Rizon Parein Embraces Chaos for Nike
We think of the apex of design as being clean, smooth, and brought down the most basic of elements. It’s all about editing, bringing a look clearer and clearer until it’s reached the most minimal reality it can be – and then it’s done. But when Rizon Parein was approached by Nike to help them create branding materials for Kyrie Irving’s third shoe with the brand they went in the opposite direction. His edict was to manipulate the word “CUT” in such a way that it reflected its own definition. And he went wild with it. “First I completely messed up the typography, the regular type. Like totally destroyed it,” says Rizon. “But it kind of lost its power and the message because the typography by itself was already really strong and it was working really well with the photo of Kyrie Irving, so it needed to be more subtle and we needed to tell the story more in a subtle way all over the place.” He left in as much of chaos as he could, while still allowing the message to come through.
While working on this expressive project Rizon became a father. He already works on a short timeline, but the new life in his family made it even more exciting. “I made it just right before my son came to the planet,” he says. “The job went really fast and not more than 10 days everything was made and rendered and then the day the actual labor started there was still some feedback of making variations, but it went really fast.” They were able to get everything completed successfully while still spending time with his newly expanded family.
Nike went on to use Rizon’s work in installations all over the world from Niketown locations in New York all the way to Asia. Normally, Rizon would travel around and experience them himself, but because of his new son he can’t. Luckily he gets to experience it online instead. “It’s funny, you search on Instagram #Kyrie3 or #CutOutOfNowhere and suddenly you see the stuff live in Asia and at NikeTown and it’s really fun to discover it that way,” Rizon says. “It’s always a nice surprise.” We’ve provided imagery from Rizon’s work, but if you check through social media with those tags you can see how it’s showing up in stores all over the world.
Rizon Parein Turns It On for Facebook
A well executed logo is the ultimate artistic endeavor. Refining an entire brand message into a single visual story requires mastery and focus, and is something that should be taken seriously. They become a calling card that goes beyond communication into immediate understanding, and are protected passionately by their owners. That’s why it was such an honor for Rizon Parein to be trusted by Facebook to interpret the Facebook logo using his individual style and put his own creative twist on what has become one of the most significant digital stories of the last two decades. The folks at Facebook tasked Rizon to interpret the logo as a neon sign and turn it into a moving visualization. “I had a bet with a friend a mine that I would get two hundred likes before him and now I have eleven thousand likes," Rizon says with a laugh. “I won. Easy.” As of this writing Rizon’s video has been viewed 276,000 times. That’s no joke.
Rizon is no stranger to creating neon imagery for clients. He’s created visualizations like this for everyone from Kanye West to Nike, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t new ground to cover. “It’s not the first neon I’ve done, but it’s curious because you always think you’ve seen all vision possible, and then every client always finds one new one,” says Rizon. Facebook found that new element they needed and it had to do with creating something that was able to show dynamic life in movement. “Typically with neons the client prefers the neon turned off because it’s richer and you can feel the tubing and other stuff. So it always starts with not lit neon, then Facebook also wanted them turned on and I had to see how can we keep the brand color in there.” Once Rizon solved the color changes, they were able to create a video of the light flickering, which he also turned into a GIF.
Working with valuable brands, Rizon's work always gets a lot of eyes on it. But the way that Facebook linked to it directly on their page, he was able to see in real time how Facebook users interacted with the piece, a completely novel experience. “It’s funny to read the comments and how it looks to people, you can actually real time follow what your work provokes,” he says. Find out how you react to it by checking the piece in its natural habitat on Facebook's Facebook page. Don’t forget to Like and Comment!
Rizon Parein Makes Choosing Your Paint Fun
Time. Weather. Dirt. These elements steal from us the beauty that humans work so hard to construct in our ephemeral creations. No matter what we make, it is subject to the forces outside of our control that, given enough time, will degrade, erode, and disintegrate whatever we make. We are at the mercy of nature and time. But we can even the score.
Benjamin Moore’s newest line of paints each feature distinct blends to protect surfaces from the torture of being in the natural world. Aura is so effective at protecting against the elements that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Regal Select is so smooth it repels dirt through a complete lack of friction. Natura is made of natural materials so that there are no toxic additives that would put any family or friends at risk by coming in contact with the product. Like most paints, each of these blends come in a full variety of colors, but it is their features that set them apart from their peers. So it was up to Rizon Parein to help them highlight those differences.
