Having fun developing our own Snapchat geofilters
When we were commissioned by Athlone.ie to create a Snapchat geofilter for Athlone, we saw it as an exciting opportunity to flex another creative muscle.
Creating location-specific filters for the photo sharing app is a new craft in itself with its own considerations, and the process of creating something new eventually led to an even bigger collection of filters we’re delighted to have put our name to.
Testing the water
We knew we needed to get this right from the start, so put a great deal of time into researching the town’s history so the creative could replicate the heritage and character of Athlone.
Here is one of Ireland more authentically medieval towns, bridging Leinster and Connacht, with its own castle and large church.
Our design captured Athlone’s spot on the River Shannon, its weir, represented by a simple blue swipe, and its bridge and church, both represented in an Art Deco style.
This was combined with the town’s name in a custom typeface that mirrored the overall visual style
Continuing the fun
As a result of our carefully constructed and cleverly designed Athlone filter, upon submission, Snapchat cited our delivery of high quality filters and invited us to create subsequent filters for Cork, Dublin, London, Japan and Sydney.
Our approach to designing these filters is no different to any other project we undertake: The goal is to be relevant, engaging and respectful, but in a way that is new, unique and memorable.
We carefully chose clever ways to integrate all the features we thought were relevant to the geofenced area of the filter, choosing characteristics we felt people would really associate with those areas, and using them in a way we felt would not only look new, innovative and creative, but most importantly would work in the majority of uses.
Challenges and rewards
Our designers were aware of the lack of control afforded to the creator of the design once it goes live, so we had to be mindful in design and colour use, while also being pragmatic in testing what we created on various different backgrounds of colour and contrast. It was a tough balance to strike as your aim is to add colour and creativity to the end user’s picture while being careful not to impose on their subject, but we’re satisfied we struck the perfect balance.
Creative Director with Orangeye Media, Derek Cassells says that creating Snapchat filters presented a unique set of challenges and rewards: “It’s a project I really enjoyed. There’s something about knowing what you do will have a positive impact and feature in so many people’s day-to-day life, and these filters offer that in such a unique way, bringing colour and creativity to all of their users while they proudly share their moments with friends and family; That’s the kind of influence we all want to play a part in!
“I still get that feeling of pride when I see one come to my personal snap account that has been sent to me by an unaware friend, it gives me that same sense of achievement I got when I first saw my first commercial design in print, what a wonderful way to see your influence on the world in a positive light!”