Sweet as (Swiss) Sugar

Spill some sugar on a table and the urge to dip your finger in and draw is irresistible – or is that just us? Anyway, far nicer than our sticky efforts are four new commercials for Swiss Sugar…

[QUICKTIME /images/uploads/2008/03/swsstransport.mp4 /images/uploads/2008/03/transportpm.mov 352 308 true true]

Spill some sugar on a table and the urge to dip your finger in and draw is irresistible – or is that just us? Anyway, far nicer than our sticky efforts are four new commercials for Swiss Sugar…

[QUICKTIME /images/uploads/2008/03/swissconfect.mp4 /images/uploads/2008/03/confpm.mov 352 308 true true]

The ads were made by UK animation house Loose Moose in collaboration with Swiss production company Solid & Haller film and ad agency NeueLGK, Zurich. Each has a theme relating to aspects of Swiss life and famous Swiss exports – chocolate, transport, winter sports and Christmas. In a series of four vignettes, the effect is of an invisible finger drawing an iconic bas relief shape onto a flat sugar surface before being wiped away and another drawing being created, all as one continuous sequence with no cuts.

[QUICKTIME /images/uploads/2008/03/swissport.mp4 /images/uploads/2008/03/sportpm.mov 352 308 true true]

One of the problems in making the ads was that the sugar reacted with moisture in the air. After animating a design for the test shoot, animator Ange Palethorpe found that part of the sugar had formed a lump and this destroyed the icon, ultimately ruining the animation. It was nearly impossible to make corrections in the tray of sugar so each commercial was shot as one continuous take.

For regulating the temperature and to minimize humidity, a tent was erected inside the studio which allowed complete “climate control”. To further prevent lumps in the sugar, a fine sieve was used to grade and break up any clusters on the tray.


As a guide the icons were drawn accurately, then the designs were projected using a home cinema projector. A mirror was used to reflect the projected image down on to the surface of the sugar so the projector could be kept level and out of the way of the animator and film camera. Ange could then trace the design frame by frame to ensure accuracy and timing.

[QUICKTIME /images/uploads/2008/03/weinacht.mp4 /images/uploads/2008/03/weinachtpm.mov 352 308 true true]

Agency Credits
Client: Schweizer Zucker
Agency: NeueLGK
Art Director: Reto Schild
Copy Writer: Andreas Szentkuti
Creative Team: Andre Benker & Hans Tanner
Production Company: Solid & Haller Films
Production Company Producer: Rudi Haller

Loose Moose Credits
Director and Animator: Ange Palethorpe
Producer(s): Glenn Holberton
Director of Photography: Peter James
Assistant Producer: Emma Burch
Lighting Cameraman: Beth MacDonald
Gaffer: John Whickman

More from CR

Coversourcing: the winner

After over 300 entries and 20,000 votes, Hans van Brooklyn’s Ants (above) has been chosen as the UK cover for Crowdsourcing in the Coversourcing competition.
Here’s what the judges thought…

Andrei Tarkovsky: Film and Painting

Over a 25 year period, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky made just seven feature films and three student shorts, yet his cinematic work stands out as one of the most significant contributions to moving image history. In films such as Solaris, Mirror and Andrei Rublev, Tarkovsky dealt thematically with the notion of memory, childhood and dreams and became a master of the long, unedited shot and distinct formalistic approach to filmmaking. Many studies of his work have also observed the links between his films and the visual arts. Black Dog Publishing is behind a new, comprehensive volume dedicated to his life’s work and we have an exclusive extract to present here on the CR blog. The following essay, by Mikhail Romadin (the art director on Solaris), looks at the relationship between Tarkovsky’s films and painting.

Indaba live blog

OK, here we are at the Design Indaba in Cape Town attempting, internet connection willing, to blog live from the first session of the morning by Gert Dumbar and carrying on through the rest of the day

London redefined

situation 9, 2007
Strip a city street of all its commercial clutter and is it still identifiable? This is one of the questions posed by a series of artworks by Austrian artist Gregor Graf, currently on show at the Austrian Cultural Forum in London.
Graf mixes old technology with new in his work, using medium format photography to take the initial shots of a city before removing, via Photoshop, all traces of language and signage from the images, including commercials signs, street signs, people and traffic. The cities become virtually unrecognisable as a result, and oddly sinister. Graf has previously photographed Linz and Warsaw in this style, and turned his attention to London when commissioned to create some works by the Visual Arts Platform at the Austrian Cultural Forum. Shown above is a blissfully quiet Oxford Street…

Senior Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency

Head of Digital Content

Red Sofa London