Duplessis states,Trollbäck was the only motion graphics company we contacted because we were impressed with their work for the MetLife If‚ TV commercials.

The key they produced is a brilliant concept that separates nicely from the other featured work.Joe Wright, creative director of Trollbäck + Company, came up with the concept of giving the everyday object a scale that would reflect its importance. He explains, A house key's humble size belies its iconic significance. For what it does, a key is amazingly small and insignificant. But if we lose it, the effect can be overwhelming. Therefore, we decided it would be fitting to give the key a monumentality that is more in keeping with the architectural structure it's designed to open. That led us to the idea of making the key itself more architectural.


Jakob Trollbäck, founder and creative director of Trollbäck + Company, added, We considered the key in motion because working in motion is what we're known for doing. A key's value is all in the act of turning it in a lock. We therefore scanned the key, created an outline, and began to study how it looked when it was revolved.

The challenge was to get photo-real lighting on it to make it look tactile, like a real object ˜that‚s part of what makes it interesting. To realize this vision, Trollbäck turned to Special Branch, which had provided photorealistic computer-generated imagery for several of Trollbäck‚s commercial projects, including a recent Nike campaign. In order to give the key's abstract quality of revolutionary motion a realistic physicality, Special Branch carefully recreated the web of tiny dents, smudges and scratches that keys acquire with age and use, subtly emphasizing the tactile qualities of this virtual object. It is this sort of detail, as well as the simulation of studio-photography lighting and depth of field, that helps convey the dimensionality and solidity of the key.

Creating a print image is the ultimate distillation of the film editing process ˜ in animation, there can be hundreds of frames to tell a story. Here, Trollbäck had to choose the very best one. Ed Manning, founder of Special Branch comments, It was important to maintain the juxtaposition in Joe and Jakob's idea ˜the key needed to appear larger-than-life, yet remain identifiable, a familiar and humble object.

Fittingly, the key that was used is a back door key to Trollbäck‚s offices in New York, where award-winning imagery and motion graphics are created for commercials, environments, movie titles, and branding for television channels, including the CBS network‚s new on-air identity, the recent MetLife If‚ TV commercial, titles to the Oscar-winning Capote‚, and graphics for the Emmy-winning HBO series, Elizabeth I.
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