Seed Animation Studio
Development Support for Creative Studio
Seed Animation is an award-winning animation production studio, based in the heart of Soho London. The studio, headed up by creative co-founders Morgan Powell and Neil Kidney focus on short-form animation projects. Known for their distinctive character design and animation, their creative treatment is often stylized and playful, resulting in emotive and characterful films. Their team specialise in developing memorable campaigns from concept through to delivery. They are a team of passionate directors, filmmakers, scriptwriters, illustrators, designers, animators, and photographers.
Seed Animation Studio previous developer assistance caused common pain points that I hear from all of my clients. Their previous developer was hard to get a hold of, busy with other projects and generally unavailable to work with the studio. After searching for a new developer, they came across my profile and we were able to jump on a call that week to discuss their requirements. Many of my clients feel at ease if I can visit them in-house, it helps to establish trust and get a feel for if there’s a right fit for the job. Fortunately, I am always looking for an excuse to travel about, and so I travelled to London for a week to work on the project.
Upon meeting, we discussed how the internal marketing and content strategy was having focused efforts on the organising and architecture of the information they used across their digital platforms. As a result of these efforts, Seed Animation would require new taxonomy functionality on the website. The Studio has a large portfolio of work and to help users of the website find and filter their work, we would introduce a category and tag system.
Building Taxonomy Functionality
The existing web platform Seed Animation use is completely bespoke and as a result, doesn’t have some of the taxonomy functionality you would expect with a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress. There are a range of benefits in going bespoke, however, there are a few caveats. One is that you may have to find someone who can understand the system and extend the functionality it provides. Fortunately for Seed Animation, I have strong, foundational experience with PHP, the underlying language used to develop their bespoke system.
Having this experience meant that I was able to set the system up on my local machine with little to no friction and start extending out their portfolio system. The new system includes a tagging system, giving Seed Animation the power to organise and group related case studies. The team can also add group each portfolio item under a category. Categories enable filtering of the Seed Animation showcase. Users browsing the site can make use of these filters with buttons on the ‘Work’ page to hide/show case studies under specific categories.
As well as the information and content strategy, Seed Animation was eager to incorporate some of the fun, non-commercial work they carry out in the office. So enters the lab experiments page! Ideas, tests, scribbles, photos, proof of concepts, explorations, just for fun, down times. Find it all there. Seed Animation posts these experiments to their social channels and media profiles such as Vimeo and Instagram.
To include these experiments on the Seed Animation website, a new grid builder has been constructed to allow creative control over how the experiments are presented on the labs’ page. Any of the staff can import content from Vimeo or Instagram to embed on the site, allowing for a simple content management process which doesn’t rely on a developer.
Documenting Their Process
Seed Animation has a beautiful creative process behind the scenes that clients and consumers don’t often get to see. To give an insight into the Studio and their process, Seed wanted to include a gallery which helped tell a story of the development of their projects.
I developed and extended the existing portfolio system to include a process gallery so they could take snapshots of their journey to pin up on their website. Serving as a memoir for themselves, and to give a behind the scenes view into the studio.
Updating content on the site is something we are working on making easier for the team, but for general content updates, I am sometimes consulted to build grid systems and advanced typography. Seed Animation has worked with an interesting set of clients that they wanted to display on their site, including –
- Coca Cola
SEO Strategy and System
The previous system for Seed provides a basic-level of SEO control. It was great for getting started but the Seed Animation staff are pretty switched on when it comes to content strategy and are self-motivated to provide the details required to rank higher on Google.
I’m working closely with the marketing staff to build a bespoke content focused system which extends on the previous system. With the new system, Seed will have a greater chance of ranking above competitors and ranking #1 in your Google searches.
Site Optimisation and Support
Before launching the site updates, we reviewed how well the website performed with web analyses tools such as network request waterfall models, SEO auditing. The website includes bug monitoring software to manage any exceptions the system comes across, flagging cross-browser bugs. This level of insight allows for any development updates to target these issues and improve the experience of any future users.
"Jack has been a great find for Seed Animation, we know that we can message him anytime to discuss ideas we have for the site and to help us with our digital strategy."