Contra is an award winning digital agency based in London.

We create beautiful and engaging digital solutions enabling our clients to reach and connect with their audiences through web, film, social media, mobile apps and... of course fantastic design.

The Wait

Tags: Canon C300, Motion Graphics, Animation, Education, Promotional

The film takes the viewer on a journey from Michel D'Oultremont's hometown in Belgium to the remote mountains of Romania. On the trail of wild bison, Michel tracks the movement of the animals and then waits for the perfect moment; a process that can take up to a week to capture one shot.

View The Wait film

Square-Enix: FFX HD

Tags: Mobile Optimised, Responsive Web Design, Website Build, HTML5, CSS3, PHP, Campaign Site

Square-Enix creates high quality entertainment content and boasts an impressive portfolio, including the genre-defining Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider and Dragon Quest series of games. Square-Enix wanted to showcase their re-release of the best-selling Final Fantasy X (FFX) on the PS3 and PS Vita in time for the E3 Gaming conference. As Final Fantasy X is such an iconic game, promotional material for it had to inspire new gamers without alienating them, and still appeal to the traditional fan without insulting their knowledge and commitment.

Approaching the project as technical partners, we created a new mobile optimised site using responsive web design techniques. The site has a highly engaging user experience through subtle use of parallax effects and lovely game artwork. The site content was drip fed after going live, which enabled Square-Enix to keep fans coming back to the site and built excitement right up until the game's release.

View the Final Fantasy X (FFX) site

The Craft of Sound

Tags: Canon C300, Motion Graphics, Animation, Education, Promotional

This short documentary follows the creation of a beautiful Gypsy Jazz guitar by expert luthier Alex Bishop. We spent 6 months following the process from initial concept and design right through to the a performance used as the music behind the film. It’s been such a pleasure to spend this time with Alex and see how meticulous he is about his work.

View The Craft of Sound film

Ravensbourne: Website

Tags: Mobile Optimised, Responsive Web Design, Website Build, HTML5, CSS3, .Net, Umbraco, CMS, Education

Ravensbourne is a leading creative educational institution, training the next generation of innovative digital practitioners, designers and filmmakers. The website had grown stale and no longer reflected Ravensbourne as the cutting edge digital institution that it is. As is the case with many higher education institutions, it needed a radical website redesign and new digital strategy.

Contra created a stunning, mobile-optimised site that utilises the latest HTML5 and CSS3 techniques, successfully presenting Ravensbourne as a leader in design and digital innovation. Core elements of the design, full screen video and photography, can be easily updated via Umbraco (the content management system), keeping the site feeling fresh and future-proof. These features can also be used to either promote the calendar of events or students’ work. Our new design functions brilliantly and the site’s forward thinking strategy gives the institution a wow factor, making it really stand out from the competition.

View the Ravensbourne site

Make a Wish: Campaign

Tags: Graphic Design, Print Management, Charity

Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK is an incredible charity, which grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. The tri-annual newsletter is used to promote recent fundraising successes and wishes granted throughout the United Kingdom. The aim is to enhance support engagement, inspiring them to donate and fundraise for the charity. However, the design was very text heavy and outdated, this made the articles difficult to follow and reduced the potency of the call to action.

Contra restructured the layout and created a journey through the newsletter that built to a clear and powerful call to action. Wrapping the newsletter in simple, but well thought-out design, we allowed content to be king, and gave the highly emotive subject the perfect platform to inspire. Our approach to the design has given Make-A-Wish a contemporary looking and powerful communication tool that empowers and motivates their supporters.

PhonepayPlus: Phonebrain

Tags: Mobile Optimised, Responsive Web Design, Website Build, HTML5, CSS3, .Net, Campaign Site

PhoneBrain is a flagship project of PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator for phone-paid services, and was created to educate young people about these services. However, both the subject matter and design of the site were behind the times. Phonebrain required a complete overhaul to make it a relevant and powerful educational tool for its various target users.

