Established in 1953, Volleyball Canada is the national organization responsible for the growth and development of the sport, involved in all levels, from recreational pick-up games and grassroots development to high level international competitions, including managing the beach, indoor, and sitting volleyball teams at the
Established in 1953, Volleyball Canada is the national organization responsible for the growth and development of the sport, involved in all levels, from recreational pick-up games and grassroots development to high level international competitions, including managing the beach, indoor, and sitting volleyball teams at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organization counts with 80,000 members and hosts various competitions year-round. Earlier this month, Volleyball Canada introduced a new identity designed by Vancouver-based Hulse & Durrell.
The new emblem sheds the complexity of previous incarnations. An evolved icon to represent a new generation of athletes. The typography is constructed from simple geometric shapes, circles and straight lines, which are reflected in the equipment and on the field of play. Representing both indoor and beach volleyball, the colour palette expands from traditional Canadian colours into beach-inspired aqua, salmon and violet.
The old heavily stroked logo went against the quickness, agility, and smoothness of the sport, feeling overburdened with all that black around it. The “speed” lines were a touch much and the condensed/extended wordmark was a bad combination. The new logo is signature Hulse & Durrell, with an icon that makes the best use of the obligatory maple leaf and renders it in a way that feels contemporary and exciting. The way it integrates the volleyball is elegant and beautifully done, with the thickness of the ball’s lines matching the thickness of the spacing between the ball and the leaf at its tightest spots. Not crazy about the stroked versions — I would love to see the black background without the white stroke, I bet it would look bad-ass — but you can’t win them all. The wordmark, in Avant Garde Gothic, complements the icon quite well and is used beautifully on the website.
The use of Avant Garde also extends nicely into event logos and sets quite convincingly on a curve.
Applications shown are on the limited side but you get the gist: red, black, and white + Avant Garde in Swiss-ish style layouts. Can’t argue with that, especially when it’s so well done. Overall, an elegant, modern update with just enough in-your-face attitude.
Launched in 2014, Bare Bones is a range of bone broth — bone broth is technically stock but is a term recently made popular by the paleo diet — that sources surplus food from sustainable ranches and organic farms that would normally go to waste
“Bad to the Bone”
Launched in 2014, Bare Bones is a range of bone broth — bone broth is technically stock but is a term recently made popular by the paleo diet — that sources surplus food from sustainable ranches and organic farms that would normally go to waste to make its product. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, and started by former military, former chef Ryan Harvey, Bare Bones is available online and at various grocery stores across the U.S.. Recently Bare Bones introduced a new identity and packaging designed by Austin, TX-based Ptarmak.
The old logo looked like it was for dog food more than stock; the cartoonish bone drawing didn’t quite convey a quality product nor did the rest of the funky graphics and thin typography. The new logo features a “BB” monogram simmering in a soup circle that’s kind of odd-looking but oddly appealing as well. The rough-hewn aesthetic gives it that sought-after paleo vibe, complemented by the oldish, earth-ish typography in the wordmark. In combination, the two elements work very well together to establish the right aesthetic and give the product a specialty-food appearance (vs. mainstream-food appearance from one of the big food conglomerates).
The old packaging was kind of cute in how naive it looked but understandably so by being a new product created by a person and not Big Food, Inc. As harsh as it may be, though, it was pretty bad. But what I think was an actual problem was the shape around the name that looked like a fish, making it seem like it was fish stock, which is not a bad thing if they specialized in fish stock.
The new packaging keeps the same plastic container but now there is a budget to cover the whole thing in color, front and back, and it obviously makes a huge difference in making the product look more finished and as if it’s produced in a food establishment and not in some dude’s kitchen. The blue color choice seems safe in that some soups — thinking of Progresso — use that color and this could provide that instant recognition. The problem is that it clashes with the darker broths, making the combinations vibrate and the animal illustrations hard to read. Looking at you, cow broth. Still, in general, the packaging is attractive, fun, looks tasty, and all the elements work nicely together… I wish the animal illustrations had the same rough edges as the monogram and wordmark instead of the smoother finish but, hey, there is a pig simmering in a pot, so I’m good.
