At an upfront event on Tuesday this week, US male-oriented network unveiled a slate of new programmes an initiatives that it hopes will make it more attractive to both genders. This included a new logo and the slogan "Spike: The Ones To Watch". The 'slice' from the logo is a recurring tool in the graphics package.
Update March 10: The visual identity was created by bluemarlin and the on-air graphics graphics was developed by New York-based agency Juniper Jones with Spike's in-house creative team. The new identity was designed to work across platforms and includes a vast toolkit of colours and typefaces that should give Spike a varied on screen appearance. The new logo reflects what has been dubbed "approachable edginess", the network's move from all male-focused programming to something more inclusive.
From a press release (archive):
"“We have successfully transformed Spike from a hyper-fueled network for young guys into a distinctive entertainment destination that’s inclusive and female friendly,” said Kevin Kay, President, Spike. “We built that foundation with gender-balanced original hits like “Bar Rescue” and “Ink Master, ” Now those hits are paving the way for the next step in our development with shows like “Tut” and “Lip Sync Battle.” The new Spike has got it all: big talent, engaging shows, and hits that get people talking. We are the ones to watch.”
The tagline “Spike: The Ones To Watch” encompasses the network’s strategic shift to a general entertainment network delivering compelling original entertainment with an edge and a distinctive point of view. It speaks to the network’s bold personalities and a brand pushing the boundaries of the unexpected. With a dynamic multi-platform redesign, Spike’s on-air look will reflect the brand’s evolution."
A video montage of the graphics:
A press release from Blue Marlin:
The Viacom-owned entertainment network is shifting from a male-centric brand positioning to one that appeals to a wider audience and delivers original programming created to engage, inspire and push the boundaries of the unexpected. This transformation is driven by the empowering maxim, “Broad with Edge,” which turns classic convention on its head and disrupts the norm to face the future.
The new brandmark is a visual representation of approachable edginess. It features clean, classic typography, establishing appeal that expands past ultra-masculine connotations to a broader audience. The diagonal “edge” is the revolutionary element that breaks the norm, creating movement and tension.
Spike’s new “edge” runs through the full visual identity. Contrasting imagery and color are both divided and connected at the same 46.11-degree angle. A bold B&W primary color palette compliments the sharp, high contrast identity system and is accented by unexpected and sophisticated tones. Photography is used to tell a story – it is vivid and editorial, allowing the viewer to become immersed in situations and characters.
Working with Brooklyn-based creative agency and production company Juniper Jones, the identity comes alive on-air with swift and sleek movement. The diagonal “edge” creates seamless transitions, opening and closing to introduce programming, further showcasing the dynamism of the Spike’s new brand mark. Juniper Jones's work on the on-air identity also provided direction to the digital expression of the brand, ensuring that Spike retains the impact of the brand identity in the digital world.
Additionally, bluemarlin has laid the foundation of the new Spike brand identity in a beautiful and inspiring brand bible, produced in limited numbers for Spike’s key team members.
Terry Minogue, Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing & Creative at Spike comments, “Spike has always been a brand that pushes the boundaries of the unexpected through its programming and attitude. Bluemarlin has produced a simple mark with disruption, creating a visual shift that represents a confident step forward for our brand, but retains the edge that has characterised Spike from the very beginning.”
“As the concept came to life, we knew it had the potential to be a great fit for Spike,” comments Marcus Hewitt, Executive Creative Director bluemarlin New York. "The cut across the letterforms reinforces the name and encapsulates the energy of Spike, but it’s still a simple iconic mark that will appeal to a new generation of viewers. The mark is able to communicate so much with minimal means, which is the mark of a successful identity.”
Two samples of trailers using the new look:
From a press release from Juniper Jones:
Spike brought in Juniper Jones to help create a contemporary on-air look that would reflect its position as one of the world’s leading creators of boundary-pushing programming and content across all media platforms; and holistically express the attitude of the Spike brand and its relationship with viewers.
“As Spike evolves from a male network to a general entertainment brand, it’s important that the network maintains a unique point of view,” says Terry Minogue, Spike’s Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Creative. “Working with Juniper Jones, Spike was able to bring that edge to life through a distinct multi-platform design and animation system that allows our content to shine.”
“Spike wanted their new on-air identity to authentically resonate with its audience by speaking ‘with’ them rather than ‘at’ them,” says Juniper Jones Founder/Creative Director Kevin Robinson. “It also needed to feel equally at home on TVs and digital devices, so we took a platform-agnostic approach to all of our designs.”
Juniper Jones embraced the network design mandate, which called for clean, digitally-conscious designs. As a result, translating the graphics to all of the various digital platforms was equally crucial. According to Robinson, digital figured into how they created and structured every asset for broadcast – from aesthetic choices, such as color palettes and fonts to the animation style, which mimics the haptic and tactile gestures of online media.
The inherent challenge was creating a unified on-air look that reinforced the Spike brand and its broad range of 24-7 programming. To promote such content and tentpole network events as prominently and efficiently as possible, Juniper Jonesfocused heavily on lower thirds; and throughout the entire package, they designed on-air graphics in such a way that put show footage and photography center stage.
Aside from a clean, structured look, the longevity of the Spike brand was equally integral to designing the on-air package.
“We wanted to ensure that the brand didn't stagnate after six months, so we designed flexible on-air toolkits with a vast palette of options,” explains Juniper Jones Creative Director Kelli Miller. “By introducing a range of sophisticated accent colors in a restrained black-and-white palette – with a handful of carefully curated display fonts – we were able to expand the design options nearly endlessly.”
This creative solution required Juniper Jones’ technical savvy, including coding as much of the package as possible on the backend for Spike’s in-house broadcast design team to deploy the assets with ease.
“With the number of color and font options, and many other variables from which to choose, our package required some coding,” says Robinson, who is also CEO of sister tech company Glif. “We believe that user-experience and functionality is integral to good design, so After Effects toolkits were created to function at the highest level for Spike. They are like scaled-down, next-level programs in and of themselves.”
Juniper Jones also collaborated with Brooklyn-based branding and design agency bluemarlin, which created Spike’s visual branding identity. This included an updated logo that Juniper Jones brought to life on-air with swift and sleek movement. A dynamic manifestation of Spike's new positionas anetwork, the diagonal edge of the brand mark creates seamless transitions, opening and closing to introduce programming.
“Spike knows who they are, and where they want to go,” concludes Robinson. “We were ecstatic to be a part of guiding their journey as a multi-platform brand with much more mature and sophisticated content on the horizon. Everyone we worked with at Spike, from the creative and advertising to the design teams, were all extremely collaborative, open and insightful along the process.”
Credits for the on-air graphics, from Juniper Jones:
Executive Vice President of Brand Marketing & Creative: Frank J. Tanki
Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Creative: Terry Minogue
Senior Vice President of Operations of Brand Marketing & Creative: Iness Pleus
Senior Director of Production, Design of Brand Marketing & Creative: Ian Kahn
Creative Director, Design of Brand Marketing & Creative:: Andre Razo
Senior Art Director of Brand Marketing & Creative: Michael Sutton-Long
Project Director, Design of Brand Marketing & Creative: Trisha Novy
Project Manager of Brand Marketing & Creative: Erin Scolaro
Branding & Creative Agency: Juniper Jones
Founder / Executive Creative Director: Kevin Robinson
Executive Producer: Ryan McRee
Creative Director: Kelli Miller
Technology Used: After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and Adobe Premiere
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