Spring 2019

Blue Chalk

Blue Chalk for Pearson

Art direction
Photo editing
Photo illustration
Motion design


How do we tell the story of Confederate symbols in the context of a Texas government course?

I worked with Blue Chalk in the spring of 2019 to reimagine what their explainer series for Pearson Education could look like. I animated a series of graphics for an educational package for a Texas government course about Confederate symbols. This video tackled the varying perspectives on Confederate memorials and what the future might look like after the devastating 2017 attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Challenge #1

Define a visual and motion system that can grow

The main goal of this project was to push the boundaries of what these explainers look like. A secondary goal was to create potential elements that could be incorporated into future explainer pieces. Reimagining graphics, maps, photo illustrations and text were the focus of this exploration.

Challenge #2

Text treatments as the visual system's DNA

In the full 8-minute explainer, most of the graphics were text-based. I started my visual exploration with figuring out how to treat type. The text style holds the DNA for the rest of the visuals. I thought a highlighter motif could work with the "explainer" idea, but this ended up feeling plain and overdone. I pivoted to a quick-moving paper texture so there was constant secondary motion. This also provided a background when there needed to be text on photos, so it was scalable and easier to read.

Challenge #3

Syncing motion and visuals early on

The motion was just as influential to the final "vibe" as the visual treatment, so I developed the storyboards and photo treatment simultaneously to create cohesion across the project.

Challenge #4

Applying visual themes to multiple graphics

The fast-paced paper texture became the unifying visual element for all the graphics. The colored duotone helped add color and interest to the limited collection of stock photos. The combination of choppy, crumpled paper, duotone texture similar to that used on newsprint and chunky cutouts evoked the idea of an investigation. This visual concept and language could then be applied to any explainer.

All rights reserved © 2019 Emma Comtois