Supporting applications are charming and cozy with that deep blue setting the right mood. The mini poster sort of brings everything together, with a layout that demands to be turned on its head every now and then to read the two messages while the “BB” monogram anchors it. Overall, a major improvement to the old that leads to a much more confident, finished, polished, and attractive product.
Previously known as Gold Passport, World of Hyatt is the rewards program of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its portfolio of over ten hotel brands. There is not much point getting into a deep explanation: You earn points the more you stay at Hyatt properties, that
“It’s Hyatt’s World, we are Just Sleep in it”
Previously known as Gold Passport, World of Hyatt is the rewards program of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its portfolio of over ten hotel brands. There is not much point getting into a deep explanation: You earn points the more you stay at Hyatt properties, that earn you better status and are redeemable for hotel use or other shopping. The name change was announced last summer and the new program started this month with a new identity designed by Wolff Olins.
The old logo wasn’t much; just the main Hyatt logo with Gotham underneath, which was fine but unexciting and perhaps too corporate-looking, making it feel more like an employee-benefits program than a jet setter’s. The new logo gives the rewards program its own, standalone brand that builds only on the equity of Hyatt name but not the logo, making it more independent. The logo is fairly straightforward with a nice contrasted sans serif that’s unusual in its more condensed structure and thick-and-thin relationship that sets it apart from the avalanche of geometric sans serifs. It has a classic feel that makes it look upscale but not overly stuffy.
The most visible graphic trait, though, is the monospace approach to “OF”, which I think you will either love or hate… I’m heavily undecided and my main concern is that I keep wanting to read something vertically but all I’m left with is “OOY” or “LFT”. That “OF” opens up to the edges to accommodate graphics is kind of interesting, but I wonder how many times that really happens in application and, of those times, how many does the end user realize that what the logo is doing is on purpose and not a confusing mistake? The opened “OF” looks best when it frames people faces than when it does objects, as the knocked-out objects start to look cheap. Still, for a rewards program, it’s one of the more interesting and ambitious logos out there.
In application, the identity introduces a great serif, Larish Neue, that makes for an odd but nice complement to the logo and somehow gives the program a more worldly aesthetic. The big, low-contrast photos also add an engaging touch to the identity. Overall, this does a solid job in creating a tangential, complementing brand to Hyatt that feels like an insiders club but without too much pretense (just a little) while looking crisp and contemporary.
First celebrated in 1987, SXSW (South by Southwest) is a conference and festivals in Austin, TX, that “celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries”. Originally only a music festival that attracted 700 attendees, SXSW introduced the interactive and film tracks in 1994,
“Down and to the Left”
First celebrated in 1987, SXSW (South by Southwest) is a conference and festivals in Austin, TX, that “celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries”. Originally only a music festival that attracted 700 attendees, SXSW introduced the interactive and film tracks in 1994, and now hosts over 72,000 registrants and artists. Perhaps apocryphal, but SXSW is one of the main reasons Austin has become one of the fastest growing cities in the last 10 years and it has been a giant boost for the economy and appeal of Austin as the place to be. Every year, SXSW has completely reinvented its identity, with the last eight years done by the same firm, Foxtrot, who wiped the slate clean and established a master brand for 2017 and the years to come.
Foxtrot has worked with SXSW on a multi-year engagement as partners and collaborators annually re-imagining the conference visual expression, informing digital service experiences, and designing systems and interfaces for the SXSW ecosystem. Always looking for ways to elevate the brand and improve their digital services for customers and employees, Foxtrot has been a strategy and design partner for SXSW for years, most recently unifying the brand and shaping the future role of digital services for the conferences and festival.
