Sony PlayStation

  • Art direction
  • Interactive installation
  • Digital strategy

The Studio was a unique digital art store that we conceived and curated for Sony’s PlayStation Store. It brought the work of some of the world’s most coveted illustrators, graphic and digital artists to PlayStation audiences through digitised avatars, static and dynamic themes.

An idea is born
Rather than a client brief, the idea for this project was developed with the PlayStation marketing team. At one of our Glug events, they were struck by the way we’d brought creatives together from a wide range of disciplines. More conversations followed about how digital art could work with PS3’s dynamic themes. We developed the concept, built the networks and gained the know-how to bring The Studio to fruition.

“Gaming environments are where the true, pure modern human experience takes place. PlayStation in particular represents this cultural shift, a real crossover between creative human potential and technology – it’s an honour for me to be a part of it.”
Jonathan Zawada

Curating the artists
We approached artists from the UK and USA, from our network of collaborators and contacts. Beyond that we looked for artists local to the key markets for PlayStation’s PAL regions. We needed work with vibrancy and colour, to appeal to gamers who might not (yet) have an interest in the world of design & illustration. It was also important for the artists to understand the platform, the audience and how their work needed to function.

The learning curve
There were two major challenges: encouraging the artists to understand, believe and commit to what we were doing, and learning how to actually create the Themes. There was a lack of developer resources and know-how concerning the PS3’s scripting language, PSJS. Even though it’s based on JavaScript, PSJS is built around 3D animation principles. We had to assemble a dedicated team to keep experimenting, until we felt comfortable building with it.

The launch
We launched The Studio at a sold-out event at Village Underground, London. The evening showcased talks and inspiration from some of the biggest names in the world of design, illustration, art and gaming – all involved with The Studio. Appearing were Jasper Goodall, Tomato, Anthony Burrill, Mr Bingo and Marcus Tanner (Art Director of Sony’s WipEout game).

Dan Moore, curator of The Studio, introduced the project and hosted the evening. As well as talks and live art, there was an exhibition of the art created – and PlayStation 3 gaming pods for guests to play the latest titles and see the Themes working.