“There is no exciting story behind our name, but we just felt we had to come up with something that sounded more interesting than Graphic Solutions.” The alternative became Lion Beach, an Antwerp based visual agency that develops visual stories that aim to be different. In their studio, Kilian, Pieter and Dieter create high-end animations for businesses, from online ads and social content to instruction and presentation videos. But the core of their business is experimenting and playing with innovative graphic ideas: “We want to be storytellers rather than merely facilitators.”
They were born in the same year, studied product development together and share a thorough passion for music and graphics. Brought together by their shared interests and disinterests, Kilian, Pieter and Dieter founded their visual agency Lion Beach exactly one year ago. They have been a well oiled machine ever since. Lion Beach’s Dieter, who also plays in the Belgian bands School is Cool and High Hi, introduces us to their work: “The only thing we disagree on is what music we want to listen to in the office.”
You’re a small start-up fish in a digitalized see of agencies. How do you guys distinguish yourselves?
Yeah, it’s hard to make a difference. There are other companies out there that are doing what we are doing. But we don’t really mind, because it challenges us. In the end, the digitalization is making everything easier for consumers. You see that this is happening already: it has gotten so easy for consumers to make a website, for example. This is probably forthcoming for animations as well.
How do you see that develop in the future?
The good thing is: not all people can tell a good story in one certain style. That is something robots will not be able to take over. Creative thinking is still something that we will have to do. I guess we will become the storytellers and the creative brains behind visuals, rather than merely the facilitators.
How important is it to work on projects that connect with your philosophy?
It is quite important. As a starting agency, it is not that easy to limit yourself to the things you like. We always try to find something that attracts us in the projects we work on. We have two important layers in our company. There is the core of our business, where we can experiment with artwork and there is the studio, where we make more corporate animations. But whatever we do, we try to stay true to our vision.
Your shared passion is music, how does that come forward in your work?
We often make the music behind the visualizations ourselves. Because we have that background, it is fun for us to do that. But unfortunately we often hit ‘the corporate wall of sound’. I mean, many companies have a certain idea of the music they want for their animation. They do not dare to take bold choices.
Lion Beach is only a year old. What is the digital dream?
We want to learn more and do better after every project. We want to grow fast and finally reach that point where people know what we stand for; that they associate a certain style with us. For now, we can’t allow ourselves to push our vision through entirely because of economic reasons. But we are already starting to get more and more selective. Everyday we know better where we want to go.Lion Beach designed the visuals for Nightingale’s Open Days 2016 and the projections for the recent launch of Italian womenswear label Silvian Heach at the castle of Hof ter Linden.