3sat is a public television channel for the German-speaking countries. This advertising-free channel was founded in 1984 as a collaboration between the public broadcasters ZDF in Germany, ORF in Austria and SRG in Switzerland. Its schedule complements the domestic public channels in the German countries with programmes on culture and science.
Earlier this year, on April 16, 3sat launched a new on-air-look, created by the German motion design agency Velvet Mediendesign. The new look is inspired by the channel's slogan, Anders Fernsehen, which is play on words, and can mean both "Different television" and "Watch television differently".
The concept behind the new ID spots is called "The Magic of 3", and divides the screen into three parts that slide vertically to alter the image and the story. A compilation of the new idents can be seen below:
Even though 3sat doesn't broadcast in HD yet, the idents are produced in widescreen HD fomat in anticipation of a future launch. The music was produced by Largoland Musicproduction in Berlin.
Trailers and other on-screen presentation presentation uses the vertical slide effect seen in the IDs. 3sat's signature typeface is Gill Sans Bold Condensed, which is used in all on-air graphics and in most programmes originally produced for the channel. 3sat has a long relation with this this typeface, having used it for at least twenty years.
The previous on-air design was introduced on July 1, 2003, along with channel's current logo. It launched red as 3sat's signature colour, which dominates most on-screen graphics. It also included a large number of ID spots where people are filmed with "dolly zoom" effect, also known as the "Vertigo effect". The 2003 IDs were created by a production company from Frankfurt called Filmstyler, while the logo was developed in-house at ZDF. After its introduction, this graphics package has only gone through minor changes, the most significant being the switch to widescreen when the IDs were cropped.
The image below shows the basic structure of the new idents:
Velvet have published a lengthy description of their concept, which is re-posted here for posterity:
This is the re-design velvet did for 3sat, the public tv station covering 3 German speaking countries: Switzerland, Germany & Austria. It is an intellectually demanding, but also informative and entertaining client with a high variety of viewer and a program with the emphasis on culture and science. Opposite to their old design, originating from 2003 which was based on peoples portraits, the new design had to find the strong, intelligent and unique focus on the number and term: 3. Still, the human factor had to find the resumption in this trinity, so the stories circle around „me myself & I“ as a symbol of self-search and self-finding. These are short stories of the triad where the happening within the compressed life allows the curious continuances, with „3“ as a symbolic and important carrier of the branding freed from the boxed format, demanding the 3D space. Third time is a charm. That good old principle was the stimulating point for our creativity. Dialogue becomes a trialogue.
3 elements tell a different drama than just 2, so. We already gained a different perception of the basic narration in the „trialog“.
The principle of watching differently encouraged the creatives to develop a movement, which is hardly used on TV. Vertical animation, vertical formats and vertical constellations. The vertical movements, like that of a slot machine, trigger out the shifting of the worlds and happenings which then appear in new fantastic constellations with a space left for surprises, where the, by velvet adopted, channels claim „anders fernsehen“ (a play of words: „watching tv differently“) becomes it‘s confirmation. Using the „slot machine“ principle the constellation of the narrative get some something „driven by destiny“ or „shaken by hasard“, so the channel idents can be revamped by changing the ingredients of the „trialog“ every time. We obtain a surprisingly different perception of a, never seen before, TV design mechanism. The graphical red element is taken over from the channel‘s CI and becomes the continuous thread gaining that expressive & specific look. The white number 3 on the red background, which makes the central iconic channel communication. The graphic also plays with the vertical split of the image area presenting its program and brand information to the viewer in that way; left third for the programm indications, middle part includes cut-outs from program-previews, the right third is used for the branding as well as the claim. The re-brand had it‘s start on 16th of april with 11 brand idents produced in 16:9 HD format. The second series of further 11 idents will go on-air later this year.
Accompanying the TV idents rebrand, velvet also designed the whole print campaign which was shot on mid-format as a channel‘s communication extension to the idents. The same principle: all good things come in threes.
3sat - Im Trialog (archive)
Press release (archive)
Youtube: Ident compilation
Facebook: Ident compilation and credits from Velvet
Press release 2003 (archive)