In a series of three advertisements for the home design mogul, Rizon imagined each of these features in active terms using CGI compositing. A can of Aura, known for its weather protection, is surrounded by clouds, lightning, water, snow, sun. The paint is fully at home in this unforgiving atmosphere, handling these forces with no problem. Regal Select is surrounded by canons, swords, and parapets, an illustration of the protective power Regal Select offers the surfaces it covers. In this composition, the paint is a part of the defenses, not struggling to stay behind them. The Natura paint is in a rural setting surrounded by trees and birds, reflecting on the natural ingredients that make this paint safe for all uses and all customers.
No matter the application, Benjamin Moore is formulating a paint that they hope will fit into the lifestyle and needs of their customers. Paint is paint, so it’s crucial for them to be able to illustrate the details of these products so that consumers know what makes them unique, and what sets them apart. Rizon’s sense of humor and play within these three advertisements prove that these details can be handled effectively and casually, making important choices, like what materials to bring into your home, are made with careful consideration and at least a half measure of joy.
Rizon Parein Helps Crown the Ice Kings
Every other year the world comes together to test skills against one another in the Olympics. Athletic trials of all kinds are set up on the world stage for the global community to leave differences behind and enjoy one another in the arena of sport. When those tests are over we return to our local communities and continue the contests on our own soil. The living joy of these games does not end when we go our own ways, and they must continue to be celebrated in the effort of common goals. In Russia, a country whose recent moves have found it isolated in many arenas, their people still join together in ways that need to be celebrated.
Nike has assembled a casual winter soccer competition in Moscow that looks to crown the "Ice Kings," those who win the contest. Rizon Parein, whose work Nike has contracted in the past during the World Cup (another international contest) and for their Lunar program, was on hand to make materials celebrating and advertising for the games. Rizon is known for a variety of aesthetics, but for this project he and Nike decided on using his tried and true neon lights application. It makes sense. The tournament is geared towards a younger crowd and that’s exactly where Rizon’s neon signage is angled. “The young players have a new opportunity to prove themselves in the harsh Russian winter and prove that real [soccer] never stops,” Nike describes the tournament. And they’re not kidding. Moscow is one of the largest cities that sees some of the harshest winters in the world. Playing a soccer tournament outdoors during this time is no joke.
Nike continues to be the global equalizer of all things sport, finding a bright spot in geopolitics while keeping the idea fun and lively. It requires intensity to show up to competition as challenging as this, something that was not lost on Rizon. His design shows crowed eagles, the kings of the sky, in mid bird call affirming dominance.
The qualifying games are already well underway, with the semi finals coming on February 1, and the kings be crowned on February 5. Stay tuned!
Rizon Parein makes a Ballet of Nike's newest Air Maxes
On March 26, Nike’s Air Max 1 turned 27 years old. Inspired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tinker Hatfield created one of the most iconic sneakers of all time with a deceptively simple silhouette. The entire Air Max program was born the day the Air Max 1 was first released, and has become one of the most powerful sneaker programs in history, selling millions of pairs to athletes and everyday wearers all over the world. Now that Air Max Day has come and gone, Nike has opted to put the classic sneaker on a Lunar Sole, a major departure from Air Max history, and they tapped Rizon Parein to help them announce it.
When it comes to CGI neon signs, Rizon Parein is a master. From Hollywood movies like Drive, to the World Cup, Rizon can bend a neon sign into anything and change the way you think of light in a glass tube. But the master manipulation extends beyond glass and noble gasses. Rizon’s particular set of skills allows him to reshape reality into fluid and dynamic images that trick the eye.
These hyperfused Air Max 1s are one of the lightest running sneakers ever made, and Rizon was tasked to communicate that idea with the elements that make up the shoe. The angular ridges that are signature to the Nike Lunar sole bend and twist on themselves. The twisted soles float in air populated by bubbles inspired by the air unit in the heel that gives the Air Max program its name. If you look carefully you can even see the sneakers’ missing hyper fused upper reflected in the bubbles. Back in 1987 Nike only released two colorways of the Air Max 1, known to sneakerheads as the “OG” colors. Those two colorways, the red and the blue, along with a black and neon green colorway, are interpreted into Rizon’s midair ballet.
Despite Rizon’s fluid flare, every artistic project is a collaboration. This is the second time Rizon has collaborated with Nike, previously using his neon work for the Air Max program in Brazil. “We’re starting to really understand each other,” Rizon says about working with Nike. “It’s different doing revision for Nike than for other brands. When you get revisions from Nike, they actually make the work better. It’s a pleasure playing the ping-pong.”
Although no stranger to putting projects together very quickly, like he did for The World Cup, a project on the scale of an international Nike campaign takes more time. You have to get it right. But, again, Nike’s revisions make the final product better, working together towards a common goal. Rizon says when it’s as positive a relationship as what he has with Nike, “It doesn’t matter how long a job takes, it’s fun.”
Rizon makes his World Cup favorites glow with Toykyo
It wasn’t until Rizon Parein, our Belgian illustrator, found his way to Helsinki that he finally met fellow Belgian artists Toykyo. It took international travel to find his fellow countrymen. Rizon had always wanted to work with them, saying, “I really like their work and was immediately like, ‘We should do a project together one time.’” The World Cup was coming up, and they decided it should be a piece focusing on the international games.
Rizon is known for his neon-sign renderings, having produced CGI typography for the likes of Pharrell, Kanye West, and the movie Drive. Toykyo, on the other hand, specializes in vector character design. They decided to bring their talents together to celebrate four of their favorite soccer players. Toykyo would draw the faces of these footballers, and Rizon would make them into rendered neon signs.
Creating these images from scratch was not an easy task, and even on a highly expedited schedule it took weeks. That sort of commitment meant they had to choose the players far in advanced, not knowing how those players would perform in their matches. “You’re almost putting bets on who’s going to win and who’s going to fall out of the tournament. It’s really like speculating and of course you think some guys will shine and then you see during the matches, they’re not.” Like any good betting man, Rizon is vying for his choices, “I hope one of our four players becomes the superstar.”
As a next step, Rizon want these illustrations constructed out of real neon. “I totally see these happening as a physical, wall design,” he says. He’s done it before with some of his designs, but they never end up looking quite as good as the digital image. Maybe like the games played by these superstars they’re better on paper.
Rizon Parein Brings CGI Neon to Budweiser's Made in America Festival
Rizon Parein crafted a series of CGI neon promos for Budweiser's Made in America festival, taking the form of large-and small-scale posters, and GIFs to announce the acts on social media.
Though the artist is synonymous with this type of CG art – especially after his sign for the movie "Drive" – the job proved to be "the most challenging yet because of the amount of neon needed," he remarked. "I had to make approximately 70 neon pieces and be able to adjust the lineup in 48 hours, which would have been impossible to do from scratch in that timeframe, The solution was to create an entire neon alphabet in three weights, plus the Bud logo."
It called for extensive modeling work in Cinema 4D and rendering in V-Ray to ensure a realistic look. "The details are what count," remarked Parein, noting the Instagrams, in particular, provide incredible close-ups of his CGI. "Or climb up a billboard in L.A. or Philadelphia and study the poster," Parein offered, which Bernstein & Andriulli does not condone.
Rizon Parein Visualizes Mercedes-Benz's Warning Technology
Rizon Parein illustrated Mercedes-Benz's traffic-sign recognition technology – which detects no-entry signs and provides both audible and visual warnings to drivers when they enter the wrong side of the road – for the automaker's new campaign.
"The idea was to create a sound wave from the no-entry signs," explained Parein. Working with Mathias Nösel, an art director at Jung von Matt (Hamburg), the CGI artist remodeled the shape, added the environment, and perfected the lighting using V-Ray and Cinema 4D.
"When Matthias reached out to me about this project, I was immediately interested not only because of the brilliant concept, but also the specific look and feel he was after," Parein added. "He knew what he wanted and I knew I could execute it."
Rizon Parein Brings His Neons to Brazil for Nike #Sejamax
Rizon Parein created his most intricate neon works to date for Nike's #Sejamax campaign. "The brand briefed me with a comp of previous neon art I had done and sent over some vector designs," explained Parein. "We agreed to make a main neon visual and switch out certain parts for the three different ads," which feature professional footballer David Luiz, world-renowned surfer Pedro Scooby, and beach volleyball champions Maria Clara and Carol Salgado.
Each of the utterly realistic signs is CGI (including the illuminated version in the rooftop shot), modeled with Cinema 4D, and rendered in V-Ray. "It took two non-stop weeks for the modeling – building and bending the tubes," the artist said. "As with real neon, it's tricky to put in corners ... these things take time ... and it was a close-up view of many tubes. I wanted it to be as believable as possible."
Parein started playing with the art form three years ago, after looking at neon signage as objects instead of light. "The image of the little pieces sitting atop the mirror – these are the details that make all of the difference," he remarked. "Since my first successful neon came out, I've seen a lot of imitations floating around and I can tell that they are copies because I added in several components that are technologically inaccurate, but were graphically pleasing." His Nike neons, which herald the arrival of the Air Max Glow in the Dark and Air Max Reflective shoes in Brazil, can be found both online and in stores.
Client: Nike Portland
Design directors: Michael Spoljaric and Colin Matsui
Rizon Parein Creates Fashion Sets Using CGI
Rizon Parein built a fashion editorial set for the autumn/winter issue of F---ing Young! mag using CGI.
Photographer Frederik Heyman contacted Parein about the project. "He's from my hometown, Antwerp, and we knew of each others' work, but this was the first time we collaborated," the artist explained. "He wanted futuristic scenes and I think that for a while now, [Heyman] has been attracted to the freedom and flexibility of 3D." Heyman went ahead with the shoot and afterward Parein studied the camera angles, creating shapes and grids around the images. Modeling was done with Cinema 4D and rendering with V-Ray.
For Parein, CGI means moving faster and malleable revisions. "It's a different approach and my intention is that the CGI goes unnoticed," he said, "but to be honest, I would love to construct [the sets] in real life as well."
F---ing Young! is a five-chapter-long, biannual men’s fashion magazine based in Barcelona. More here.
Photographer: Frederik Heyman
Stylist: Madeleine Ostlie
Hair and makeup: José Quijano
Model: Jester White at Select Model
Rizon Parein for Heineken
Rizon Parein was contacted by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam to create high-end merchandising for Heineken beer. The brief had few restrictions except that the merchandising had to be architecturally strong and based around the Heineken brand logo. Rizon was given complete freedom in material selection in order to create product merchandising suited for stylish and sophisticated venues.
The creative process started with developing a language of forms based on crops of the Heineken logo. Then functional objects such as glorifiers, ice buckets, signage, totems, seats, etc were derived from this. The outdoor signage will be the first reveal so stay tuned!
Rizon Parein for Fast CompanyRizon Parein creates a dramatic CGI opener for Fast Company's "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" spread. It is the magazine's biggest package of the year. The annual guide ranks the most important companies whose innovations have an impact on their industries and our own culture. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter are among the 50 companies that topped this year's list.
Ted Keller, the magazine's art director, requested a typographic visual with a minimal approach but a dramatic effect. Parein used CGI to create the visuals which were inspired by a recent project he did involving 3D neon headlines. He focused on exploring similar styles and designs. The letters are empty neon boxes and they appear similar to the dramatic angle of the iconic 20th Century Fox production logo. Parein appreciated the magazine's minimalist approach and calls his final piece, "Lot's of show and drama, still subtle and mature."
See more of Rizon Parein's work here.
Publication: Fast Company
Issue: "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies"
Art Director: Ted Keller
Design: Rizon Parein
Rizon Parein Creates a 3D Scene for YAHOO!YAHOO!'s Bus Stop Derby is a two month, city-wide challenge that turns bus stops in San Francisco into social-gaming hubs. Stops in 20 San Francisco neighborhoods are outfitted with 72-inch touch screens that include 4 games that can be played while waiting for the bus. Users are playing for personal glory as well as neighborhood bragging rights in the live head-to-head games. To promote the derby, Yahoo! Client and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners commissioned Rizon Parein to create a 3D art piece.
Rizon created the 3D scene featuring the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, and buses and people racing towards the derby cup. Bigshot Toyworks was brought in to model and create the characters after the decision was made to work with CGI human characters and not icons.
The YAHOO! Bus Stop Derby ends on January 28th, 2011. The grand prize is an Ok Go concert in the winning neighborhood. Find out more about the derby here.
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
3D Illustration: Rizon Parein
CGI Characters: Bigshot Toyworks