On top of being an extremely skilled animator, Mark’s Sci-Fi UI work for Archer always exceeds expectations. His keen eye for details and vast experience has provided our show with top notch motion graphics for years.
~ Justin Wagner, Art Director on 'Archer'
As the Motion Graphics Designer on Archer, it was my responsibility to create the computer screens that appeared in the show – a role that I relished. Typically there would be no UI direction in the script, so I'd reference the dialog and scene direction to determine the visuals I needed to design, then decide what additional information is on screen. If the Art Director desired a specific look or wanted to pay homage to a particular movie scene they would provide cues and reference material.
I've redesigned the screens several times throughout the series to respond to the shows ever changing premise. Each screen adheres to consistent interface guidelines that I establish for that particular season. I've also created custom interfaces to reflect different organizations in the show, such as the CIA, NASA, etc.
While complex UIs and HUDs can work great in live action or video games, it's not an approach I usually take on Archer. I've found it's best to keep it simple or risk breaking the cartoon aesthetic. I often designate each screen to a single task, with clean lines and simple illustrations. It's a style seen in iconic movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. This philosophy encourages efficiency and clarity in design, and keeps things focused on the story – which is the most important thing.