Introducing: Arcade Studio

We talk to the Cape Town collective about the emergence of their style, why they bring their A-game to every project, how narratives develop in their work, and the joy of creating brand asset libraries.

Thursday 22 February 2024

Tell us about you…what’s your story?

Arcade started in 2017 as the blood, sweat and tears of founder and creative director, Jean-Pierre Le Roux, specialist 3d designer and animator. His focus was character design and finding his own voice in the art industry.

How did your animation style emerge and become what it is today?

Our style came about in the early days of stylised characters. We were trying to take a more vector styled approach to 3d characters, keeping design minimal but loaded with personality. Very quickly brands started noticing and approached Arcade to develop more for them, which helped us grow our body of work and evolve into what we are today. We have continued to layer in detail and refine the minimal style using texture and personality traits, into a simple but complex place which separates us from the rest.

How important is it to you to not cut corners in your execution of the animations you produce?

At Arcade we understand that you are only as good as your weakest piece of work, and to keep our reputation and standards high, we focus on quality and delivering products that are always portfolio ready and work we are proud to share with the world. No matter the budget, reputation is king!

You’re based in Cape Town - what’s the creative community like there?

The motion graphics and 3d community is still small here but growing fast!  There are a bunch of meetups starting to pop up which are awesome and helping build the creative community nicely.

What are some of the core values of your studio? How do you feel these are reflected in your work?

At our core we always focus on detail, simple/minimal is easy but complexity separates the good from the best!  If you want to compete with the titans of the industry, you have to bring your A game every step of the way.

Delightful storytelling is at the heart of a lot of your work - tell us a bit about how you develop narratives for the projects you produce with your team.

We always consider the message the brand is trying to convey. Story and narrative should always drive the communication, so we tailor our approach with that in mind, and throw in some humour and personality to create work that feels relatable but also brings joy to the audience in some way.

Your work frequently features lively and relatable characters, what does your character development process look like for Arcade?

Character design has become our secret sauce for the studio, we don't just make characters, we try to create each character unique from the other. Considering personalities, backstories, and feeling into the design.

You’ve created work for many globally recognisable brands, crafting overall languages and asset libraries that extend beyond one-off campaign spots - what draws you to this kind of work?

We love developing an ecosystem of characters and worlds they could exist in, this helps us create a brand style which we LOVE !

Lastly, do you have any dream clients you haven’t worked with yet?

We have been fortunate to work with some of the biggest brands around the globe, but the two we are hoping for in the future are definitely Nike and Spotify. We love the edgy approach Nike and Spotify take in their campaigns. It allows creators to get really playful with their work.