Lighting

Lighting should create rich and honest frames that highlight real QuickBooks customers. We light our scenes with a spotlight on our customer, while edge lights enhance the space around them. This helps us create the feeling of single-source lighting.

Embrace shadows, bright spots, and practical lighting in the space.

Enhance the actual lighting in the space with key, spot, fill, and edge lighting.

Over-light the scene to create flat or corporate-looking shots.

Shoot with only practical lighting.

Use dark emotional lighting without purpose.

Shot composition

Interview and action shots should be framed using golden composition, favoring the center of frame. This keeps story, emotion, and action directly in the viewer’s line of sight, creating an easy-to-follow narrative that resonates from frame-to-frame. Shots should have subtle and organic movement.

Primarily shoot on a handheld rig, even in stationary and dolly shots, to maintain subtle and organic movement.

Keep shots stable and clean.

Use action to direct the viewer’s eyes to center frame before product shots and CTAs.

Don’t use central framing for action or interview shots. This is reserved solely for product shots.

Don’t shoot shaky-cam style. Movement should be subtle and organic.

On-screen graphics

Design elements should be minimal and clean, allowing our customers and product to remain the focus of our videos. Use titles, inlays, and lower thirds to enhance your story. These graphics may enter and exit the frame based on defined motion patterns, or they may be brought in and out on a cut.

Use downloadable templates.

Include graphics only when it elevates the story.

Don’t overuse visual elements.

Don’t include unnecessary motion.

Don’t create your own versions of lower thirds, titles, promos, or on-screen text.

Don’t put graphics over customer faces or shots where the customer is the focus.

Title cards

Not all videos require a title card. When a story warrants one, use clean text over b-roll footage that never leaves your visual story. Use title cards as a breath after a cold open or to give context to your video. Titles should accurately reflect the content of the video—the customer story, product feature, benefits, etc. If the copy is placed over an image, ensure they complement or tie into one another. Prioritize clarity over cleverness.

Text:
Color: White (#ffffff) or QB Dark Gray (#393A3D)
Size: Bold 152/156
Case: Sentence case
Title safe: 1080×1080 px

Padding:
40px between logo and title
Intuit logos separated by “+”
Third party logos separated by “|”

Motion:
Entrance: 0.00, 0.00, 0.20, 1.00
Exit: 0.80, 0.00, 1.00, 1.00

Enter and exit using defined motion.

Enter and exit on a cut.

Don’t create additional visual or motion treatments.

Don’t use Backing You lockup as a title.

 

Lower thirds

Use lower thirds to identify a customer, the name of their business, profession or firm, and a social media account.

Text:
Line 1: Bold 60px font
Line 2: Regular 40px font
Color: White (#ffffff) or QB Dark Gray (#393A3D)
Horizontal padding: 250px
Vertical padding:125px
Line spacing 30px

Motion:
Entrance: 0.00, 0.00, 0.20, 1.00
Exit: 0.80, 0.00, 1.00, 1.00

Enter and exit using defined motion.

Enter and exit on a cut.

Include Instagram or Twitter handle.

Don’t add shape behind text. Shot composition and lighting guidelines should allow for plain text to be legible.

Don’t rotate multiple social handles.

Interstitial titles

Use interstitial titles that warrant total focus while continuing your visual narrative with b-roll footage. Bold words or phrases help emphasize key details, but don’t overdo it.

Text:
Characters: 30-50 recommended
Color: White (#ffffff) or QB Dark Gray (#393A3D)
Regular 44/52 px font bolded for emph asis
Case: Sentence case
Title safe: 1080×1080 px

Motion:
Entrance: 0.00, 0.00, 0.20, 1.00
Exit: 0.80, 0.00, 1.00, 1.00

Use for important info that furthers the story.

Use arbitrarily for style.

Inlays

Use text inlays to add important info to a specific shot of a customer. Bold words or phrases help emphasize key details, but don’t overdo it.

Text:
Characters: 30-50 recommended
Color: White (#ffffff) or QB Dark Gray (#393A3D)
Regular 44/52 px font bolded for emphasis
Case: Sentence case

Motion:
Entrance: 0.00, 0.00, 0.20, 1.00
Exit: 0.80, 0.00, 1.00, 1.00

Use for important info that furthers the story.

Lock up text on intersecting phi-grid line opposite the subject.

Use arbitrarily for style.

Product representation

If you’re telling customer stories where the product is featured, comp product shots into the device in the customer’s hand as the primary representation. In some cases, you can also pull product components out and juxtapose them next to the customer. When shooting a customer’s actual phone, use their real accessories (for example, a phone case) unless they’re visually distracting or take away from the narrative.

Shoot device plates, rolling on a clean shot of device for 45 seconds, so that product motion can be added in post.

Comp product shots into customer devices. 

Don’t shoot actual products on set. Product motion should be comped in post.

Don’t show inaccurate or altered product shots inside of real, brand-name devices like Apple.

Product motion: 0.40, 0.00, 0.20, 1.00

End cards

We use the horizontal QuickBooks lockup as our end card in videos. This is a fixed element with flexible variants for specific use cases. The lockup serves as an impactful ending with durable brand resonance designed to land directly in the viewer’s eye line at the end of a video, creating a strong emotional connection between the subject of the video and the QuickBooks brand.

Use downloadable templates.

Use music that carries motion.

Always end on this image.

Don’t create your own versions.

Don’t use as a title card or anywhere other than the end of the video.

Don’t add any additional text or motion to this end card.

Primary: two-second animation
Secondary: two-second static
Both variants available in 16:9, 9:16 and 1:1

Voice and tone

writing for on-screen text

Titles
Titles should accurately reflect the content of the video—the customer story, product feature, benefits, etc. If the copy is placed over an image, make sure they complement or tie into one another. Prioritize clarity over cleverness.

Inlays and interstitial titles
Use these to introduce important information not covered in the storyline. Be brief. Be clear. Create resonance. Expand upon the passion, person, product, service, or overall business. Use bold words or phrases to emphasize key details, but don’t overdo it. Don’t place text and product UI on screen at the same time. These two elements often compete for audience attention.

Lower thirds
Line 1: Include the customer’s full name in the first line.

Line 2 A: Small business owners, founders, or corporate executives should have their title included along with the name of the business in the second line. The same applies for Accounting firms. Don’t include titles for other employees. Self-employed individuals should be identified based on their craft or profession. Don’t include a business name or qualifier like “freelance.”

Line 2B: If transitioning to a social media handle, use either Instagram or Twitter. Don’t include the “@” symbol.

accessibility

Captions
Use a preferred vendor to provide human-generated timecode captions. Upload to a caption-enabled platform like YouTube or Facebook.

Transcripts
Provide a transcript for every video we create. It allows viewers to read at their own pace, especially if it’s a tutorial video.

Use words like select, enter, or choose.

Find opportunities to give instructions like “save your work” instead of “tap save.”

Avoid using words like tap, touch, push, press, click, swipe, or hit. Avoid describing a location-based interaction—right, left, up, down, etc.

 

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