Mind Animation Guidelines

Branded Motion Toolkits
Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales. They offer information and advice to people with mental health problems and lobby government & local authorities on their behalf.

The Challenge

Mind had been through a re-brand about a year before contacting us. As an organisation, they understood the importance of animation and could see the value in creating more animated content, but they didn’t have clear guidance on how their brand should appear in motion. They were looking for consistency across their animated content and wanted to include animation as part of their brand guidelines. One of the key considerations was the local service providers known as local Minds, who make up part of the wider organisation and have the need to commission their own area-specific content. We needed to approach the guidelines with all users, projects and budgets catered for.

About the guidelines, a new Mind employee told us... “I love them! The approach is so clear and I'm a big fan of the technical info. I freelance outside of Mind and would be over the moon to get guidelines like these from a client.”

The Solution

We began by conducting a thorough investigation of the animation requirements across the organisation including running focus groups and interviews with Mind’s stakeholders. We came to understand that these varied dramatically depending on the activities of the team. We carried out an audit of Mind’s existing animations and researched content being created by similar brands and charities. We reviewed the findings and created a report with recommendations for the contents of the guidelines, as well as an indication of some animation styles to explore.

It was clear that there needed to be flexibility to allow for different teams' requirements. There were a number of factors that guided this: content, tone, budget and production lead time being the main drivers.

We identified an example selection of scenes from a range of typical Mind content and produced them in a series of animation styles. This included creating new animated assets and a library of original characters. These were reviewed by Mind and a panel of people with lived experience of various mental health issues. With their feedback, these were refined and finalised

The final stage was to write the animation guidelines and deliver these alongside the examples we had created. We also delivered a toolkit of animated assets for Mind to edit and use, or share with future motion suppliers.

The Impact

We’re delighted to report the feedback on the guidelines so far has been great! Now, anyone creating a piece of animation for Mind can follow a clear set of guidelines that keep things consistent for the brand, whilst allowing some room for creativity for the maker. The guidelines have the added benefit of making the project briefing process easier and more efficient.  

An example of content created using the guidelines is a series by a fellow motion studio. We have also used the guidelines ourselves to create an animated explainer for a new pilot service.

“The whole team at Buff are diligent, attentive, creative and extremely talented. The team will keep you updated on all aspects of the project as they are happening, and is passionate about supporting you with your vision/goal. The finished animation beautifully balances the sensitive topic with an engaging and interesting design. I have received so many compliments on the video and I am absolutely thrilled with it. It has far exceeded all my expectations.”
Dr Holly Smith
University College London (UCL)

Want to understand more about motion toolkits and how they can help? Find out more here!

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