Future Gazing: The New Narrators

01 Sep 2020 • The Studio


An interview with Marti Romances, co-founder and creative director at Territory Studio, San Francisco.

Visualizing the future is what Territory Studio stands for. Our design-led approach continues to support narratives across different industries that seek high-caliber motion graphics. We design visual languages uniquely suited to each client’s needs.

Territory is witnessing a burgeoning marketplace where the depth of 3D elements created for feature films is now being incorporated into real life products and digital experiences. While these fictional worlds on the silver screen demonstrate what is possible in the future, technology quickly proves it to be possible today as an entire universe of influences from cinema begins to touch every facet of our lives.

Innovation and technology continues to transform the way we live, work and play. As companies customize products to better suit individual needs, an appropriate design language is also required to provide users with easy, intuitive access to their devices.

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“Our design capabilities allow fantastical ideas to become real. It is clear that films featuring future-facing technologies are increasingly shaping consumer expectations. As technological innovations come, so does the need for high caliber UI designs on a varied number of interfaces to match all of these new innovations.”

Marti Romances on the team’s design-related projects for companies beyond the film space.


Case in point is innovative work for Huami, a project that exemplifies how designs inspired by work in our feature films quickly crosses borders to become a unified, global language. The Chinese wearable brand sought future-facing interfaces for its Amazfit Verge smartwatch, referencing UI designs from a handful of notable Hollywood films. As a result, three unique interfaces were created, designs featured on a popular wearable device worn by hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

“The beautiful thing is that we designed and created something very unique,” Romances continues. “Our designs needed to be functional, but also intuitive and straightforward. The challenge was finding new ways to visualize data and information while making each UI design universally understandable. We are especially skilled at creating visualizations of heavy datasets on a myriad of future fiction films, and this was the same requirement for Huami.”

Territory’s San Francisco team has also been working on visualizations in the automotive industry for clients that include luxury vehicle brand Lincoln. Here the client sought interface designs that effectively access autonomous solutions inside its latest line of crossover utility vehicles (CUVs).

“We were tasked with creating highly intuitive interfaces because drivers need to trust Lincoln’s vehicles with their lives,” says Marti. “That human/machine interaction is so very important. You have to understand how the car works intuitively, and without question – even if it’s the very first time that you drive it.”

Marti also notes that Lincoln requested design work reflecting the taste of the luxury automobile brand.

“Good design is always about taste. For Lincoln it needed to be very clean, precise and unique.”

“Each client forces us to reinvent ourselves. We like to be challenged by the work, and each job needs something different. It is exactly because of this variety that we get to flex with ideas and continue to grow.”

Yet it is by visualizing the unknown across different industries that Territory stands alone. 

“Sometimes it is difficult for marketing departments to understand our design ethos, but that’s where disruption comes into play,” Marti explains. “But it ends up being a very rewarding process to work with new clients, and to design for people that may not be used to doing what we do because we demonstrate how our designs make an impact on products in a crowded technological marketplace.”

Marvel’s Avengers

“It’s finding positive, proactive solutions and working for companies that are making a change in the world,” Marti wraps. “Thanks to our catalog of films requiring us to envision things from the future, we constantly find ourselves working in that playground. We’ve created a style and visual language for characters that come from another galaxy, and now we find ourselves in a sweet spot working in between functionality and creativity, getting deep in the creative trenches to solve problems by applying our design expertise and knowhow. I think that’s what separates us from the pack…”

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions on this, or any of our projects, please drop us a line.

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