Hit or miss, I always enjoyed seeing how the SXSW logo would shape out each year, given that it was a semi-complicated puzzle to solve, having to give equal priority to its three attractions of Music, Film, and Interactive. Until I read the quote below, I had never realized that green was for music, blue for film, and orange for interactive but, then again, when SXSW rolls into town I do not venture further out than a 5-block radius from our house. 2013 was one of my favorite looks.
The brand framework will not change moving forward. Instead, we’ve created a system where the core elements – primarily logo and typography – will remain constant, allowing for the atmospheric experience of the conference and festivals to take center stage. e.g., photography, video, and other key art elements. Gone are the days of a limited palette of orange, blue and green signifying the three silos of interactive, film and music.
Foxtrot provided text
The new logo is surprising in no way whatsoever, revolving around a hip, deadpan sans serif. But that’s not entirely a bad thing as it allows for full flexibility in extending the main logo into the dozens of official things happening at SXSW (see below) while also allowing each year to introduce a graphic flavor (more on this at the end of the post). This new system is more akin to having the Olympic rings with the Look of the Games changing every year. The most graphic thing about the logo is the introduction of a blunt arrow pointing, you guessed it, Southwest. When I first saw the arrow pop up in tweets and Instagrams it didn’t register as being “new”… it seemed like something obvious that had been there forever and was instantly recognizable. The combination of the somewhat condensed sans serif with the squared arrow makes for a solid recognizable logo that works perfectly well for the SXSW brand.
The biggest improvement in the logo is its increased functionality as a system that gives the event’s graphic department a clear, consistent, and strong foundation to build out the multiple communications needed and to do it consistently year after year.
The corporate/institutional applications are a little dry but they do look commanding, especially that letterhead.
This year’s identity had a Spotify-ish approach with a mix of blue and red duotones. These came together in blobby-and-angled collages with various graphic doodads. Why? Because Southby. The event does have the flexibility to do whatever it wants graphically in part because it encompasses so many disciplines that it doesn’t have to hit one in particular — meaning it doesn’t have to have guitars to signify music, or film strips to signify music — and can have any visual expression it damn pleases. This year’s look was trendy but well done.
For the last 4-5 years SXSW has become a global powerhouse event and it makes sense to establish a consistent, recognizable logo, instead of a visual moving target. This is a very appropriate and cool-looking platform for the next 4-5 years.
Launched this month, LEVEL is a new low-cost, long-haul airline carrier that will start flying in June from Barcelona to Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tickets can be as low as €99, one way to California.
“To Horizon and Beyond”
Launched this month, LEVEL is a new low-cost, long-haul airline carrier that will start flying in June from Barcelona to Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tickets can be as low as €99, one way to California. LEVEL is the fifth airline brand of IAG, joining Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling. The new identity has been designed by Brand Union.
The name of this new airline is interesting, as it sounds nothing like an airline. Not that “United” or “Iberia” would have sounded like airlines when introduced, but there is something even more unexpected from “Level” and my inclination is that it’s a good thing. I also like the idea of a conversation like this:
— How are you flying? — LEVEL. — I’m sure you are flying level, who wants to fly all crooked? — No, the airline is called LEVEL.
And that’s why I write about logos and not screenplays. Anyway…
The icon in the logo plays off of the name by depicting an earth/sky horizon level to the ground. It’s almost annoyingly simple but also surprising that no other airline has done something like it. It’s a smart, attractive, minimalist icon that stands out amidst the wings, globes, and swooshes of the aviation industry. The one weird thing is the minimal contrast the two colors have that makes the icon vibrate and a little hard to discern but I think it adds to some of the mystique of its simplicity. The wordmark is a deadpan uppercase sans serif that I get the feeling someone wasn’t comfortable with the sharp corners it must have had at one point so they rounded the corners just a teeny tiny bit which is neither here nor there. But it’s fine, mostly.
