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Guide to creative development

Creative development is the process of exploring and refining your video’s look and feel so that it engages your audience and reflects your brand.


If you’re creating an animated explainer video for your organisation, you really want it to reflect your brand. Your marketing team may already have clear guidelines on how illustrated or animated content should appear. If not, you’re going to need to do a bit of creative development.

There’s a bit more to it than just coming up with pretty pictures though. For a start, it involves reviewing your brand guidelines and video requirements – then exploring different visual styles that will get your message across effectively, without falling afoul of the brand police.

It’s a hugely important step in the creative process – and can save a huge amount of time and money when it’s done well. In this short guide, we’ll take a closer look at what’s involved in creative development.


What does creative development involve?

In this guide, we break down each of the main steps in the creative development process. There’s also plenty of tips for making sure your own creative process goes smoothly. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn for more animation tips and tricks.


Understanding your video requirements

First, it’s important to fully understand what your video needs to achieve and who your audience is. How your video needs to work for you will have a big impact on the initial creative approach.

For instance, if you need to showcase a specific product or object then 3D animation may be your best bet. Alternatively, if you want to build empathy with your audience you may want to consider using characters. Being clear on the video style you need ensures you start the creative development process off strongly.


Reviewing brand guidelines

While your organisation’s guidelines may not mention animation specifically, they’ll still have rules that need to be reflected in your video’s look and feel. Things like colours, fonts and logos are often non-negotiable. For a good reason too.

In addition, brand guidelines often include rules around the style of images or illustrations that can be used. It’s also useful to review examples of previous videos and digital content to see how much stretch there is in the guidelines. Particularly if the audience is internal.


Creating a mood board

The next step in creative development is to create a mood board of look and feels that meet all requirements. A mood board is effectively a collection of images found online that reflect different styles within an overall look and feel.

At Bundle, we use Pinterest and Boords to carefully but quickly share mood boards for new projects. They’re perfect for quickly capturing feedback on what works and what doesn’t. They also save a load of time once you start illustrating.

NHS visual style creative development
Example mood board that was created to help inform the creative development of a London NHS Trust’s health education series of videos.

Illustrating different creative styles

Next, expert illustrators take everything they’ve learnt and cook up creative ways to share your story. Usually, we recommend budgeting a couple of days so that there’s time to sketch two or three different look and feels.

For each look and feel, we create a few images that reflect how different moments within the film will appear. For instance, how a specific concept could be illustrated. Or how characters could appear.


Refining the visual style

Now, the fun part starts. We share the initial designs online so that you can easily share your feedback and ideas. Sometimes, one of the styles works perfectly and no further development is required. Other times, it involves combining parts of one style with bits of another.

This cycle continues until we’ve refined the visuals into a visual style that perfectly meets your requirements.


The key to successful creative development

By far the most important aspect of creative development is to make sure it’s collaborative. Working with expert illustrators and animators will definitely help ensure the visuals meet your video and brand requirements. However, creating true masterpieces usually involves regular and transparent feedback throughout the process.

At Bundle, we’ve cooked up creative approaches in a range of styles for some of the coolest organisations around. If you want to engage your audience and get really creative, get in touch and let’s get one step closer to bringing your video dreams to life.

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