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UNIFORM 1


“This is Sam from the Vimeo Staff. In case you’re not aware, a bunch of us on the Vimeo Staff are big fans of your site. I personally check the Ceiga blog every day.” Sam Morrill


or

Andy Chambers

Bryn Jones

C O N T E N T S Conor Moody

Nick Bentley

Senior Client Manager

Head of Digital

Michelle Ford

Stephen Ardern

Scott McCubbin

Mark Lee

Head of Operations

Business Development Director

Head of PR

Senior CG Artist

Chairman

Laurie Jones

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Founder & Creative Director Architectural Visualisation

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Charlie Pastor

Tim Sharp

Creative Director - Film

Senior Creative

Creative Director - Brand & Design

Natalie Loughran

Pete Thomas

Martin Skelly

Head of Finance & HR

Founder & Futures Director

Creative Technologist

U

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Lucy Johnston Client Manger

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niform is an independent creative agency. They create brands, content and products that help businesses connect with their customers and deliver results. Their studio is on Bold Street in the heart of Rope Walks, Liverpool’s creative hub. They use a rigorous creative process to uncover insight and simplify the complex - taking a step back to find the right strategic step forward. Driven by a restless curiosity and a desire to innovate, they use

r mix of skills and instinct to craft beautifully unexpected ideas. Their goal is to create a personal

nection between our clients and their customers.

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64 ceiga.co.uk

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Editors Letter After the success of the Saddington Baynes issue I’ve decided that from issue 17 onwards the magazine will focus less on individual artists but creative production companies around the world that don’t really get much recognition for the great work they produce and I’m starting this off with a company called Uniform. Uniform is an independent creative agency based in Liverpool, UK. They’ve worked for well known organisations such as Westfield, the NHS, Foster + Partners and Carlsberg. Although the team creates print designs and do a lot of filming I believe their strength is in their visualisation work and that’s what I’ve decided to focus this issue on. The Shard, Hermitage Plaza, Westfield Stratford and many more well known buildings and even some yet to be built have been visualised by this team and I hope this issue can give some well deserved credit to what they’ve done. I was introduced to Uniform by Mark Lee the senior CG Artist who sent me an email last year informing me of their new website. I had never heard of Uniform before and I was impressed with their website, minimal, responsive and colourful but most importantly showed off their work well, which there was a lot of. Anyway enough rambling from me, I hope you enjoy the issue.

E D I TO R

Richard Bray richbray.me

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Ami Guest

Andy Chambers

Client Manager

Chairman

Marcus McCabe Senior Creative

Bryn Jones

Conor Moody

Nick Bentley

Senior Client Manager

Head of Digital

Michelle Ford

Stephen Ardern

Scott McCubbin

Mark Lee

Head of Operations

Business Development Director

Head of PR

Senior CG Artist

Susan Wilson

Laurie Jones

Charlie Pastor

Tim Sharp

Lucy Johnston

Client Manager

Creative Director - Film

Senior Creative

Creative Director - Brand & Design

Client Manager

Nick Howe

Natalie Loughran

Pete Thomas

Martin Skelly

Founder & Managing Director

Head of Finance & HR

Founder & Futures Director

Creative Technologist

U

Founder & Creative Director Architectural Visualisation

niform is an independent creative agency. They create brands, content and products that help businesses connect with their customers and deliver results. Their studio is on Bold Street in the heart of Rope Walks, Liverpool’s creative hub. They use a rigorous creative process to uncover insight and simplify the complex - taking a step back to find the right strategic step forward. Driven by a restless curiosity and a desire to innovate, they use

their mix of skills and instinct to craft beautifully unexpected ideas. Their goal is to create a personal connection between thier clients and their customers.

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Mayfair is one of the world’s most exclusive areas, with the highest concentration of luxury hotels, fine shops, and high value residential dwellings in London. RER had an ambitious plan to build a new 12,000 sq ft luxury apartment block in the Mayfair Conservation Area. Mayfair Chambers, located between Grosvenor Square, Berkeley Square and Bond Street, would include six high-specification two and three bedroom apartments, including a 1,900 sq ft penthouse with a rooftop garden. Uniform was commissioned to create a series of realistic internal and external images to pre-sell these premium properties. At this pre-build stage, high quality images were to be the primary sales tool. RER said the level of detail “reflected their exquisite standards,” with images so good it was impossible to tell whether they were architectural images or photographs. Despite the economic situation in early 2013, RER sold every one of the properties before the building was completed.


