Edgy Slant to Fox Rebranding

Sep 5, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Fox Broadcasting ripped apart its logo to make way for a new graphics package that went on the air last week.

“We thought it was time for a fresh coat of paint,” said Chris Carlisle, executive VP of marketing for Fox. “The look and feel is a lot slicker and younger.”

The new look, developed by Troika Design Group, is based on the diagonal line in the letter X. “X is a very sexy letter and a dynamic letter,” Mr. Carlisle said.

In network promos and IDs, the Fox logo is slashed on that diagonal and turned into shards. “Everything comes off that 38-degree angle,” Mr. Carlisle said. “It’s our signature and our dividing line.”

That diagonal is also used as a frame for pictures of the actors featured in Fox shows. “We were very happy with the way we were portraying our talent on the air and wanted to keep that as a consistent element,” he said.

The graphics use different colors for different show types: Dramas are blue, comedies are yellow. Other shades, such as red, are used for shows that are more edgy.

Fox’s old look was 4 years old. Small changes had been made over the years, which made it look a bit like a patchwork, Mr. Carlisle said. The new look is timed for the new season, in which Fox has jumped out of the box first with the successful launch of “Prison Break.” It also follows a season in which Fox finished first in ratings in the key 18 to 49 demographic.

Mr. Carlisle said Troika got the task of designing the new graphics package after Fox talked to several agencies. “They had the best handle on the brand,” he said. With a branding project, the design group has to know what it’s doing because of all the elements involved, he said. “Taking a design and putting it into production is a very specialized talent.”

Dan Pappalardo, executive creative director at Troika-which also works with ABC, E! Entertainment, UPN, Food Network, ESPN, Comedy Central, HGTV, Fine Living, TV Guide Channel and VH1-said the goal of the new Fox graphics package was to reflect the network’s position in the marketplace, which is young and innovative.

“Slicing the logo is a rebellious kind of thing,” he said.

The graphics needed to be consistent across the brand yet flexible enough to represent a broad range of programming.

The network also wanted a package for its affiliates that individual stations could customize.

The graphics use both two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer-generated effects. “Production value is very important to us,” said Chuck Carey, executive producer at Troika. “You want to make sure we’re conveying quality, so we put a lot of effort in making sure that the production value is very high.”

Mr. Carlisle declined to reveal the cost of the new graphics package. But he said graphics can make a big difference to viewers: “This is the wrapping paper around our product. It really makes a statement as to who we are.”

The way the network schedules its bumpers and promos won’t change. But he said the program information would be a bigger part of its graphics, lasting a full four seconds, even in 10-second promos. “If people didn’t get the information about where and when a program would be airing, it was a misfire,” he said.