The identity uses a set of icons that look like maritime signal flags — sea, air… all the same — to spruce up communications. They are cool-looking for sure but I wonder if people will try to decipher meaning from them and be annoyed when there isn’t any? The limited color palette of blues and greens plays really well with the abstract geometric compositions. The typography used throughout looks to be the same as the wordmark and does a proper job in establishing a single typographic expression.
The one cliché-ish aspect of the communications is the transformation of regular words into airport-code-like words: WLK instead of Walk, SWM instead of Swim, etc. It feels like it’s trying hard to be cool. Still, the ads do have a cool vibe, especially with the Instagram-y photos and thick, visible margins.
Most airline logos on livery look weird when the windows cut through them but in this case, the intrusion works great with the horizontal symmetry of the icon and the middle bars of the “E”s, making it feel more integrated than slapped on. The tail… there is something odd — in contrast to the blockiness of everything else — to have a diagonal element. It obviously makes sense, as it follows the line of the tail into the fuselage but it feels off. The cabin looks great with the icon set against those stark white headrests. Overall, LEVEL has a very clear youthful, hip personality but its simplicity and directness also helps position it with less youthful and hip flyers who want a good deal and semi-decent flying experience.
Opened in 1994, Göteborgsoperan (The Göteborg Opera) is an opera house at Lilla Bommen, a harbor section in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, with a commanding building designed by Jan Izikowitz. The venue — which attracts 250,000 visitors to over 270 performances per year —
“A Drop in the Bucket”
Opened in 1994, Göteborgsoperan (The Göteborg Opera) is an opera house at Lilla Bommen, a harbor section in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, with a commanding building designed by Jan Izikowitz. The venue — which attracts 250,000 visitors to over 270 performances per year — is home to the Göterburg Opera and the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, one of the foremost contemporary dance companies in Europe. This month, Göteborgsoperan introduced a new identity designed by Stockholm, Sweden-based Happy F&B.
GöteborgsOperan is worth a visit for the architecture alone. Situated in the heart of Scandinavia’s busiest port, the building is inspired both by opera and proximity to water. Its silhouette – reminiscent of the bow of a giant ship – harmonises with the surroundings. The new symbol shimmers like a silver coin visible beneath the water’s surface. It is mutable and in constant motion, an apt metaphor for a vibrant opera house.
We began with an O, as in opera. There are of course many opera houses which use the letter ‘O’ in their logo, so we decided to put our own twist on things by inviting some of our performers to participate in an audiovisual experiment. With the help of a microphone, an amplifier and sound waves generated by vocal chords, movement and instruments – as well as some clever computer work – we were able to create a moving, dynamic identity.
The old logo was a really nice, distinctive monogram that, unfortunately, read as “OG” more than “GO” and without knowing it belonged to the Göteborgsoperan I’m not sure how many people would see the two letters. The wordmark was also pretty nice with the ever-so-slight italic-ness but, apparently, it didn’t have the recognition the organization wanted from its logo. The new logo delivers a memorable and recognizable presence through an “O” — for Opera, natch — that has been dipped in liquid and made to reverberate with sound waves. The result is captured in motion and stills to create an unexpected logo (or set of logos) with rich textures. I’m a fan of the more wobbly, ripple-effect variations vs. the ones that have bubbles in them as the latter have a more soapy texture that I don’t necessarily associate with harbors (or want to associate with harbors). I really enjoy the effort to bring the logo to life and the subtly animated logo on their home page is a great example of how to do it without forcing the issue.
The wordmark, in its condensed and contemporary aesthetic, is a nice complement to the very effusive “O”s. I like the flexibility it has to appear inside or outside the “O” and how it’s always clearly a secondary element, not competing with the main attraction.