RER Mayfair Chambers

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The investors behind Porto Montenegro had an incredible vision to take the unspoilt Montenegro coastline and create one of the world’s most luxurious waterfront developments. The aim of the transformation is to develop Porto Montenegro Marina Village, attracting super yachts and the World’s elite, turning Montenegro into the next ‘must visit’ holiday destination. Uniform has worked with Porto since 2012, creating the highest quality architectural visualisation images to communicate the vision to a global audience. The images run across marketing collateral, from websites to brochures and hoardings, generating media attention, and appearing in some of the world’s most exclusive publications. Within one year, the location was already being described in the media as ‘the new French Riviera’, attracting the calibre of property investors targeted for the development. The marina’s success was quickly recognised amongst influential international organisations, including the World Travel and Tourism Council describing Montenegro as ‘one of the top two fastest growing tourist economies in the next decade’.


Porto Montenegro

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PRODUCING CREATIVE & EFFECTIVE WORK

I

’m sure you’re enjoying the work of Uniform – but it’s always good to know a bit about the company and how it came together. What better way to do that than to get an interview with the co-founder and Creative Director of Visualisation Nick Bentley.

1) Could you tell me a little about your background and how you got

2) What does it feel like to be the co-founder of Uniform? What are

into visual design?

all the events that led up to that?

I studied product design and visual studies at LJMU way back in 1996!

It all started as a result of Nick Howe, Pete Thomas and I meeting at

One of our modules was focussed on ‘3D modelling’ which at the time I’d never heard of before. I got hooked on the idea of creating objects in a virtual space almost immediately, from an early age I was pretty addicted to building Lego... When we set up Uniform, our original intention was to design products and furniture, but we didn't have any capital to support us, so when we were offered the chance of designing a restaurant space, for real money, we jumped at the opportunity. As part of our design process we modelled the spaces in 3D to help communicate our designs to our client. The CG aspect was something that I really enjoyed and after a couple of years of designing interiors and products, we decided to focus on building a CG team. The prospect of having the creative freedom to create images of a space, without

University. We were all on the same Product Design course and became good friends through spending long hours constructing things in the workshops, as we were all dedicated to giving our projects a really high level of finish. We have spent 15 years working together and although we all have families and other commitments now, we still spend social time outside of work together. When I think back to the early days when we’d just started out, it’s amazing to think how far we have come, and although what we do has evolved over the years, our principles are still rooted in great design, producing work of the highest standard and creating something we can be proud of. 3) Being in an industry for over 15 years is a long time, has much

the constraints that photographers have to work within is something

changed?

which really excited us. We also knew we were getting quite good at it

Yes and no. Obviously technology and software has had a big impact

and thought it made more commercial sense than working for bar and nightclub owners!

on the ease of which realism can be achieved, however the fundamental principles of composition, colour harmony and a sense of narrative


which affect the success of imagery has been the same for centuries. In the mid 90s we pioneered the use of what people called ‘hollywood style’ visual effects in our film work for architectural schemes. We wanted to create adverts for buildings not walkthroughs, we won some awards and very soon the industry followed. Every film is now a story or an ad, technology helped this, and the price point of software dropping allowed people to create quality work. But again the simple rules of narrative and creative storytelling remain the same as they have been since the evolution of the film industry.

The atmosphere in the studio is busy and productive, and having teams with a wide range of expertise makes things really interesting. It’s a relaxed and friendly agency, everyone gets on well, and our new space, which we moved in to around nine months ago, has a big kitchen and dining area where we can all sit and have lunch together, which has been a great bonus and has really brought people closer together. 6) What are your typical day to day tasks as the creative director of visualisation? Leading the team and encouraging them to think in new ways, looking

4) How did you get involved in speaking at conferences and what is

at different approaches to solve problems. Reviewing projects and

that like?

providing creative leadership, discussing new creative opportunities with

The first major event I spoke at was around nine years ago, when Autodesk asked us to support them in a European Tour. They had been impressed by our film work and wanted us to tell their audience about our process using their software. Since then I’ve spoken in the UK, Sardinia, Moscow, San Diego and Venice. To be perfectly honest I still

the client management and business development teams. And keeping a step ahead, constantly looking at how we stay ahead of the game as a business, and how we develop as individuals and as a team. 7) What makes Uniform different from other creative agencies?

find the prospect of talking to big crowds fairly terrifying, but once I get

Because we set up the company whilst I was still at University, I don't

started it feels better, and it’s often a useful exercise in terms of taking a

have the experience of having worked at any other agencies which is

step back and evaluating our working processes.

sometimes a good thing and sometimes not! What makes us different is the mix of skills within the agency. We’ve got five distinct discipline-led

5) How many employees are currently at Uniform and what is the

teams; CGI, Film, Brand and Design, Digital and R&D. It’s not often you

atmosphere there like?

get that all under one roof.

