Dec 11 2015

Merry Christmas from S8080

A very merry Christmas from all of us at S8080!

The team at S8080 would like to sincerely thank every single one of you for your support in 2015.

We hope you all enjoy your Christmas break and we’ll see you in the New Year.



Click to view a larger image

Oct 30 2015

Join the S8080 team if you dare, for a Halloween scare!

S8080_Blog_Halloween email

A very happy Halloween to everyone

Once again, the team got together to delight you with our fangtastic annual Halloween photograph. With everything from a Frankenstein designer, a superhero project manager, a Dalek and a mad swordsman. S8080’s ghoulish team are ready for the witching hour tomorrow, are you?

Be sure to choose ‘treat’ rather than ‘trick’ when we come knocking!

Click here for a larger view.

Apr 16 2015

So what’s an ‘explainer video’…

“…and how can it help my organisation?”

What is a video explainer

An explainer video is a short online video used to explain your organisation’s product or service.

There really is no stopping the uptake of online video consumption, according to a recent iStockphoto article there’s been a staggering 800% increase in online video consumption in the last 6 years.

So can an explainer video help you? We think the answer is yes.

Video is definitely one of, if not the most popular marketing platforms currently available as for most people, it’s far easier to consume than a lengthy article (so I’ll try to keep this post short, and don’t worry, there are links to some great explainers just a short scroll away, so bear with me!)

But don’t be fooled that any old video will do, as the consumption of online video increases so too does our audience’s thirst for higher quality graphics and insightful content. Producing a successful explainer video consists of a combination of script, graphic look and feel and audio. Each element needs to sing in harmony with the other if you want to retain the viewer and convert them into a loyal fan or customer.

So how can explainer videos benefit your brand?

Here’s one of those harsh but true moments: If you’re not already producing online video marketing for your organisation, company or brand, then you’re going to be playing catch up with your competitors.

All you need do is Google ‘online video stats’ for a vast list of incredible statistics indicating the huge surge in video consumption. According to a recent Guardian article, YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month.

Welsh-Government e-Crime Wales video explainer

With these huge numbers there’s going to be a lot of video content out there shouting for attention, your video will really needs to hit the spot, so understanding the production process of a typical explainer is a good place to start your journey.

Here’s a taste of the steps we follow when creating a typical s8080 animated explainer video:

Research and development

Following a scoping meeting the s8080 creative team will spend an agreed amount of time researching potential look and feel concepts including colour palettes, illustration and animation styles and character development which will be presented for feedback before considering any high-fidelity graphics production.

Business Wales Explainer R&D

The script

The script is arguably the most important part of any explainer video and you play a huge part in its production. After all, who knows more about a product or service other than the people that created it? Sounds a little scary, right? Don’t worry though, we’ll help you with the script structure and we’ll even commission a copywriter to polish and add a bit of humour if needed.
There’s a proven structure that most explainers will follow; keep it simple, be consistent and be sure to add a call to action. Here’s a great article from the guys over at Demo Duck that gives you some pretty useful script writing tips – ‘How to Write a Video Script that Sells.’


When the final script has been signed off we move onto the storyboard, producing a series of sketches that convey the basic concept for each scene along with the corresponding copy from the script. This gives you a really good idea of what we’ll do at the animation phase. Changes at this stage are easy to make so make sure you are completely happy with the concept, messaging, information accuracy and the look and feel
Remember to keep your explainer video to around 1-2mins if possible, if you’re planning on breaking that 90sec mark you’ll need to have some pretty relevant content or you’ll risk losing viewers.

Business Wales Sketchbook storyboard


Our workflow will include a number of Adobe Creative Cloud applications and we’ll sync artwork between them resulting in a more streamlined approach. Scene templates will be developed in Adobe Illustrator and, to a lesser extent Photoshop, before placing the assets into Adobe After Effects, our video editing app of choice.

