john christopher burns DESIGN

email is jcb at thisdomain,
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Graphics you can count on.


WFTV reinforces their leadership position with a package that pulled the channel together.

Orlando's ABC affiliate had a lot going for it, including good people and mostly good equipment. What they were struggling with involved coherence, consistency, and a way to get their messages across. I say "messages" plural, because their slogans were "Coverage You Can Count On," "Central Florida's News Leader," and they wanted to throw in "Live Local Latebreaking" for good measure.

And, oh yeah, their "team coverage" concept would be branded "Coverage Team." Okay...can do. But first, I wanted to conduct what I call a "design audit" and get a sense of what typefaces and colors we can narrow things down to. This is always a challenge, because in many newsrooms, producers seem to go out of their way to ask for design that's always different...which usually means inconsistent. Design departments (in my experience) try hard to give producers just what they want, but don't have a chance to step back and look at the big picture and say "what are we saying to our viewers about what we are?"

So that's what really succeds in this package, I think. We came up with a flexible, but not all-over-the-map set of typefaces, colors, and animation that all pivot well off of the logo in the lower-right corner of the screen. I worked closely with the station's design staff to make sure that the implementation of the elements as a toolkit of choices was as well thought out as the design itself. We had bold, primary colors, lots of brand identification, and a strong, cohesive result.