Graphic Arts Animation for Planet Blue – University of Michigan Sustainability Initiative

Help support Planet Blue’s 2025 Campus Sustainability goals!

This graphic arts animation was completed for Planet Blue, a cross-university sustainability Initiative at the University of Michigan, and collaborated on with the always admirable video production agency, Michigan Media.
Planet Blue has some 2025 sustainability goals and they want to inspire you to help! This animation features their campus wide efforts but also allows viewers to discover ways they can help as well. The animation covers four areas of improvement, Community Engagement, Climate Action, Waste Reduction and a Healthy Environment.

Creating the Planet Blue Graphic Arts Animation

Michigan Media came to Kohlitz with a script and an open-ended call for design. Normally we create a storyboard and concept art for initial review but this was situation where more upfront surveys were needed before we got too far along with the animation. This happens sometimes and is understandable, so Kohlitz first started out by creating several short animated vignettes, each with a different animated style, for Planet Blue’s review. This worked out well and we ended up doing a combination of two styles. However, more earlier than normal reviews were needed, so prior to finishing the full animation (in our typical process you get two reviews of the full animation. See Our Process for our usual steps), we did animate one entire “scene” and have a few graphic arts scenes drawn up and shared those with the client. Finally we were cleared to move forth with the full graphic arts animation!
After this, everything went well, but this a good example of where an animation or video doesn’t always need to follow our process to a ‘T.’ After all, we were preventing further work later on, but adding on a few steps in the beginning that reassured everyone involved that we were going down the right path. And that, we have no problem with. Now if you want to cut out pre-production steps, we’ll have to put a stop to that 🙂

Credits

Client // Planet Blue
Producer & Script // Michigan Media
Illustration & Animation // Kohlitz
Voiceovers // Michigan Media

Transcript

W: At the University of Michigan, we are learning to live and work more sustainably.
M: To solve more problems than we create.
W: And to inspire our community to live Planet Blue.
M: Our campus sustainability initiative focuses on four key areas:
W: Community Engagement, Climate Action,
M: Waste Reduction and a Healthy Environment
W: And we all have a role to play.
M: You can be part of our growing community of Planet Blue Ambassadors.
W: Your actions can have a positive impact on our campus — and beyond!
M: Do you work in a lab?
W: Then do a little “experimenting” with sustainable practices to become certified
M: Or team up with colleagues to reduce your ecological footprint
W: Protecting our climate is also very important
M: One example is our upgrading of the Central Power Plant to be more efficient.
W: While discovering ways to decrease passenger vehicles’ carbon output by 30%.
M: Planet Blue also means ensuring a healthy environment
W: You can help by participating in events like zero-waste game days and reusing water bottles
M: We’ve also made it easier to recycle and compost campus waste with our new bins!
W: We’re also thinking global and acting local
M: With a goal of purchasing 20% of sustainable and locally grown or produced food.
W: While reducing chemical applications on campus landscapes by 40%
M: But it doesn’t stop there
W: We’ll continue to empower our campus community
M: With a unified commitment to sustainability
W: But we need your help to succeed
M: So let’s all…
Together: LIVE PLANET BLUE!

Summary
Graphic Arts Animation for Planet Blue - University of Michigan Sustainability Initiative
Title
Graphic Arts Animation for Planet Blue - University of Michigan Sustainability Initiative
Description

This Planet Blue graphic arts animation features their campus wide efforts to reach their sustainable 2025 goals through Community Engagement, Climate Action, Waste Reduction and a Healthy Environment, but also allows viewers to discover ways they can help as well.