Animation and audio

The storyboard sets the animation style but once we are in After Effects, we can start to fine tune the animation effects, dialling the speeds up and down to emphasise key points, actions or scene changes.
Another key step in the process is adding a narrated script, for this we’ll commission a voiceover artist to add a final layer of professionalism to your explainer. We can find a voice for every occasion – even some famous ones, and they are not as expensive as you’d think! The narrated script is imported into After Effects and synced to the animation within the timeline.

Render and upload

The final explainer video is exported for online use as a QuickTime movie with a H264 codec and AAC audio output and uploaded to your video channel on YouTube or Vimeo where key metadata and transcripts are added.

S8080 Explainer Video examples

We’ve recently worked with DECC, Welsh Government’s Business Wales and Welsh Government’s eCrime Wales to create a series of informative and playful explainer videos forming part of a larger engagement campaign.
You can view the explainer videos on the s8080 YouTube channel.

S8080 YouTube channel

Don’t forget to subscribe to the S8080 YouTube channel to catch the latest video creations from our creative team.

Nov 3 2014

UK Prime Minister tweets Vampire Energy campaign!

Number10 Twitter S8080

On Halloween, the official Twitter channel for Prime Minister David Cameron’s office, based at 10 Downing Street tweeted the Vampire Energy campaign we developed with the Department of Energy and Climate Change!

GOV.UK ran a nice piece on the campaign too. Follow the link to see the infostrips, Vine and FaceBook videos we produced for DECC, or have a look at what’s happening on Twitter #VampireEnergy.

DECC Vampire Energy infostrip S8080

Oct 31 2013

The S8080 team are in high spirits

A very happy Halloween to everyone

Once again, the team got together to delight you with our spooktacular annual Halloween photograph. With everything from a headless designer, Dalek, phantoms, demons and a mad axeman or two, S8080’s ghoulish team are ready for the witching hour this evening.

Just make sure you choose ‘treat’ rather than ‘trick’ when we come knocking!

Click here for a larger view – if you dare

Happy Halloween

Mar 27 2013

Dezrez – digital and creative strategy

Dezrez – digital and creative strategy

  • Design
  • Digital illustration
  • Digital strategy
  • Branding
Mar 27 2013

Dezrez – digital illustrations

Dezrez – digital illustrations

  • Design
  • Digital illustration
  • Digital strategy
  • Branding
Mar 27 2013

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change Infographic – household bills

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change Infographic – household bills

  • Design
  • Infographic
  • Digital illustration
  • Digital strategy
  • Branding

Live site:

Mar 27 2013

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change Infographic – energy bill 2020

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change Infographic – energy bill 2020

  • Design
  • Infographic
  • Digital illustration
  • Digital strategy
  • Branding
Oct 31 2012

S8080 do the Rocky Horror Show…

Not likely, far too cold.

Sorry to disappoint 😉

Maybe we should shoot our annual Halloween photograph during summer next year. But for now, here are most of us sporting very seasonal pumped-up hairdo’s, courtesy of Rod’s exceptional photography and retouching skills.

Click on the picture for a larger view – if you dare.

A very Happy Halloween to everyone.


Sep 27 2012

Wales Millennium Mouse?

One of a selection of incredible images we created for the hugely successful e-Crime Wales project. You can see more of the series here including a giant tentacled webcam robot crawling out of the sea at Caswell Bay, Gower!

Yes, the Wales Millennium Centre is a huge mouse.

wales millenium centre

Dec 20 2011

Flexible Band-Aid

Striking concept and illo’ for a advert for stretchy plasters.

Via I believe in advertising.

Nov 10 2011

New Dezrez site launch

Our good friends, Dezrez, have just launched their brand new site.

And we designed it for them.

Dezrez have THE best software for estate agency sales and letting available. We’ve been working with them as partners for many years, designing and building the websites that house their technology. In fact, we were in University with the founders of Dezrez!

We’ve seen a real shift, estate agents are now embracing Open Source CMS platforms including Drupal, WordPress and Umbraco and well as S8080’s own .NET content management system if they really want to customise things.

