Can tell us about your role at The Mill?
Laura: I mainly work in After Effects, on a regular day I am most likely animating type/logo/design elements for a commercial. On a less regular day, I may be working in Cinema4D, bidding out an incoming job, or overseeing design on another project. I predominantly design for tv and social channels, but sometimes I design for more large-scale jobs – our team was involved in some great billboard campaigns last year.
Isil: As Senior Branding Designer of the global design team at The Mill NY office, I conceptualize, pitch, and design the brand visual identities, brand campaigns, and creative for The Mill Clients, as well as the overall brand design for The Mill Marketing team. Working alongside the most inspiring clients on the planet.
You both collaborated on The Mill’s Super Bowl 57 campaign. Can you walk us through the process and your inspiration?
Laura: We began by dividing and conquering – each of us coming up with a look for the campaign and then seeing where maybe we could combine elements into a hybrid design. I have worked on previous Mill Super Bowl campaigns and have generally relied on flat color and big bold typography. This time I wanted to shake things up – relying less on black and white and taking hues from the Arizona heat to create energetic gradients. I was also inspired by NFTs and the metaverse we are moving towards, so wanted to incorporate a digital feel to our elements.
Isil: We both pitched completely two different directions and look. At the end we took both concepts and look, then worked together to blend. We both collaborated and nurtured each other’s concepts and engaged in a supportive atmosphere where curiosity and playfulness as it championed us to lead a fresh perspective, and innovative look.
How did you go about making The Mill feel sporty for this campaign? Did you face any challenges?
Laura: The Mill logo being so bold and compact, already lends itself to the powerful aesthetic of sports, so that helped! Creating a bold, flat color, SB57 lockup tied in nicely with the Mill Logo. Izzy suggested a successful recipe of 60% sport 40% Mill for our branding which helped communicate the design further. Eddie Livingstone, Evan Bech and Daniel Whitaker were a great help in executing the trading cards.
Isil: Sport is an endless fertile playground for creativity, where looking for authentic, engaging stories and uprooting cliches is fun. I have experience in Sports Streaming and Broadcast media. It helped me to create the look. The challenging part was balancing the Super Bowl and The Mill brand look.
What are some of your favorite sport design campaigns and why?
Laura: Nike’s ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign stands out for me. The campaign was a follow-up to the ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign, which highlighted Colin Kaepernick, but this time Nike highlighted women in sports, with Serena Williams narrating the commercial and highlighting gender bias in the sports industry. I found the words super powerful, especially coming from Serena, who has been through some of the worst discrimination – in all forms. I’m a big Serena fan and love watching tennis!
Isil: I have many, but my three favorites are: Volkswagen’s “The Force.” The ad that changed the Super Bowl commercials forever. “Betty White” for Snickers and Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us.”
Have you worked on any cool Super Bowl ads?
Laura: I worked on the Skittles 2018 Superbowl ad, which was kind of bizarre as only one person in the world was shown the commercial. There were four teasers released to hype it up, starring David Schwimmer in random scenarios, and then the chosen viewers’ reaction to the commercial was live streamed. Some argue it wasn’t a Super Bowl commercial as it did not air during the sporting event, but the campaign gained a lot of attention and was definitely fun to work on!
Isil: No, not yet.
Do you have any favorite Super Bowl or sport traditions?
Laura: Hmm not really…I’m from Ireland and haven’t really taken to watching football since moving to New York. But I love the atmosphere on Superbowl Sunday, and I’ll meet friends for a few drinks, snacks, and the halftime show! I grew up watching Rugby, which is a similar sport – getting together to watch involves more of the beer, less of the chicken wings!
Isil: My Super Bowl tradition is watching the game with friends and family as we critique the half-time commercials.