When it comes to telling a story, there is no better way than to use characterful cartoons to convey every aspect of your storyline.

It can be hard to visualise a very detailed story using just photography and video. Don’t get me wrong, live shot video is brilliant, but when it comes to historical details it’s quite often hard to find the right data.

We were recently asked by SITA UK to help them visualise their amazing company history, from start to finish. The process began with a detailed script that needed to be represented in complete detail so that everyone could understand the various changes that the company had been through.

The aim was to come up with an animated sequence of cartoons that looked hand drawn. This type of ‘explainer video’ has gained popularity in recent years.

The client had seen some ‘hand drawn video modules’ (i.e. explainer videos) and liked the concept, but they also realised that it could potentially be an very expensive process.

We looked at the options and came up with a cost-effective solution that delivered a similar effect, at a fraction of the budget they had anticipated.

Our secret weapon was our brilliantly talented cartoonist, Don. Having looked at the client script / storyline together, we formulated an outline sketch storyboard for each paragraph. This enabled us to put in every single little element that was desired. We featured the particular year so there was a clear date-line as the story evolved, plus location maps were part of the sequence, so that the components could be clearly integrated into the chronological story.

Once the initial sketches had been approved by the client team to ensure it was historically correct, the final cartoon frames were produced.

The script was recorded by a professional voiceover artist, and a complementary music library track was selected to underscore the story and add brightness.

Each cartoon was then digitally scanned so that it could be used within the editing package.The concept was based on making the cartoons look as if they were being hand drawn on the page by using a live-video hand holding a marker pen. The hand was animated in the video software programme with a sound effect added so that you could actually hear the marker pen squeak gently as the drawing appeared on the page.

The end result was a fun visual story that built in 4 minutes to tell their complete story. The client and audiences who viewed the module loved every second and they told us it was the perfect solution for them.