News / Animation

Joey Yu creates animations for Ermenegildo Zegna depicting “the moments that made you”

One of this years It’s Nice That Graduates, Joey Yu, has created a series of hand-drawn animations for Italian luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna. The series features three short stories submitted by the public that depict “a chance encounter, a bold risk that paid off, a challenge overcome…the moments that made you.”

The animations, which were designed specifically for Instagram, feature Joey’s distinctively effortless, sketch-like style but were a bold move for the brand as the animations are a stark contrast to their usual feed. The narratives presented are humorous, touching and rich despite their short length and Joey’s style encapsulates this honesty perfectly. “It’s great having this very raw, messy single cell style, especially on a platform like Instagram,” she told us, adding that she’s “really passionate about things that are handmade and you can see quite clearly how these were crafted (even better when there are little faults and hiccups),” which is why she chose to use hand-drawn stop motion animation.

The animations were initially released on the brand’s Instagram story, something that affected how Joey approached the animations. They feature clever transitions that make use of the portrait frame they are constrained to and include visual prompts that utilise the click through nature of Instagram stories. For example, in Henry’s Story, the elevator door pops up with a message reading “tap to close,” which when viewers tapped, transported them to the next scene in which the doors did in fact close. This small yet clever gesture provides a subtle way to promote user interaction and control and demonstrates how designers can consider the platform their work is going to be viewed on.

The use of animation seems an appropriate continuation of Joey’s impressive illustration work and is something she sees playing a big part in her future work. “Someone told me that stop motion animation is expensive and becoming rarer, but there’s a human quality about it that you can’t achieve in any other way. I’m certainly going to be using more animation in my practice! I’m currently setting my sights on a music video…”