Data Chaos:
Coade3

November 2019

Storytelling
ILLUSTRATION
Character Design


Data / Software

The Project

Engaging Investors:

Coade3 (a search engine innovation and software development startup) approached us with a specific need: to arrest the imagination and attention of possible investors. To which we replied, “Well, you’ve thought of the right people for it.” We then proceeded to elaborate on their original need by expanding the usefulness of the end-product visual content, and plant seeds in their imagination for possible uses of visual identity.

As you do, right?
As we all well know, from research and experience, images have a higher chance of capturing our fleeting imagination. The first moment of encounter is the key for engagement, and it must be harnessed to ensure the information is transferred as efficiently as possible. In Coade3’s experience, presenting Pitch Decks (a series of documents that showcase the company as an attractive investment opportunity) in the usual way was causing a drop-off in interest that was tangible. Not only that, they were also finding that no matter how they worded their decks and how many stock photographs they used, their new Search Engine concept was just not getting across. This changed the dynamic; Cooked Illustrations needed to solve the issue of engagement and simplify the delivery of information without reducing complexity. On top of that, we had to create a piece of narrative content that met the company’s existing branding but injected a level of visual flair that would make it easier for the content to firmly and decisively make a little home inside the audience’s brains and memory.

To that end, we needed a comic strip.
Developing a Visual Identity:

Before we could work on the narrative and comic strip, we needed a visual identity. Coade3’s existing branding and look is austere and practical. Great stuff to show to lawyers, but not the material you can use to excite people about your very impressive technical feats! We decided to stick to the simple colour scheme with our explorations. By keeping colours around the same hue and saturation, we were free to explore more interesting compositions and ideas. The core message of the company is that they are trying to stop frustration. Not just any type of frustration, but the specific anger that results from a messy transfer of data from physical or local digital files, to a cloud-based system. Files lost. Security and data compliance thrown out the window. You ask for dog and it brings you god. Cloud data storage can explode the moment someone presses all the buttons in the elevator. It is data chaos! Search engines are just not fit for purpose, especially for Coade3’s client segment.
Polygonal Man: Design options for the Readerman, a humanoid representation of the Coade3’s proprietary code.
This first illustration was well-received. A test that allowed us to hone in on the look that we were going for. From this illustration, it was obvious that we needed characters in our story. While funny, this initial exploration lacked punch. Developing from this stage, we employed the same style to explore one of Coade3’s main ideas: the Help Desk metaphor. Essentially, a user's relationship to search engines is really a help desk. You ask something of someone at the desk, and they go and search for it somewhere in the mess of files. But this system is faulty, too dependent on the user to know how the search engine operates and how to use it in the first place.

They are unmanned help desks, derelict and faulty. Full of data leeks! (Get it?) Thus, we came up with these two simple illustrations. On their own, they communicate exactly what Coade3 was trying to elaborate on. Useful graphics for any future presentation. But together, they told a story. Coade3 is not only helpful and available, but polygonal, it seems.
Readerman, Robot Helper and User:

At this point we had an idea. Cooked Illustrations worked closely with Coade3’s director to turn customers’ previous experiences with other market options into a relatable, sequential story that would educate as it entertains. Our playful exploration in the Help Desk metaphor gave us the idea to turn Coade3’s proprietary search engine into a polygonal “reader man”. This was after… well, digging for other ideas.Thus we created three characters to our story and Coade3’s brand identity.

The Readerman, a helpful person who could find all the information you required. The Robot Helper, who supported Readerman in tending the grove of contextual information. And, of course, the user. By this time, we had a polished narrative and a storyboard. So it was a zip, a zap, and a zoom and we have a comic. Two pages for printed purposes, and one short scroll for screen devices.
Robot Buddy: Robot Buddy only knows how to get exactly what you tell it to. And nothing else.

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