TVA Logo Sting

By Shea Lord |
November 3rd, 2019

TVA Logo Sting

By Shea Lord |
November 3rd, 2019

Project Background

About six years prior to writing this, I was contracted to cut a few video projects for the Tennessee Valley Authority. At the time I was still working on an in-house production team for a Fortune 500, and “motion design” hadn’t entered my vocabulary; but, I was still finding ways to inject little bits of animation into my editing work. On this occasion, I did so by creating a quick logo sting to mark the end of each video.

TVA Logo Sting 2014

The original logo sting I made for TVA in 2014

Soon after this contract was complete, TVA offered me a full-time position. I worked there for two years before transitioning (read: falling, backward) into freelance work.

Fastforward to 2019. One of my old coworkers reached out about updating the logo and I was thrilled at the opportunity.

Design Process

The Tennessee Valley Authority is an amazing organization for at least a hundred different reasons— from their origin story to today as they continue to lead the world in innovative solutions. Their mission is Congressionally mandated and 3-fold: provide affordable energy, be a steward to the environment, and facilitate economic development for the Valley. They call it the Three E’s, and I knew wanted to incorporate each.

After running through a few initial ideas, I returned to the original power button concept and tried thinking about it as a symbol for TVA in the Valley. TVA is a hub, generating power sure, but also helping the environment and economy thrive. In the sting, we can see the town and mountains grow around the power button, rising with it, just as TVA works to elevate their community.

Animation Process

I modeled everything in Cinema4D and did the texturing and lighting with Octane renderer. Then I ended up overbooked and called in the big guns, my friend, the amazing Luis Miranda of LC Design. He was able to scoop up the project and drive it home— building the final animation and compositing it in After Effects to add those sweet sweet god rays I wanted. ?

Another friend, sound engineer Dan Cahill, stepped in to create the fantastic sound design. The final touches included some atmospheric particle effects and at least one lens flare.

Watch in 4K with headphones for the best experience.


Client: Tennessee Valley Authority
Art Director, Design + Animation: Shea Lord
Animation, Compositing: Luis Miranda, LC Design
Sound Design: Dan Cahill