Common Craft has been making fantastic "explanation" videos for years. Using a simple, hand-drawn paper animation style, the husband and wife duo of Lee and Sachi LeFever have won multiple awards for their videos, and have worked with some major brands. This week, Common Craft is launching a new video subscription service designed to help businesses, teachers, and trainers by granting access to their huge library of explanation and educational video clips.
Background On Common Craft
You've surely seen a Common Craft video before, even if you didn't know it. For a time, Twitter even used the Common Craft "Twitter In Plain English" video on their home page as a way to introduce new users to the service:
There's a very pleasant and charming tone to the videos, but more importantly... they actually do a near-perfect job explaining new products, services, and technologies "in plain English." I've used their videos in countless client meetings and presentations to help make a complicated concept easier to understand, like their explanation of RSS feeds:
New Common Craft Video Subscription Service
Apparently I'm not alone in my frequent use of Common Craft videos to education clients or coworkers. According to Lee LeFever, there are lots of people who feel the same way I do:
"We hear it every day - people love using our videos to teach others. They show one and watch the light bulb go on. For them, it's a fantastic feeling. We want more people to feel that way... We've learned that people want access to our complete library in one place - and we're doing that through the new subscription service. Our members will have our entire video library at their fingertips, whether they're in a classroom, writing a blog post or sharing a taxi.”
With the new subscription service, any Common Craft video from the library can be downloaded by members for offline use. The clips--most of which are available with voice-overs in 8 different languages--can also be embedded on a blog or website, of course. Members will also have access to a "members-only" blog, and will have the ability to suggest video topics or vote on titles for existing videos.
The company's website has also been overhauled to focus on the new subscription service:
And, true to form, they've created one of their signature videos to help explain how the subscription service can be used for educational purposes:
There are multiple levels of membership with the new Common Craft video subscription service, with varying costs and video-access levels, and more information will roll out later this week regarding that.
Once logged in, here's a look at what the member section looks like:
All in all, I think it's a great move. Today more than ever, teachers and businesses are looking for ways to incorporate video into their educational practices. But there's a shortage of quality video to choose from, and for many, creating their own videos is simply not feasible.
Enter Common Craft, who already has a reputation as a top creator of short, practical educational videos. Says LeFever:
"We're building a platform that will allow us to understand the needs of our members and grow our video library significantly based on that relationship. It's a win-win.”
If you use video to education clients, employees, or students, I'd recommend giving Common Craft's video subscription service a look. You'll be hard pressed to find many other sources for videos that entertain and charm as much as they educate.