Adicolor Black

Adicolor Black

Transistor Studios, New York, New York, 2006


Given total creative freedom by Adidas, Chow chose to create a stop-motion animation film noir that explores the dark underbelly of homicidal wildlife. “It is my version of a piñata,” he said. “Destruction equals celebration.” The aesthetic embraces the bold black-and-white graphics reminiscent of 1960s London fashion designer Mary Quant, with elements like stripes, polka dots and hounds tooth. Chow’s love of the Beatles and psychedelic ’60s music also influenced the mackerel’s Beatles-inspired wardrobe.

“I grew up in a historical part of Hong Kong with old wooden buildings with lots of trees and bushes. The Chinese are superstitious about banana trees harboring fox spirits, which are very scary. Spirits get into your body and make you do crazy stuff. Bad behavior is usually blamed on spirits, not necessarily alcoholic! Even though I was terrified of ghosts and spirits, I was intrigued by them and watched plenty of horror films, which did not make nighttime walks through my neighborhood easy ones. I always thought ghosts would come at me from the woods and bite my ass! So now as an adult, for a long time, I have wanted to do a dark theme, but in a funny way. Sort of like Casper or Ghostbusters, but no quite so light.”

Juror Notes

“Dark, dripping and dramatic.”
“Kind of sick—but we liked it.”
“Really hit their internet-savvy demographic.”

Collections: AIGA 365: 28 (2007)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Promotional design and advertising
Format: Advertisement, Animation, Motion graphic, Promotion


Design firm
Transistor Studios
Creative director
Saiman Chow
Art director
Chad Colby
Li-Han Lin
Production director
Andrea Sertz
Production artists
Erica Bettencourt, Saiman Chow, Chad Colby, Pete Schmitt
Saiman Chow, Chad Colby
Saiman Chow
Jimi Hey, Tim Koh, Peymon Maskan
Director of photography
Li-Han Lin
Nathan Jew, Sara Seiferheld
Saiman Chow
Chad Colby