Inflatable fabrics, shiny plastics and foam: Butt Studio’s Nike campaign imagines the world through the eyes of a kid
Titled Kidsvision and created with Blinkink, the campaign celebrates Nike’s FlyEase trainers through the wild and imaginative mind of a child.
- 6 May 2022
- Ayla Angelos
Imagine the world through the eyes of a kid and it will most likely look a lot like the new campaign for the Dynamo Go and Play Pack collection, designed by Butt Studio for Nike with Blinkink. Showcasing the FlyEase trainers, the campaign, entitled Kidsvision, sees joyful youngens jumping about in a CGI world decorated in squiggles, bubbly flowers, butterflies and toys. Is this what kids’ dreams are made of?
Well, it’s probably not far off, and we can be certain of that. Harry Butt, founder of Butt Studio, explains how the brief from Nike was to “imagine a world of play”, so he proceeded to design the world through the mindset of a child. It was a process he thoroughly enjoyed, as “it’s something we’ve all been; a kid playing in their imagination”. Having grown up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, Harry’s childhood consisted of imaginative thought as he’d run about playing Lord of the Rings in his back garden, “where most normal people were smoking and drinking in the park”. Harry looked back on these memories to design the campaign, before breaking it down into a “manageable” format by “thinking about each kid and their sport”. This includes a gymnast, footballer and basketball player. “I played those sports in my mind and pulled from the weird images that are out, like the VFX your brain imagines when you want to make huge slam dunk or really big jump.”
The result is a colourful environment devised from a compilation of hardy, shiny plastics, inflated fabrics, foamy textures and pastel-tinted gradients – the perfect counterpart to the kids trainers, which are equally as joyous. Working in CGI, Harry explains how they’d drawn the initial material palette from the shoe itself, including the soft foam and hard reflective coloured plastic. The transparent plastic, he thought would be best suited for the physical objects. “This material palette went alongside a specific motion palette to form a super strict art direction,” he says. “I knew the world of imagination was going to throw up all kinds of ideas, objects and animations, so we could go wild and be comfortable knowing it would all sit within this strict art direction to unify it.”
Working on the project – and especially with kids – didn’t come without its challenges. By nature, the younger generation are much more, err, lively. Harry also did things remotely in London while the kids were in New York. “There were some amazing people on set to help guide the actions and the choreography but, ultimately, the kids are just kids, so they’re not necessarily going to hit the mark every time.” The most important factor, though, was that the kids had fun. “So our work creating the CG in the next stage became really reactive to the shots that we captures,” he continues. “Planning a CG before a shoot can make for a really smooth creative process, but actually it can be quite restrictive and stressful to make sure we capture those specific things on set. The kids were the perfect excuse to relax a little and just put our expectations to one side.”
Interestingly, 3D animator Jack Sachs also created a Nike Kids campaign in China prior to this, which Harry says “was not only a great inspiration but a useful tool to set a visual context for this project”. There’s a synergy between two designers and their outputs, both in style and process. This is something that Harry remarks as being “quite nice” – especially in terms of being part of a wider project with other artists like this one.
Butt Studio: Kidsvision. Nike Kids, FlyEase SS2022 (Copyright © Butt Studio, 2022)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent nearly a decade as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.