Exclusive: ARTE’s Ambitious (27 Ident) Kaleidoscopic Rebrand


Oh how I’ve been looking forward to sharing this one with you. Leading European (German/French) television channel ARTE has just unveiled a stunningly ambitious new rebrand.

The Strasbourg-based network has taken a rather high-concept and revolutionary approach to the new identity, hand crafting a kaleidoscope of surreal storytelling made of no less than 27 new idents. Each “scene” can be accessed through an interactive map on Arte’s website.

For those unfamiliar with ARTE, the channel, launched originally in 1992, explains: “Inspiration, creativity, and vitality have always been qualities ARTE nurtures and cherishes about itself. ARTE is on the move and believes in continually reinventing itself. The new corporate design reflects this philosophy with its unfolding perspectives and insight. It joins peaceful and poetic moves with dynamic motion, challenging the viewer to make new associations.”

The new on-screen identity is made of a giant visual kaleidoscopic world, with each stage or “scene” illustrated via idents delivered through a hand drawn map. Viewers are introduced to newly familiar characters, young and old, in various scenarios.

ARTE "Sculpture"

You’ll notice the on-screen logo morph via a new visual medium, a raw 3 dimensional orange sculpture. The ARTE logo sculpture takes a different shape each time it appears and is a lead cue into junctions.

Individual storylines converge with surprising twists in “a loop where the end becomes the beginning”. Nearly all the visual iconography and imagery was shot outdoors, bringing a lush, organic quality to the spots. The idents were developed without the use of heavy effects, leaving “a lot of room for free association”.

As I’m seeing more often these days (as an increasing desire to encourage and nurture original creativity), the rebrand was not traditionally tendered to pitch by singular agencies- rather, a European team of top visual on-air, print, and digital creatives was led by ARTE Creative Director Ulli Krieg for the brand assignment. Special thanks to ARTE.

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Filed under branding, channel identity, ident

4 responses to “Exclusive: ARTE’s Ambitious (27 Ident) Kaleidoscopic Rebrand

  1. Brave approach. This could be viewed as an extension of the type of graphical fragmentation we’ve seen a lot of in recent years (eg. Rudd’s latest Ch.4 rebrand) into narrative. The live-action looks good – I almost didn’t need to see the ‘sculpture’, which seems a little arbitrary and lacking in distinction for a device with such an important role, although I like the rest of the graphic design. Be interesting to see how it develops over time, presumably they intend to update the story every so often – the more frequently the better, I’d say.

  2. Martin

    Interesting and quite refreshing. Agree with Steve above in that we are likely to see this story evolve and develop further over time. Seriously- we’re big fans of the blog, please keep sharing work like this.

  3. Ambitious to say the least, kudos to their approach. There’s far too much safe these days, which equals a general lack of distinct channel personality in the multichannel universe. Some channels say they have personality, but rarely take bold and brave steps to prove it. This is certainly a nice fresh take.

    Keep up the fantastic work Denny- we always eagerly look for new posts from you.


  4. I have been following the ARTE Broadcast Design for some years, and it has always been an inspirational channel. I must say that I really expected much more. Yes, I agree that it’s an ambitious approach, bearing in mind what ARTE has been doing for the last couple of years. Firstly, the decision to “straighten” the ARTE Logo didn’t seem natural to me, knowing that it was that little detail that differentiated ARTE visually from all other channels, always reflecting the different character the channel has. Second, the stories that ARTE told in their ID’s were always so well thought, emotional and poetic, and in the new ones I feel that little has been done to keep up that line of story-telling. And yes, I agree with Steve, there was no need for the 3-dimensional sculpture, it just doesn’t really fit with the stories being told.
    I like the way typography has been developed and re-designed, and it looks great but again, un-straighten the logo, it looked much better 🙂


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