VH1 HIP HOP HONORS

In the early summer of 2004, VH1 asked EyeballNYC to design the show package for their new awards show, The Hip Hop Honors, honoring pioneers in Hip Hop culture. The deliverables included a logo for the show, to be used in both print and on-air, a show open, 10 individual animations for the artists being honored, and a myriad of functional animations for the show package.

Six weeks later I made my first presentation. I included all of my doodles and thumbnails from my sketchbook, as well as a bunch of reference images from books, flyers, and record covers. I presented to a roomful of senior creatives, show producers, and one very special guest critic, graffiti legend Futura 2000, whose own work I had included in my reference. I was worried this would be awkward, since he and I had some love triangle beef over a girl way back when, but he was strictly professional. Before I began, I confessed to the room that I was feeling like my whole life, as both a designer and a hip hop DJ, was now culminating in this one, dream project.

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REFERENCE

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SKETCHES

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To my surprise, the elements from the pitch that were most unanimously appreciated were not the refined style frames and logos, but the doodles and thumbnails from my sketchbook. They felt the sketchbook conveyed something that the more refined designs could not: a deep understanding & sincere love of Hip Hop culture in all its forms.

Round 2 consisted of more raw sketchbook pages, logo revisions, and two set of storyboards – 1 based on the drawings and the other on old school Hip Hop flyers.

LOGO REFINEMENT

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SKETCHBOOK STORYBOARDS

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FLYER STORYBOARDS

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The decision was made to go with the sketchbook concept for show package, and the old school flyers to display the forty names of the celebrities either performing or presenting on the show. The logo was chosen and I was given the green light to make as many sketchbook pages as I wanted and begin animating them immediately.

FINAL SKETCHES

The sketchbook pages became the foundation for all of our animations. They were also used for the Hip Hop Honors website and all promotional materials associated with the event, including a limited edition coffee table book given to VIPs at the show, posters, tickets, banners, sweatshirts, Kangols, and even bar napkins.

The event itself was really moving for me. I was proud to see my own work up on stage with so many of my idols from the Hip Hop community. This was truly a dream project. VH1 continues to use the logo, and I ended up creating 2 more Hip Hop Honors graphic packages for them: 2005 and 2009.

BIG UPS: Brian Sensebe was lead animator on this entire project. Both he and Carl Mok really outdid themselves. Brian and Neil Stuber contributed drawings of their own as well. And Ghazia Jalal did an incredible job creating cell animations from the still artwork. Disco D (RIP) from Expansion Team created the music under the supervision of Alex Moulton.

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