The KAARO network is a development project in the field of teacher training and education. It is financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. KAARO is a national project aiming to develop assessment practices and teachers’ assessment competence in pedagogical studies and further training. The network has published dozens of training videos and animations together with Unigrafia’s Creative Studio.
“We organise training programmes, seminars and events, and we design online content and conduct research. In other words, we facilitate national cooperation and actively participate in carrying it out”, says Marja Tamm, project manager of the development project. “Our objective is to build a shared understanding and vision of what to teach when it comes to assessment.” The project involves the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Lapland, the University of Oulu and Åbo Akademi University. There is also cooperation with other projects, networks and universities.
When the need for video material came up in the development of assessment practices, KAARO turned to Unigrafia’s Creative Studio. It came highly recommended by managers of other projects. The ball got rolling at the end of 2018 and in the beginning of 2019 started the content production.
The creation of videos and animations was based on the colour palette of KAARO network’s visual identity and logo. The goal was to create a dynamic, yet recognisable, visual world consisting of a soundscape, animations, videos and illustrations to accompany online communication.
“In our first meetings we discussed different references as well as the ideology and philosophy behind the project. Client’s wishes and other relevant and essential matters soon emerged and we were able to proceed with the concept design rather swiftly”, says Lauri Manninen from Creative Studio looking back on the project. “KAARO network’s visual image was clear and consistent making it easy for us to start creating something new to add to it.”
The cooperation was effortless from the get-go and the atmosphere at the meetings was open and relaxed. People had the courage to suggest even the craziest of ideas and there was positive energy all around. “It was simply wonderful to be able to give carte blanche to the creative professionals from the start. It felt like the sky was the limit”, states Lotta Avelin, KAARO’s project coordinator. “Lauri Manninen and Heikki Juntunen understood what we were looking for and, based on our thinking, they created a couple of different concepts. We chose one and worked on it to make it suit our purposes. The decision-making was enjoyable as all options presented to us were great.”
The intro animation was the first to be created and inserted into the KAARO website. Manninen says that creating an animation takes time so the broad lines needed to be agreed upon in time to avoid unnecessary effort. “We were in constant dialogue exchanging views with the client as we worked on the animation. That made our work super-easy”, says Manninen gratefully.
At the same time, the visual image for the studio videos was created. The concept design was done together with Unigrafia. The scripts were and are always KAARO network’s responsibility. “The experts do the writing, we provide comments and, when needed, create the presentation material to go with the videos”, says Marja Tamm. “After the filming is done, the video and the material are combined and edited according to our instructions. Making the process more streamlined has made everyone’s work easier.”
In more than a year’s time, over 20 videos and animations have been created. “It’s fantastic to work with true professionals”, state Tamm and Avelin. “We have full confidence in Creative Studio’s expertise and they trust the critique we provide. On top of that, we have so much fun and look forward to each and every meeting!”
At the moment Creative Studio is putting in a great deal of work into KAARO network’s latest project animation. Next item on the agenda is planning videos for the training that begins this autumn. Despite current circumstances Unigrafia’s Creative Studio is active and everyone is working. The studio is available, although, in these exceptional times it might be worth your while to rethink your means of communication and the needs of your organisation. Instead of filming in the studio, have you thought about an animation? Why not give it a whirl?
Watch one of the animations we produced for KAARO network: