Casimir Effect

Casimir Munch Fornalski
Art Direction
Graphic + Motion Design

Currently:

Senior Art Director @ First Person »
San Francisco, CA

Cisco

Anatomy of An Attack

  • Art Direction
  • UI Creation
  • Graphic Animation
  • Branding

Agency

  • First Person

Creative Director

    Ty Bardi

Graphics Team

  • Scott Bartholemew
  • Junyoung "Pigle" Chung

Type Used

  • Inconsolata
  • Cisco Sans
  • Chalet
Cisco Still

In 2016, First Person was commissioned by Cisco to produce a dramatic video showing the process by which a company gets hacked. The video needed to show how a hacker uses the internet, social media, email and publicly accessible information to engineer a phony persona and break in to a seemingly secure network.

I had to design and plan all of the “screen sequences” which meant fidelity to how popular social networks and websites worked as well as an efficient method to animate, “shoot” and render dozens of separate UI sequences.

Each sequence needed a consistent visual treatment that mimicked the chromatic separation we see when shooting pixels up close, and this stylistic detail had to be easy to apply and animate depending on how different shots transitioned.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

Along with the UI closeups that made up the bulk of the “how” section in the video, we also worked out a distinct stylization for certain sequences that showed the panic and distress a company goes through once the damage of a major hack has been done.

Drawing on visual reference from glitch art, surveillance footage, and the aesthetic of LED macrophotography, an efficient process was worked out in After Effects to allow the team to quickly experiment with looks and apply the stylization to each shot.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

As we didn’t want to call out any actual real-world companies to be the hapless hacking victims, a wholly fictional brand had to be created.

“Qualicart” required a logo, typography, and color rules that, although fictional, still had to look and feel like a successful, modern tech company that existed in the real world. Everything from the company’s email signature to the cover of their quarterly report were designed to adhere to the pseudo-brand.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

Anatomy of An Attack:
The Watering Hole

  • Art Direction
  • UI Creation
  • Graphic Animation
  • Branding

Agency

Creative Director

  • Ty Bardi

Graphics Team

  • Carlos Tsoi
  • Junyoung "Pigle" Chung

Type Used

  • Inconsolata
  • Helvetica
Anatomy of an Attack 2 Poster
Anatomy of an Attack 2 Poster

The first Anatomy of An Attack » was a smashing success with both the client and its intended audience. Many who saw it walked away quite disturbed and worried about their own security vulnerabilities—which was exactly the effect Cisco had intended.

When First Person was tasked to produce a follow-up in 2017, we knew we had to raise the stakes. The story, once again, would focus on an average hacker who utilized common vulnerabilities and security exploits that could be easily found on the internet. And, once again, a litany of screen animation, website recreation and macro UI rendering would tell the story of how an unscrupulous schmuck brings down a cutting edge company.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

Once again, I had to create a fictional company and its top level branding. This time, the company "Aupticon"—an optics research firm for autonomous vehicles— needed a logo, website, social media presence and official letterhead.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

One of the new elements that required a design was an extremely outdated website for a bowling alley. It had to be period accurate and appropriately crummy since it’s the site’s appallingly bad security (or lack thereof) which allows the hacker to sneak malware in through the backdoor of an employee’s laptop.

Rather than mock up the site in Sketch or Illustrator (which can still have a tendency to look a bit too slick), I built a crappy website the way I was trained: I fired up Dreamweaver and dusted off my Geocities-Angelfire skills.

Cisco Still

A full fake website was built in HTML the way you’d expect back in the day: tables, zero CSS, animated GIFs, questionable type-and-color decisions, and glorious rollover image links. I’ve never had so much fun making something so bad.

In the end, building the site in HTML and doing simple screen captures proved to be far more efficient than doing keyframe animation in After Effects. Sometimes, the old ways really are best.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

ACI

  • Art Direction
  • Storyboards
  • Animation Direction

Agency

  • First Person

Creative Director

    Ergin Kuke

Creative Strategist

    Tony Welch

Graphics Team

  • Hannah Addington
  • Peter Herrmann
  • Micah Jordan
  • Aaron McGriff
  • Eli Woo
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

Security Made Simple:
Lights Out

  • Art Direction
  • Graphic Animation

Agency

Creative Directors

  • Ty Bardi
  • John Sadler

Graphics Team

  • Junyoung "Pigle" Chung
  • Pete Fleming

Type Used

  • Cisco Sans

What’s funny about cyber-security? Nothing. However, people can only take so many doom-and-gloom messages about keeping their data safe and their networks secure before their eyes glaze over.

For the Lights Out campaign, Cisco wanted to make it clear that years of building network architecture and being leaders in communications technology made them prime movers in the cybersecurity field. The video had to be punchy, upbeat, aggressive but not hostile, confident but not condescending, and above all get the message across that when it came to network security, Cisco has your back.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

Armed with a tight script full of humor and swagger, I worked closely with the editor to curate the best imagery while designing a title, graphic and animation language that mapped back to the Cisco brand.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still

The result was met with raucous applause and referred to by one Cisco executive as “one of the best marketing videos I’ve ever seen.” This piece ultimately became the template for Cisco’s larger “Lights Out” security campaign.

Cisco Still
Cisco Still
Cisco Still