We worked very closely with Dezrez, initially on their UX design and wireframes and then onto the creative phase of the project. they made very good use of our in-house illustration team to give the site a personality all of it’s own.

As always, it’s so satisfying for an agency to work with a client who is passionate about the project. Every meeting and session we had left us buzzing with ideas, it’s the very best way to work on a creative project like this. Everyone feels so involved and comfortable tabling their ideas.

The new site is a huge success – and a success they thoroughly deserve.

The last word goes to Wilf…

Sep 15 2011

Getting REALLY creative!

At last, we’ve put together a brand new WordPress site to show off our illustration work.

Under the brand Redseal, we’ve been doing this stuff for years and have agents in London, US and Australia who get us some amazing work.
Take a look at the new site and some of the new styles our creative team have been experimenting with.

Loving the Glasto’ 11 image!

Mar 1 2010

How Welsh are you? Happy St Davids Day!

St David’s Day has taken over at Fun, recipes and activities… you can even learn the Welsh national anthem phonetically.

Then test your Welshness with this multilingual interactive quiz.

Jul 21 2009

Four great zoo ads


Apr 21 2009

S8080 launch children’s website for London park

We have just launched a brand new kiddies website for Lee Valley Regional Park – the largest open space within the M25 stretching 26 miles from the East End to Hertfordshire.

The new site features a bunch of little guys called The LeeVs…

LeeVs love nothing better than playing in the wind, chasing each other, racing each other and generally running around having fun together. They enjoy floating down the river, paddling in puddles or cycling around their Regional Park.

The accessible site features extensive use of Flash for interactive games and character animation that really brings the LeeVs to life.

Lucy Hose, the Regional Park’s Marketing Manager, said “The new site has been designed to encourage children to learn through having fun and to find out more about the Regional Park and the environment. We’ll continue to update the pages and youngsters need to keep a look out for competitions which we’ll be running on the pages. My favourite game is Rob the Ranger!”

We pulled out all of the stops to get the site looking fantastic for the youngsters – our illustrators worked

very closely with our Flash team and created a whole virtual word for the LeeVs to inhabit. The site features lots of little surprises that delight youngsters.

For example, you’ll be reading about birthday parties in the park and all of a sudden, a little bright blue bug will wander around the screen, or a LeeV will ride his bike right past you and even pop a wheelie for you.

More kid’s sites in the pipeline

We are just about to launch another two sites for young people, a bit closer to home, but we can’t say too much about that yet.

Matt Howard, our Technical Director and Information Architecture guru said “There are a whole different set of usability rules to apply to sites for younger audiences. We have lots of experience designing for children of all ages for clients like Careers Wales, Welsh Assembly Government, DTI and the Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership, so we have learnt a lot along the way”.

“Our illustration team have even been commissioned to design and produce a whole visual language for youngsters with special educational needs (SEN) and this has been so successful it looks like it will be rolled out across Wales and hopefully nationally”.

From a design perspective, designing for kids is just very good fun. Why just have a ‘help’ link when you can have an animated wriggly worm pointing the way!

Mar 31 2009

S8080 work on Adobe Acrobat 9

Our creative team have been working on a series of Flash designs that have been commissioned for Adobe’s Acrobat 9 release.

The model in the designs above is our very own eMarketing project manager, Sali. The guys have also just completed a double page spread for Men’s Fitness magazine and just about the whole team appear in it (in various states of undress!) – you’ll have to wait to see that one.

You can take a sneak peek at the Adobe work here.

Mar 2 2009

Happy birthday Dr Seuss

The best Google header EVER!

Mar 1 2009

How Welsh are you?

To celebrate the feast day of our very own St David, we have devised a ‘How Welsh are you?’ interactive quiz for our good friends over at

Even if you are born and bred in Caerphilly, it may still hold a few surprises for you. You don’t need to be Welsh to have a go and you even get a certificate celebrating your honorary Welshness at the end of it.