“His memory of a warm and creative artist lives on in his works. He was the greatest in his field.”
40 years after his death, the Antoni family and Gallerist Mikael Hauberg are reintroducing the gems from the Ib Antoni Archives to the world. They have partnered with Studio AKA to create two animated gifs directed by Steve Small, bringing to life the two Ib Antoni Illustrations Tivoli and Concierge.
Ib Antoni (1929-1973) was one of the most sought after Danish visual artists of his time. His desirable and significant work was commissioned by more than 150 companies and organizations worldwide. Including LIFE Magazine, Volvo, UNICEF, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and many more. His impressive body of work culminated in the era often referred to as Danish Modern.
To create the sequences, Studio AKA director Steve Small saw that the best way to bring these to life and pay respects to their status as design icons was to animate the poster exactly as is, reproducing the painterly textures and creating effectively an animated poster, in portrait format. Using TV Paint, Flash and Photoshop the team was able to give the animation the hand drawn feel of Antoni’s original drawings. The pieces were artworked to give it the colour and texture needed to keep it true to the illustrations.
“I’ve long been a fan of Ib Antoni’s work. Which meant that bringing it to life in animation was both a pleasure and a challenge. After all, these images have been in peoples’ minds for decades so you better make sure when you move them, they remain true to the spirit and look of the originals. Big boots to fill. Our question to ourselves was ‘ Let’s not tip-toe around this, can we animate this in full 2d hand-drawn animation, with every frame a new hand-drawn painting and get so close to the look and the character, that if you were to pause on one particular frame, it will actually be the poster itself.’
Yup. As if animation wasn’t hard enough. So we spent a while researching techniques and thought about how to stay true to the minimalism and warmth of the originals, throw every new tool at it but not add anything uncomfortably modern. And this is what we came up with. Just a few moments on the screen. But hopefully long enough to make us smile in the way his prints first did in the 50’s and 60’s .’ says Small.
Tivoli Gardens opened for the season mid-April to celebrate its 175-year anniversary, and featured Ib Antoni’s work, including our Tivoli animation.
“The characters of Ib Antoni have never been animated before. At Antoni Legacy, we wanted to change and add as little as possible in the process, in respect of the original art works. That´s easier said than done, but Steve and his team have nailed it! The fact that each animation includes the actual original work in a single frame, for us is a brilliant touch and at the same time proof that Antoni´s work done 50, 60, 70 years ago, can come alive with the use of modern techniques and still be true to the original hand drawings. We feel that Studio AKA and Antoni Legacy is a match made in heaven and we look forward to doing more!” Antoni Legacy.
Client: Antoni Legacy
Direction: Steve Small
Production Company: Studio AKA