There are currently 32 of us in total. Our main studio is in Liverpool, with

We’re very ambitious as a business, we want to work with the best

collaborators in Scotland and a recently opened studio space in London.

brands and produce the most creative and effective work, and build

It’s a relaxed and friendly agency, everyone gets on well, and our new space, which we moved in to around nine months ago, has a big kitchen and dining area where we can all sit and have lunch together

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Join us We are currently looking for a talented Senior CG Artist to join our award winning Architectural Visualisation team. jobs@uniform.net


a great business whilst we’re at it. We’ve got a strong board and management team who are all working together towards this same goal and that helps keep the culture dynamic and energetic. 8) What has been the most challenging project you've worked on and why? Lots of them! - It’s very difficult to single one out - every project brings it’s own challenges, whether that’s gambling with the weather when trying to organise a helicopter shoot, or getting the best from actors and extras on a greenscreen shoot, managing the clients needs and working within the project constraints while at the same time injecting the best possible creative, to the more technical challenges across large complex projects. I think that even after doing this for 15 years, we still learn something from every project, and that’s one of the aspects which keeps it exciting. 9) Lastly if you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing what would that be? There are actually quite a few things I’d tell myself… Less procrastinating around business decision making - get on and do it, then adjust later if it’s not 100% right, rather than not making decisions! Ensure you give people enough responsibility and space to develop their skills and careers. Work with people who are better and smarter than you. Think big, be ambitious, don’t be afraid to chase the dream, have confidence in your ability. Don’t be scared of change - constant evolution and growth is critical. If you’re not moving forward, you’re losing ground to your competitors.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, you’ve given brilliant answers which I’m sure will benefit the readers. You can keep up to date with Uniform’s activities by following them

We’ve got five distinct discipline-led teams; CGI, Film, Brand and Design, Digital and R&D. It’s not often you get that all under one roof.

on Twitter (twitter.com/uniformtweets), Instagram (instagram.com/ uniformtweets) and Vimeo (vimeo.com/uniformltd).

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Developer CIT saw an opportunity to take a brutalist building in London’s thriving South Bank and redevelop it as one of the capital’s newest, luxury residential properties. The former King’s Reach Tower would undergo an extensive redevelopment, creating 191 luxury apartments and penthouses. The new building, to be named South Bank Tower, would not only benefit from a swimming pool and spa, but extensive views across the Thames, including the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. Uniform was asked to produce a series of interior images for marketing purposes. Working alongside architects KPF and interior designers Johnson Naylor, Uniform created a series of photo-realistic images, including the lobby, apartments and the pool and spa.


CIT South Bank Tower

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Principal Place is a £290 million, 1.2m sq ft office and residential development in Shoreditch, London. The office element of the flagship project is a 16-storey, 623,000 sq ft block designed by architect Foster + Partners. Uniform was appointed to create several internal and external images for the office development, as Hammerson the developer looked to market the project and generate interest from the world’s major corporate businesses and attract high level tenants. The images had to communicate the quality of the development, especially the lobby, and the view from the luxury roof terraces. To create an accurate impression, Uniform had to complete the skyline across the City, including the buildings still under development. In 2012, Hammerson put its office portfolio up for sale, but retained a few key unbuilt projects, including Principal Place, one of it prime sites.


Hammerson Principal Place

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With £3.5 billion of private investment already committed, Croydon is described as London’s next big regeneration opportunity. Working at the heart of the town’s transformation, Westfield has identified the Whitgift Shopping Centre as one of the group’s main UK development opportunities in the town centre. In 2012, the developer briefed Uniform to create a set of CGI images and animations to support the planning application, Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and marketing collateral. The objective was to secure public and stakeholder support for Westfield’s plans. In early 2013, Westfield formed The Croydon Partnership, a 50/50 joint venture with another developer, Hammerson, to deliver the £1 billion development. Uniform is now creating updated images for the new joint venture as it goes forward to final planning consent.


Westfield Croydon

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Westfield, the world’s biggest shopping centre group, built Europe’s largest urban shopping centre at the London 2012 Olympic Park in East London. Westfield Stratford City became one of the most high profile retail developments in the world. With the aim of attracting over 300 occupiers to the destination, Westfield worked with Uniform to create a set of 18 photo-realistic images to help visualise the 180acre development. Used extensively for marketing and media within the UK and internationally, the images positioned Westfield Stratford City within the context of East London, articulating the social and commercial success of the regeneration. Prior to the Olympics, Westfield had secured 95% lettings. Uniform has since been appointed to create further images, as Westfield looks to develop the site further, creating new retail space and extending the landscaping.


Westfield Stratford City

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Single Images

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KPF - Bondway Tower


CIT - St Edmund’s Terrace 81


Private - Lake Lugano House


Mount Anvil - Union Street 83


Sellar - The Shard


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CONTENT EDITOR ADVERTISING MANAGER CREATIVE DIRECTOR MARKETING MANAGER

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I N F O@C E I G A.CO.U K

Ceiga Issue18  

After the success of the Saddington Baynes issue I’ve decided that from issue 17 onwards the magazine will focus less on individual artists...

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