Visitor: Process-led Design

Lukas Schrank and George Thomson, founders and directors at Visitor in London, combine their backgrounds in animation, design and architecture with digital and hand-made techniques to create what they call process-led design.

“We work with the approach that in order for any piece of animation to be original and engaging, the method of animation itself, needs to be bespoke, and created within the context of the project.

“For example, the BBC commissioned us to create a short piece of animation about the life story of a holocaust survivor, so we used ash and water to create the majority of the piece, from the drawings and landscapes, to the particle effects for smoke and rain.”


Brand: NPX/Neill Pryde

Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES


What % of your work day is best described as:

Pitching varies a lot (between 0 and 30%) and tends to take time away from administration rather than actual work.

Visitor Studio | STYLA FRAMES


On a scale from 1-10 how much do you enjoy the pitching process (where 1 = rant and 10 = rave).

It can be anywhere between 2 and 8, depending on the client and the remit of the brief, obviously pitching were we have more involvement in all stages of the job, from design to delivery is favorable.


Brand: Darlow Smithson/Channel 4

Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES

Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES


How many projects did you personally pitch on in the last 12 months?


What percentage of your pitches are paid vs spec?

100% unpaid



Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES


What % of your pitches include the following:

We’ve indicated verbal pitch as 10%, however it is always our preference to pitch in person to fully communicate all aspects of the design development process.


Do you find the creative freedom of wide-open briefs daunting or invigorating?

When we know the client well, and we know how creatively literate they are, the creative freedom can be invigorating, especially when the pitch essentially involves writing our own brief.

When this is the case, we like to show more than just style frames and storyboards, and build up more of a story around a project and its design process.

When we know that the brief is open because the client doesn’t know what they want, then the freedom can be slightly daunting. Either way, we don’t see any point with pitches unless they are going to lead to a project which is interesting for us to complete.

This might have lead to a few unsuccessful pitches in the past, but over time the kind of projects that we are asked to pitch for, are closer to the kind of work that we like to do.



Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES


If you could change one aspect of the current pitching process what would it be?

We think that the pitch should include information on why a project has been put out to tender. Ideally, it is because the client wants the most original, most creative piece of work, but that isn’t always the case. We often encounter a situation where it is necessary for an organization to demonstrate they are being cost effective by inviting different companies to pitch.

This is generally a warning sign for us. The nature of competing for a project means that you push the creativity as much as possible, but sometimes this just isn’t necessary, and the client actually wants sometime generic and easy to complete.


Client:RIBA/Royal National Theatre London

Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES


Complete this sentence: If I was not a animator/designer/director I would be ________

Something in between carpentry, law and music production.


Complete this sentence: My favorite method or ritual for generating ideas involves _________

A lot of talking and doing working drawings which don’t make sense when you find them a few weeks later.

Suggesting opposing ideas and then testing them against each other resulting in hybrid concepts which address all areas of the brief.


Complete this sentence: The tools I rely on most to create my pitch art are:

Talking. The Internet (mainly blogs and image searches). Drawing.


Brand: Collectif and then

Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES

Visitor Studio | STYLE FRAMES


Tell us a pitching war story. Horror or comedy. Or both.

A client repeatedly saying that they “couldn’t picture it” , even though we were showing them a picture of it.


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