As a secondary identity element there are these round oil-and-water compositions that feel like they are from a whole other project, conveying a more science-y feel and they sort of contradict the visual principles set by the “O”, instead of further deploying the ripple/bubble textures. I really dig them on their own and that tote could sell great on Etsy but, as part of this identity, it doesn’t quite gel. Overall, another great example of a cultural space in Europe pushing the graphic boundaries and going beyond what’s expected of classical performances and event spaces.
Established in 2013, Sustain Natural is a brand of all-natural sexual wellness products that includes condoms, lube, wipes, massage oil, balm, and body wash. Founded by the father-daughter team of Jeffrey and Meika Hollender — he previously founded the popular and successful Seventh Generation brand
Established in 2013, Sustain Natural is a brand of all-natural sexual wellness products that includes condoms, lube, wipes, massage oil, balm, and body wash. Founded by the father-daughter team of Jeffrey and Meika Hollender — he previously founded the popular and successful Seventh Generation brand — Sustain Natural is a B Corporation and is FDA approved, Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and has other do-good denominations. Earlier this year, Sustain Natural introduced a new logo and packaging designed by Karim Rashid.
The old logo had the right idea — although I’m not sure a drop of lube is necessarily a good idea in general as the key element of a logo — but the execution was awkward and the slab serif didn’t feel sensuous in any way. Not that the new wordmark does but the rounded sans serif is at least smoother and friendlier, like something you would like to, you know, play with. Still, the wordmark is not the key element of this identity.
The icon is abstract but it also doesn’t require much imagination to understand what it’s trying to represent — at first glance, two lips, yes, but beyond that, the interlocking of multiple other possible body parts. It’s a good-looking icon and it has a playful sensuality to it that works in the context of the product… if you changed the colors to green and blue it could easily be a healthcare logo. Another cool thing about the icon is that it serves as the center point for the illustrations in the packaging.
The bold new packaging design is an extension of Sustain’s mission to de-stigmatize issues around women’s sexual and reproductive health. It features two abstract faces with no distinct facial features to give a sense of gender and sexual freedom, which are joined together by their lips to form two interlocking hearts, conveying the passionate sensation of desire and love.
Sustain Natural provided text
The old packaging had the same problem as the logo in that it looked clinical and, um, dry. Its minimalism was nice but the few graphic elements it had made it look more like some random skin cream. The new packaging revolves around the two ambiguous figures locking lips and instantly conveys a playful look and makes it clear what the product is for. The wordmark sits somewhat oddly at the top and could have probably been a tad smaller to give that area more breathing room. The USDA Organic logo is a little… prominent. On the orange and blue packaging, I’m guessing the thick blue lines are some unfortunate overprinting. I like how the left figure can change colors for different flavors/smells.
Overall, this is a major design and overall personality improvement to a line of products and a company that are doing more than the bare minimum in quality and contributions to others beyond their bottom line.
Launched last month, Method and Madness is a new whiskey brand from Irish Distillers, the largest distiller of Irish whiskey, owned by French drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard S.A.. The new whiskies were conceived by the Masters and Apprentices of Midleton Distillery, one of the oldest and
“Losing my Marbles”
Launched last month, Method and Madness is a new whiskey brand from Irish Distillers, the largest distiller of Irish whiskey, owned by French drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard S.A.. The new whiskies were conceived by the Masters and Apprentices of Midleton Distillery, one of the oldest and most epic distilleries in the world. Method and Madness launches with four whiskies — for connoisseurs: a Single Grain Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Spanish Oak; a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in French Chestnut; a Single Malt Irish Whiskey enhanced with French Limousin Oak; and a 31 Year Old Single Cask, Single Grain Limited Edition bottled at cask strength — with packaging designed by Malmö, Sweden-based M&E.
METHOD AND MADNESS aims to harness the creativity of Midleton’s whiskey masters through the fresh talent of its apprentices. Taking inspiration from the famous Shakespearean quote, ‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t’, METHOD AND MADNESS is designed to reflect a next generation Irish spirit brand with a measure of curiosity and intrigue (MADNESS), while honouring the tradition and expertise grounded in the generations of expertise at the Midleton Distillery (METHOD).
