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  • Tamsin Harrison

Bringing a financial services brand to life with unique digital imagery.

Foreign Exchange (or FX), is dominated by brands that are either very corporate or overly tech heavy.

Yet Goldhawk Partners are different, as they take FX personally – fusing a human-centric approach with technological expertise. Passionate about dedicating time to every client, they ensure they understand their needs in order to create a bespoke response.

Goldhawk Partners tasked We Launch to create a brand identity that could position them as a key player in the FX market. Our inspiration began with the brand name. A hawk by nature is an elegant and powerful bird, who uses its sharp vision to spot opportunities as it glides through the air. We also explored how to reflect their unique approach – with adaptability and tailored solutions at its core – through a sense of fluidity.

As we began to craft the visual language, we invited digital artist George Williams to collaborate with us to create bespoke 3D imagery that could bring the concept to life.

Our brief to George was to create assets that could evoke elegance and strength, whilst having the power to innovate and disrupt the visual language of the FX market.

We spoke to George to take a deeper dive into his inspiration, approach and experience on this project.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My journey in digital art began with my love for traditional art, particularly abstract impasto painting. I’ve always been fascinated with compositional form, colour play, and surface texture, and I found creating sculptural bodies of paint and mediums on canvas intriguing. While I started exploring 2D digital vector art to experiment with abstract compositions and colours, a video I stumbled upon a few years ago about creating a 3D, photoreal, animated golden ball caught my attention. There was something about the texture that resonated with me, and 3D offered the perfect medium to take my analogue art into digital realms.

Abstract exploration work by George

How would you describe your style?

My art style is typically abstract, playful, and experimental. I usually start a project by digitally sketching and modelling 3D mock-ups, applying textures and lighting to create rendered scamps to get a feel for the direction I plan to take my work. Although I draw inspiration primarily from fellow 3D artists and designers’ work, often from browsing Behance, Instagram, and Twitter, I’m also heavily influenced by a combination of impasto-style painters, sculptors (especially those working in clay), textures from everyday human-made and natural objects, as well as modern-day 3D animations and VFX.

Shape exploration work by George

How do you think the Goldhawk visual identity differs from other FX brands?

What excited me about the Goldhawk Partners image brief was the challenge of constructing semi-abstract ideas using more recognizable imagery, such as the feather-shaped forms that made up the final icons. The visuals created for Goldhawk have a warmer, more distinct, and personable style with a bolder colour palette that sets them apart from other visual offerings in my opinion. I also feel that the addition of the 3D icon brings a modern, slick edge to the overall visual language.

What was the biggest challenge about this project, and how did you tackle it?

I would say the biggest challenge was getting the right balance of lighting, colour and texture in order to create visual interest and deliver on the requirements of the brief. I used lighting to create a contrast of overexposed areas against smoother, softer gradient lighting with forms further from the light source. I also leant into the shadow play created by the lighting hitting different angles of the forms, while playing with the colour variation by desaturating in parts and giving more vibrancy in others. Texturing came into effect on the surface of the golden feathers to provide more life and body to the golden feathers, as without this ever so subtle texture, the forms tended to flatten, marginally negating the overall 3D feel of the composition and removing the ‘pop’.

Goldhawk Partners initial stages

Goldhawk Partners' visual identity

What was your favourite part of the Goldhawk partners project?

I felt a sense of pride in overcoming initial frustrations and creating something visually stimulating that met the brief. Secondly, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the collaborative finish of the visuals when combined with the broader visual identity. While creating the 3D designs as individual artworks was satisfying, seeing them integrated into the graphic language was an altogether rewarding experience. Finally, receiving praise from one of the founders of Goldhawk was both humbling and touching. As a relative newcomer to freelance 3D art/design, self-initiated projects can feel like they’re created in a vacuum with no constructive feedback. So, receiving thanks when completing client work is always a moment to cherish.

How was your overall experience working on the project?

My experience working on the project was very positive. It was challenging, requiring techniques that suited my style but also pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been fortunate to work with We Launch’s team a few times now, and I enjoy collaborating with them. Their feedback is always succinct and to the point, and they were supportive throughout. It was a genuine pleasure to work on this project.

To find more of George's great work, head over to his Behance profile or Instagram.


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