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Plain speaking animation for Ubuntu

Continuing our work with Canonical, the curators of rapidly growing free and open-source operating system Ubuntu, we were asked to look at their ‘first boot’ animation video – a short sequence that plays when the computer is started up for the first time that should communicate Ubuntu’s core values – Reliable, Collaborative, Freedom, Precise.


Price-sensitive consumers are seeking a less expensive option than Windows machines, and many of them have no idea what Ubuntu is. OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer’s) such as Dell are pre-loading Ubuntu on millions of desktop computers every year. These are then shipped around the world to destinations far and wide, from China to New Zealand.

The first boot animation is a critical first contact with the Ubuntu brand and needs to welcome the user – no matter what language they speak, and make the very best first impression possible. We needed to create something distinct, arresting and universal – communicating through illustration and motion rather than words.

Leveraging their core brand assets we created a sequence which lasted 30 seconds exploring three key themes: Fast, Reliable and Friendly. Each theme changed the pace and mood of the animation to bring to life one of the three benefits. Overlaying the sequence was an audio track, created in partnership with sound engineer Will Parker – a track that had an easily identifiable rhythmic pattern.

The video now ships on millions of laptops worldwide, demonstrating in sound, motion and colour Ubuntu’s value as a challenger OS.

 Watch the Ubuntu first boot animation here

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