As uncommon as it is, the logo looks its best in the primary, stacked version which is odd because it really highlights why you shouldn’t stack type — especially non monospace type — but the name helps sell the idiosyncratic logo (and it works perfectly on the label). The “MM” monogram is a nice complement and bonus graphic device that subtly alludes to the sometimes necessary embrace of both method and madness to achieve something interesting. Both wordmark and monogram, in their starkness, serve as great accents for the more colorful and expressive packaging.
Inspired by the Masters and Apprentices working side by side at the new micro distillery, the brand identity strives to convey the sense of excitement of when tradition and innovation are combined.
The brand identity uses two opposing patterns throughout all the labeling and packaging. The use of straight lines symbolizes method and order, while the marbled patterns reference madness and liquid experimentation.
The octagonal shape of the bottle was designed to refract and bounce light. The side panel embossings were created to produce a kaleidoscope of patterns within the bottle, bringing method and madness together.
M&E provided text
The packaging feels richly layered with labels divided in three columns: the left showing an ordered pattern (“method”), the middle displaying the logo, and the right showing a custom marbling pattern (“madness”). Like the wordmark, it’s an odd combination but the name supports the literal yet metaphorical translation. The marbling patterns are fun and exotic and I admire that they have “separated” the colors in order to isolate certain strands to be foil stamped in gold (as opposed to printing a full-color image in straight CMYK). The neck labels are almost like the equivalent of a responsive website, where the same long design of the body has been adapted to the shorter footprint and the monogram works as a perfect accent. The one thing that stands out oddly are the bottom labels with the whisky information, looking almost clinical like a prescription medicine bottle but those are the joys of alcohol packaging: facts.
This was clearly a fun project to work on and the involvement of the design team from the start pays off in a product that looks cohesive end to end — versus some packaging projects where a designer is given a shape and have to adapt to it — and any project where you get to do marbling and get paid for it is a good project.
Launched in 2015, Movistar+ is a subscription platform for digital television that resulted from the merger of Canal+ and Movistar TV (originally launched in 2003 and 2001, respectively). Owned by Telefónica and available in various Spanish-speaking countries with its biggest audience in Spain, Movistar+ is
Launched in 2015, Movistar+ is a subscription platform for digital television that resulted from the merger of Canal+ and Movistar TV (originally launched in 2003 and 2001, respectively). Owned by Telefónica and available in various Spanish-speaking countries with its biggest audience in Spain, Movistar+ is the equivalent of subscribing to Sky or DirecTV and offers a wide range of mainstream popular channels as well as its own Movistar-branded theme channels for sports, movies, and other premium content. Coinciding with the update to the main Movistar identity, the Movistar+ identity was designed by Barcelona-based Mucho and Cómodo.
The Canal+ and MovistarTV logos come together to create the new Movistar+. The M+ symbol is a new way of understanding a corporate icon. Instead of functioning as a corporate sign-off, the symbol becomes a talking avatar which embodies the brand values and engages directly with its audience in an everlasting conversation. The icon is the symbol of a superfollower, of recognition and relation with the viewer, of a reposting multiplatform. The ‘movistar+’ logo then signs communication at the bottom. With this structure in mind we developed a consistent and organized brand architecture.
The corporate identity also uses a new typography which produces a corporate visual voice, the vehicle of the conversation. The new brand comes to life with emotion through a real conversation with the user, talking about the shared content, becoming creative, expresive and close, and ultimately generating a community for the brand to live with.
I won’t spend too much time on the logo as most of the opinions follow the same train of thought as the main Movistar logo: cleaner shape, same wordmark, bolder user of the goopy “M”. In this case there is the addition of the plus symbol, which is a “+” in static form but breaks apart to become “› ‹” and function as framing devices for graphics and messaging. It’s a nice update that serves as the foundation for some crazy-comprehensive motion and on-air work.
