It’s not a typical anniversary. In an industry full of companies that don’t often make it through their first decade, previz house Napoleon has notched 30 years in the commercials business. And they’re still going strong. The proof? A recent move into a huge new space in the Flatiron District, one that offers new opportunities, like room enough to install a mo cap system and green screen stage.
Napoleon has expanded to a full portfolio of products and services that includes art, audio, broadcast and digital/content. Why now?
“If a company isn’t changing, it’s dying,” in the words of founder Marty Napoleon.
The new digs, a 14,450-square-foot space, was built out by first gutting Kate Spade’s former offices. The room offers enough room so that new projects can each be in their own layout. Napoleon’s open-air workspace also holds some 50-plus creative directors, animators, editors, designers, illustrators, modelers, compositors, scripters, character artists, motion-graphic artists, producers and marketers.
Other features include a 12-camera Vicon Bonita motion-capture system, green-screen stage, edit and audio suites, along with all the usual amenities, such as a “sleekly modern” kitchen.
Napoleon, which started out as a test commercial house, now does “just about anything”.
To better emphasize that capability – and freshen up the logo and website – the company turned to Brooklyn-based design and branding studio Makewell. With efforts headed up by the company’s creative director Jonathan Motzkin, Napoleon’s iconic red “N” was “deconstructed” for the digital world. Motzkin also recommended simplifying the name from “The Napoleon Group” to “Napoleon.” The new website design was made much more dynamic, and even features something that really proves a company has changed in our web-centric world – there’s a new URL, napoleongroup.com