In the fall of 2020, I was asked to join the creative team at Salesforce.org. At that time, I knew very little about Salesforce.org (SFDO) or what a CRM company (Customer Relationship Management) actually does. Their tagline is: “We build powerful CRM technology for nonprofits, educational institutions, and philanthropic organizations to amplify your social impact,” and they’ve worked with The American Red Cross, The NAACP, The Sierra Club and many, many more. Social good workers at organizations like these wake up everyday to actively make the world a better place to live in, and Salesforce.org makes the technology that helps them do their jobs easier and better. I was proud that my work at salesforce.org could amplify the voices of major activist organizations. My own life-long involvement in social justice and equal rights issues made this job a perfect fit.
Prior to the pandemic, Salesforce.org like so many other companies emphasized in-person events as part of their brand marketing strategy. But with COVID shutting down this program, they turned to digital content to continue their campaigns. They soon realized that motion design and animation were table stakes if they wanted to stand out online. That's where I come in.
There had previously never been a dedicated SFDO animation team, so in order to create a wide range of quality animated content within a quick turnaround, I knew we would need a well-oiled machine with a streamlined workflow and cohesive design style.
Previous to my placement at SFDO, my work had been in film production, directing and creating motion graphics for documentaries. I brought this production expertise to create a workflow that was specifically tailored to the SFDO program by drawing from my professional network of motion graphics talent, (mographers as they’re known), to tackle the various specializations needed for the different projects, as well as a core design team that could help build a consistent look.
As someone well-versed in design and branding strategies, I understood how important it was to create a cohesive motion experience across all of the SFDO content. Whether someone watched the Nonprofit Summit online event broadcast, a product demo on YouTube, or social content on Twitter, it was important to our success that the motion aesthetic experience felt like part of a unified language with a strong and lasting brand identity. Also on the production side, it was a priority to have a comprehensive design system so that we weren’t forced to re-invent the wheel for each project.
Together, in our Motion Studio of designers, mographers, editors and sound designers, we’ve produced a vast array of original animated content: graphics packages for online conferences, animations for product demos, social media serial videos, and titles for customer storytelling films.
Motion Style Guide:
SFDO’s technology’s goal is to create efficient and seamless services for the social good worker, so I took this as inspiration to design a motion style that was smooth, seamless, even “buttery,” one could say.
The first project I worked on in collaboration with Salesforce.org was a short 2D animation embodying the values of the brand. It screened as an opener to the Dreamforce Conference .org event.
SFDO's content relies on copy to inform its viewers so we used moving text to work in tandem with the existing graphics to create a rhythmic and pleasing viewing experience. It helps capture attention and set a tone.
When I joined the Salesforce.org team, blue was used as the main color for all assets across the board - should it be Nonprofits, education, or corporate philanthropy. We created a library of our most-used assets - lower thirds, transitions and title pages - that could be mixed and matched with footage. These then could be implemented by video editors at a scale to meet the company's high-volume need for new product demo assets. This toolkit also came in the full spectrum of the Salesforce.org palette to help make the Education, Nonprofit, and Corporate Philanthropy product lines consistent, but also clearly distinguished.
Product UI for CRM technology can be dense, and that's a barrier to people new to the idea. As part of a larger Salesforce initiative, we set out to abstract the UI to fit the motion needs of the product demos. By re-creating the UI in After Effects, we could zoom in, zoom out, and highlight the area of focus; allowing it to change over time in order to follow the Voice Over.
… We also designed a UI that could overlay on top of footage to help us integrate the story and the UI more seamlessly.
Event Graphic Packages
Our next challenge was to adapt our motion styleguide to a graphics package. We were approached by the events team to create a graphics package for two upcoming streaming conferences: The Nonprofit Summit and the Education Summit. We adapted the brand team’s designs for our motion needs and created 99 assets for each Summit. Both events had record-breaking attendance.
Our creative team:
Animation Lead: Gwenaëlle Gobé, Design Lead: Mithra Krishnan, Animation: Lori Hamasaki, Jennifer Davis, Muriel Tiberghien, Julieta Tobon, Naree Song, Max Millermaier, Julien Koetsch, Melissa Peralta
Thank you to our fearless leaders Tom Magrino, Will Coleman and Jon Fee... This could have never been possible without your support!