The graphic language is inspired by the multiscreen culture which surrounds us. We are always connected through different devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, televisions, or printed matter… The multiscreen language allows the brand to reflect this on/off reality, and also express itself through a myriad of channels. The multiscreen graphics develop a rich moving image and photographic language. By combining different pictures in various ways it produces different meanings, different versions of the same stories or jokes, told in different ways. Images are connected, constructed, reflected, related or antagonised making the conversation fun and entertaining, and effectively transforming the corporate identity into a layer of visual content in its own right.
The main visual element and leading motion behavior is a series of “screens” or panels that follow the shapes of common devices like smartphones, tablets, TVs (both 4:3 and 16:9 ratios), or just plain squares. These can accommodate text or images and they spring around the screen, creating fun interactions while also delivering programming information or promotional messaging. The screens introduce a mix of studio-provided imagery (say, Chewbacca) coupled with “user” imagery — which for now look like stock photos and footage but ideally these would be generated/provided by real users — for an interesting mix of corporate-ness and human-ness. The language can get a little too playful or annoyingly hashtag-y but since it has to work in quick bursts I can see why it would be kept somewhat simple. All the typography is handled in a custom (I think) version of Aperçu, which is undeniably effective.
In addition, the ’emovicons’ were produced based on the proportions of the ‘M+’ icon, to further develop an emotional voice for the brand, and a sense of human appearence. The sum of the graphic language elements enhances the conversation, to back up and connected with content which is produced by the viewer, making him the center of the identity.
To add some spice to the identity, there is the addition of the “Emovicons” that use “› ‹” as the basis to create a series of funny faces that, I think, are the best part of the identity in that they introduce something completely new, unexpected, and with plenty of personality. The whole identity is overly colorful and, at times, the Emovicons make things look like a kid’s or teenager’s programming block… I would love to see these evolve into something a little darker, perhaps literally being black and white to serve as a clear point of contrast to the rest of the aesthetic. But I may also be completely wrong in that idea; I just feel like it’s too much of one tone — Playful! We are friends! Still, love the Emovicons.
The new Movistar+ identity reaches its full potential on air, behaving as an expressive tv multiplatform language. The on air avatar logo comes to life with the ‘M’ acting as a visual narrator, and the ‘+’ sign becoming a cursor. The avatar sets the pace and introduces the ’emovicons’. The multiscreen language develops into an endless canvas of scalable content boxes. The combination of these elements creates a seamless identity system, easy to use and to integrate texts, pictures an videos, with chanel information and user content.
The identity pieces use social media codes, using popular internet content or the platform’s own content to generate a fun and surprising language, aimed at talking with the viewer in a natural way. In the ids, the divide between on and offline is blurred by a series of visual metafors. Finally the audiobranding has been concieved as a puzzle of interchanging sounds. This generates an open system, which can grow along with the future communication needs of the platform.
The full range of motion and on-screen behavior is overwhelming… in a good way. There is so much to see and break down from the video above that I have actually put off writing this post for a few days because I couldn’t process all the materials both in terms of preparing them for publication and in figuring out what to say about them. (I have posted about half the materials of what’s available in the 53-slide project page at Mucho.) There are plenty of things to like here, from the audio beeps and bloops that accentuate the animations, to the expanding-shifting screens, to the overlaying of animated Emovicons, to the cohesive user interfaces across devices. In a way, we’ve seen some of these aesthetics and motion behaviors in bits and pieces of other on-air work but the consistency and breadth of application in this case is impressive and entertaining.
In print, the panels and Emovicons translate quite well and they make good use of white space to create focus for the identity elements — the newspaper ads are a particularly good representation, it would be hard not to notice them if you are flipping through a newspaper (if you read newspapers, that is) — and there is a great flexibility to it that allows for something full bleed like the bearded basketball ad to something purely graphic like the top-left ad above. Overall, this is a difficult project as it’s an identity that has to stay consistent across way too many mediums and get the attention of viewers with very different tastes and interests and it has all been done with what is an apparent sense of joy and playfulness.