Whilst PhonepayPlus wanted to keep the site optimised for the education sector, a key feature of the redesign was to increase its organic discoverability. We completely restructured the architecture of the site, giving the complicated topic an accessible narrative. Creating a contemporary responsive design that was considerate of the wide user age range, with dedicated styling for Under 7s. Using a bold sophisticated colour palette and large graphics we enhanced the text without distracting from it, in an authoritative yet friendly tone. We also created an animated quiz, partly for data capture but also as a feature that could stand alone and be easily shared. In this way affiliated contacts such as bloggers promoting Phonebrain, could drive a new audience outside of education sector to the site in an open and compelling manner.

View the PhoneBrain site

Compassion - 'Water of Life'

Tags: C300, International Filming, Charity, Documentary

Contra has had the pleasure of working with Compassion on many charity films around the world. For Water of Life, Compassion asked us to journey to Central America to film the distribution of truly life-saving filters to over 1000 families in Guatemala. We were honoured to document the huge difference this 'Water of Life' intervention made to families and communities across Guatemala.

View the Compassion film

KPMG: Global Lead Partner Event Site

Tags: Mobile Optimised, Responsive Web Design, Bespoke Web Application Build, HTML5, CSS3, .Net, Corporate

KPMG asked Contra to create a digital alternative to a paper agenda for their Global Lead Partners conference in New York. The solution had to be accessible across all platforms as the delegates would be using mobiles, tablets and laptops.

We designed and built a mobile optimised web application that was so successful it was able to replace paper entirely. The web app gave delegates a personalised agenda of sessions, based on what they had signed up for before the event. We enabled real time interaction by taking live polls during presentations via the web app. The results could be displayed live during a talk, which enhanced the discussion and engagement during the conference. It also acted as a digital directory, allowing delegates to view information on each other and the speakers. The web app was a huge success, cited as one of the highlights of the event and universally praised for its look, functionality and performance on mobile.

VisionFund: Animations & Infographics

Tags: Graphic Design, Animation, Motion Graphics, Charity

VisionFund is a initiative from World Vision that aims to improve the lives of children in the developing world through assisting businesses with small loans and financial services. Microfinancing greatly helps individuals; as their businesses grow they are able to support themselves and their families. While this is fantastic, there is also a much greater benefit; as these small business grow, the local economy improves, which in turn improves education and healthcare. A community is transformed from poverty to prosperity.

VisionFund wanted to communicate the different strands of their work and the impact it was having all over the world. VisionFund approach Contra with an open brief, looking for creative ideas. We produced a series of infographics that visually represented the outcomes of their projects for use in printed materials and on websites. We then animated these infographics for use in films, websites and interactive media. The result is a stunning visual representation of the vital work of VisionFund.

View the VisionFund animation

Gonville & Caius: Website

Tags: Mobile Optimised, Responsive Web Design, Website Build, HTML5, CSS3, PHP, Drupal, CMS, Education

Gonville & Caius is a prestigious college in the University of Cambridge, founded in 1348. The college is known for its excellence in teaching and research. It had an aging website that was used to aid recruitment, keep current students informed and promote other revenue streams. The aims of the site were being critically damaged by its technical limitations and an old design.

Through our responsive web design approach we created a mobile optimised site that is accessible and appeals to a broad demographic. The design was contemporary, but sophisticated, to compliment the rich heritage of the college. We dramatically improved the archaic site architecture and integrated it with a Drupal CMS. This meant that, with a little training, even the most technophobic members of staff were able to easily update the website. By doing this, we have repositioned the site as an effective and invaluable tool for the ongoing promotion of events and recruitment. The future-proof design will now continue to inspire the high achieving students and showcase the events and education experience at Gonville & Caius College, long into the future.

View the Gonville & Caius site

Cass Business School: Series of films

Tags: C300, Education, Corporate, Business, Promotional

Contra has worked with Cass Business School on a broad range of educational, international and promotional films. Cass approached us to produce a series of films that specifically explored the achievements and post-graduate success of their alumni. The main objective of these films was to promote post-study employability opportunities to prospective students considering an Executive Education course.

This short case study features one of Cass' most successful alumni, now working in City of London. They asked for a film that promoted their state of the art academic facilities, alongside a genuine narrative from the alumni. Visually, Cass wanted to promote these facilities, whilst capturing the beauty of London as a place to study and thrive.

View the Cass Business School film