A New Angle to Channel 4 Branding

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On New Years Eve 2005, Channel 4 launched a redesign that proclaimed to “recapture the boldness and dynamism of the channel’s original logo but in a thoroughly 21st century way”. That distinctive, multi-barred logo was the creation of Martin Lambie-Nairn back in 1982.

With Creative Director Brett Foraker leading the Channel 4 team with London-based Rudd Studio, the rebrand picked up near instant international recognition and a multitude of awards.

It’s a rather daunting challenge to take a beloved brand and evolve it. If you are one of the creative agencies currently pitching for the big channel rebrand reviews going on at the moment, you know you’re working with a lot of statistical data, research, and oodles of public (and private) opinion. There is a fine line between evolving and devolving, taste and tack. And herein lies one of the exciting design challenges of rebrands of this scope.

In June 2010, the decision was made to develop another evolution of the Channel 4 brand, first focusing on the on-screen presentation. It was deemed important to keep the iconic logo center stage, but with a need to look at the logo in a brand new way. Rudd Studio was called upon to re-ignite the progressive design aesthetic with fluidity and visualize it in more “oblique ways”.

Matt Rudd worked closely with animation director Oscar Gonzalez to develop a “cubist way of seeing the logo”, viewing it from two angles at once. It seemed appropriate for the channel to see things in an unusual way, as the logo remained recognizable, even with only small details of it revealed.

Many of the original on-air elements were designed to incorporate video or photographic images. This framing device is heavily leveraged in the newest graphics package which includes 100 1-second stings, with animating textures which contain some stunning photography. Designer/director Sylvie Minois worked closely with Rudd, with photograph credits to Rudd, Minois, and Eleanor Ridsdale.

The result is a pretty beautiful evolution of an already strong identity. If you missed the article on the newest C4 idents, you can catch that here, or just view them after the jump. My deets: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or just email me and say hi.

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Filed under branding, channel identity, ident

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