Launched in 2015, NBC Universo — previously mun2 (2001 – 2015), previously GEMS (1993 – 2001) — is an American cable channel owned by NBCUniversal for the Latin and Spanish-speaking audience. Its main competition are long-standing Univison and Telemundo (the latter also owned by NBCUniversal)
Launched in 2015, NBC Universo — previously mun2 (2001 – 2015), previously GEMS (1993 – 2001) — is an American cable channel owned by NBCUniversal for the Latin and Spanish-speaking audience. Its main competition are long-standing Univison and Telemundo (the latter also owned by NBCUniversal) but NBC Universo is quickly on the rise, reaching 40 million homes and snagging major series like The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy, broadcasting them in Spanish, meaning Jax Teller is now officially a bad hombre. Its programming is a mix of original productions, celeb-realities series, mainstream series, blockbuster movies, sports, and live shows. Last month, NBC Universo introduced a new identity and on-air look designed by New York, NY-based Trollbäck+Company.
Universo’s new positioning, “Breaking Boundaries,” inspired us to propel the brand design far beyond its competition. Impactful animation and bold minimalism create a modern look that embraces the spirit of a young, diverse Hispanic audience. Our content-first approach strengthens Universo’s programming slate of hit originals, global sports, and premium mainstream shows presented in Spanish.
As I was writing about the old logo I thought “Weird, this sounds familiar” because I had forgotten I had written about the change from from mun2 to NBC Universo in 2015 and my opinion this morning was mostly the same as it was back then, which is that the old logo was heavily NBC-branded — understandable, of course — but so NBC-ish that it barely allowed for anything else to be built into it. Also, that dipping “R” was terrible. The new logo is still NBC-ish but less so. By dropping the actual NBC letters and keeping the peacock in a single color, all of a sudden it feels less like a licensed brand and more like its own thing where there is more synergy between the recognizable icon and the name that immediately signals “Spanish”. The icon-wordmark relationship is just right and allows for perfect reading as “NBC Universo”, especially now that it’s all a single color. Funny how different the wordmarks feel because it’s the exact same thing minus the dipping “R” which made the old logo look unnecessarily fuzzy.
One of the main hooks of the identity is the fragmentation of elements, with “UNI” and “VERSO” appearing in different orientations and locations — worth noting that these fragments are set in a different font than the wordmark — and show titles and info and talent shots filling in the blank spaces. Even the peacock gets scaled big and cut off every now and then, which is kind of mind-blowing they were allowed to do that.
The design language was developed in tandem with a new Latin-inspired sonic identity. Working with Grammy Award-winning producer José Luis Pardo, the percussion-heavy rhythms and ambient environments directly inform the motion theory for all animated elements.
If the static applications have an inherent energy to them, it’s nothing compared to the mini party that is the on-air package. Building on a magnificent sonic identity that makes you want to shake your rump and break out the maracas, the typography dances on screen with great energy and rhythm. This approach could have easily turned into a Carnival/Mariachi stereotype but instead takes highly recognizable audio notes from Latin music to create a contemporary burst of Hispanic/Latin flavor that (me falling in that category) I find very genuine and energizing. The typography behavior on screen also manages to overcome any clichés and while it’s an aesthetic that could fit any other channel, its synching with the music infuses it with the right cultural flavor, all done through what is pretty minimalistic typography.
The promos above, most likely done in-house after the guidelines were handed over, show how well this system can both adapt to any show and establish a recognizable visual and aural style that will help NBC Universo stand out from Univison and Telemundo. Overall, this is one of my favorite on-air looks for a TV channel in a while in how it combines typographic simplicity with musical diversity resulting in a restrained explosion of rhythm.