Supercharge your brand storytelling
Go beyond the Hero's Journey
Speak the universal language of symbols
Create new stories in the blink of an eye
You don't have to sound like everyone else
Based on the incredibly impactful work of Joseph Campbell, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces”, most brand storytelling books, courses and guides out there adapt the Hero’s Journey in order to create stories with Heroes, Villains, Guides and Plans.
These stories are powerful, but also formulaic – and after a bit of exposure to the pattern, our audiences start to see the repetition in the narrative devices that we use to tell stories about brands.
More than Heroes and Villains
There are many storytelling ingredients that don’t immediately fit into the Hero’s Journey approach. What about the Hydra, that grows more heads as you sever the old ones? What about the vampire sucking the innocent’s blood? The Petrified King, waiting to return when his kingdom needs him the most?
Stories as old as time
Animus is a collection of 50 beautifully illustrated cards that each showcase one such concept, plot or archetype, taken from incredibly ancient times, before the invention of writing, narratives that have become immediately impactful to people from all the corners of the Earth.
Are you ready for next-level storytelling?
We are launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the beautiful illustrations for the cards and the production of the very impressive 70×120 mm vinyl decks
Sample Card Description
Warnings. Curiosity. Calamity. Hope.
Pandora’s box is a tale as old as time. The gods give the all-gifted woman many blessings, and Zeus himself presents her with a mysterious jar. Pandora’s brother-in-law, Prometheus, knows that Zeus is angry, because he stole fire from the gods, so he warns her not to open it.
Alas, Pandora’s curiosity gets the best of her, and she opens the jar, releasing sickness, and sadness, and war and everything else that is bad in this world. The last thing that left the jar was hope.
Pandora’s story is mirrored in many cultures. Primordial Eve was also told to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge, and curiosity gets the best of her. Even “curiosity killed the cat” has its origins in a 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour, which was performed first by William Shakespeare.
The essence of Pandora’s Box is manifesting every day in our real world, in every “WET PAINT” sign, in every urban legend about Bloody Mary, that will be chanted by children and teens in their pajama party.
About the creators
Animus is the joint project of the Romanian studio CultCAT and the British Symbolon Branding. Fascinated about the effects of storytelling in our everyday life, both groups have been working diligently to get it at the point it is today.
CultCAT is a creative studio with eclectic and multifaceted skills, nerds and artists at heart. They are developing the gorgeous imagery that you see imprinted in the cards and bring their skills on printing and packaging to further enhance the product.
Symbolon Branding is a Brand Identity Design studio focusing on Semiotics and the power of symbols. They are contributing to ideation and development stage of the project, identifying the various symbols that are fundamental to our global cultural space.
Your tool for fresh, engaging messaging
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Craft stories of substance with the Animus Toolkit
Printed with beautiful golden ink on black vinyl, these 50 70×120 cards have beautiful illustrations that give you a visually stimulating overview of each of the narrative symbols and archetypes that we have identified.
On the back side you will find valuable information on the myths and legends that this archetype is corresponding to, as well as cultural information about their origins, or literary analysis of their use as narrative devices.
Both the illustrations and the descriptions reflect contemporary iconic figures, and not just ancient myths, so that you can see how easily adaptable they are.
The Brand Storytelling Toolkit
While Animus Cards can be immediately useful just by reading the descriptions on the back and getting inspired by their content, we have developed a more detailed framework that will guide you step-by step into creating Messaging deliverables for your clients.
The Brand Storytelling Toolkit contains complete descriptions to each of the 17 steps of the Hero’s Journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell (and not just the simplified versions that are most commonly used in other frameworks online), as well as new, individual symbols, plots and archetypes.
These can be immediately used as add-ons to your existing process, or as a complete stand-alone workshop activity.
You don’t need to buy our card decks to use Animus for your Brand Storytelling needs, although the feeling of a dark velvet pouch containing 50 glossy black vinyl cards with golden illustrations is hard to compensate for!
Every single card and its description is going to be available in digital form in our website and (if our stretch goals are met) a companion mobile app, along with the instructions for developing quick and easy Brand Messaging that will stand out from the ordinary and expected and will speak the universal language of fables and stories.
We will also be recording video instructions on how to use the Toolkit, as well as developing an online community where we answer your questions and challenges on Brand Storytelling.
The cool merch is already here!
If you are here just for the pretty pictures, or if you want to make sure that this project succeeds before we launch our Kickstarter, you can have a look at our astonishingly good-looking merchandise!