Trollback and Company Designs for Key - The New York Times Real Estate Magazine

Trollback + Company Designs for Key: The New York Times Real Estate Magazine

Trollback + Company was recently contacted by Arem Duplessis, Art Director of the New York Times Magazine, to conceive and design a page for the inaugural edition of its new bi-annual real estate magazine supplement to the paper called "KEY", which launches on Sunday, September 10.

The New York Times invited seven artists, graphic designers, architects, and Trollback + Company, to each come up with a visual based on one of their own personal keys.

Duplessis states, "Trollback was the only motion graphics company we contacted because we were impressed with their work for the MetLife 'If' TV commercials. The key they produced is a brilliant concept that separates nicely from the other featured work."

Joe Wright, creative director of Trollback + Company, came up with the concept of giving the everyday object a scale that would reflect its importance. He explains, "A house key's humble size belies its iconic significance. For what it does, a key is amazingly small and insignificant. But if we lose it, the effect can be overwhelming. Therefore, we decided it would be fitting to give the key a monumentality that is more in keeping with the architectural structure it's designed to open. That led us to the idea of making the key itself more architectural."

Jakob Trollback, founder and creative director of Trollback + Company, added, "We considered the key in motion because working in motion is what we're known for doing. A key's value is all in the act of turning it in a lock. We therefore scanned the key, created an outline, and began to study how it looked when it was revolved. The challenge was to get photo-real lighting on it to make it look tactile, like a real object -that's part of what makes it interesting."

To realize this vision, Trollback turned to Special Branch, which had provided photorealistic computer-generated imagery for several of Trollback's commercial projects, including a recent Nike campaign. In order to give the key's abstract quality of revolutionary motion a realistic physicality, Special Branch carefully recreated the web of tiny dents, smudges and scratches that keys acquire with age and use, subtly emphasizing the tactile qualities of this virtual object. It is this sort of detail, as well as the simulation of studio-photography lighting and depth of field, that helps convey the dimensionality and solidity of the key.

Creating a print image is the ultimate distillation of the film editing process - in animation, there can be hundreds of frames to tell a story. Here, Trollback had to choose the very best one.

Ed Manning, founder of Special Branch comments, "It was important to maintain the juxtaposition in Joe and Jakob's idea -the key needed to appear larger-than-life, yet remain identifiable, a familiar and humble object."

Fittingly, the key that was used is a back door key to Trollback's offices in New York, where award-winning imagery and motion graphics are created for commercials, environments, movie titles, and branding for television channels, including the CBS network's new on-air identity, the recent MetLife "If" TV commercial, titles to the Oscar-winning "Capote", and graphics for the Emmy-winning HBO series, "Elizabeth I."

The complete list of artists and designers involved in the "Key"s first edition follows:

Motion Graphics Designers
Trollback + Company

Graphic Designers
Carin Goldberg
Stefan Sagmeister

Fine Artists
Frances Richardson
Simon Evans
James Welling

Matthew Grzywinski & Amador Pons of Grzywinski Pons Architects LLC

About Trollback + Company
Trollback + Company is a visual and conceptual creative studio producing expressive and purposeful graphics, design and live action for advertising, broadcast, and entertainment.

Led by creative directors Jakob Trollback and Joe Wright, the collaborative group of designers and writers creates motion graphics, print, environmental design and live action. T + Co's trademark approach relies on unorthodox thinking and storytelling, and the belief that a compelling and focused message has to shine through for any communication to be truly successful.

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