Langston Wells is a Communication Design student at Carnegie Mellon University with an interest in motion graphics, branding, and illustration.

Currently looking for Summer 2020 internship opportunities and open for commissions or collaboration.

︎  Motion Graphics
︎  Illustration
︎  Case Studies
︎  All Projects


Revolutionary Didot

Illustrator, After Effects
Motion Graphics / University / Fall 2019

Style Frames︎︎︎


What ︎︎︎

To understand the relationship between traditional print and contemporary motion designs, this project aimed to create a visually compelling, while digestible and educational, magazine spread and minute long motion graphics animation retelling the story of the font, Didot.

Why ︎︎︎

For my audience, the goal for me was to produce two beautiful pieces that not only attracted the eye and attention of the viewer, but also held them captive to a simple, well-researched narrative about the font and the process of traditional printing press production. For me, I wanted to understand further how print and motion could co-exist within one design system while utilizing the unique aspects of each to their fullest potential.

How ︎︎︎

I started by sketching my original ideas and concepts, then translating them into digital storyboards and style frames. From here I began my revision process, beginning by writing and pairing my script to the shots and after adding in Hilary Hahn’s violin performance of Bach’s “Chaconne, Partita No. 2” as my music selection, which fit the urgency and tempo of the piece perfectly. After, I used my storyboard to begin creating rough animatics which helped me rework my storyboard a final time before starting on the final animation.

Starting with asset creation, I began working out the form then the details of each scene in Illustrator before importing my assets into After Effects to begin animating my scenes and transitions. After creating a few rough animation samples, I revised my previous idea further to account for proper timing to strengthen readability. After the minute of animation was completed, I began adding in details that helped smooth elements, create more seamless transitions, and slow down pacing that in turn increased the clarity of information presented.

Final Key Shots︎︎︎


Condensing the Script︎︎︎

With the magazine spread, I was able to create a lengthy narrative surrounding the history of Didot, but with the video I had only a minute to tell the same story and a week to bring it to life. I decided to condense the script to its essentials and let the visuals carry the heavy lifting of the magazine spread that revolved around the method of production and the time period from which it came.

Technical Difficulties︎︎︎

No animation would be complete without its fair share of technical difficulties, this project being no exception. My initial Illustrator file sizes were tremendously large due to the intro illustration’s thin strokes and high amount of fine details, which slowed down After Effects and my workflow, so to solve this problem I condensed the amount of layers and further planned out the exact details of my illustration, which allowed me to export only the necessary files as images, rather than vectors, into After Effects.

Revision Domino Effect︎︎︎

During my final phase of revisions, I realized that certain scenes needed to last longer than before to increase the clarity of the information being presented, which created a domino effect that changed the relationship between the timing of the motion and the music. To account for this, I primarily changed the timing of certain scenes, but also edited and lengthened the musical piece in Audition.