The 2015 season of ESPN’s Monday Night Football opened with a new graphics package designed by Santa Monica-based Big Block and ESPN Creative. Football fans were introduced to a historical show open created by ESPN, plus new graphics, animation, team history bumps specific to each game and a redesigned MNF shield logo designed by Big Block.
The heightened energy of the new graphics is intended to build excitement and anticipation.
Big Block creative directors Curtis Doss and Shaun Collings, ESPN Creative senior director of motion graphics Spike Szykowny and art director Lucas Nickerson collaborated on the project, keeping the look consistent and seamlessly integrated with ESPN’s gameplay graphics. Last year, the same team collaborated on a rebrand of ESPN.
Every element (more than 100, complete with tool kits) has a reason to be there and ties back to the ESPN identity, down to the shifting planes of action, which mimic the stacked video screens that are arrayed in ESPN’s 9,000-square-foot NFL studio.
The package features the intense luminosity of arena concert lighting displays and saturated tones of black, red, blue and white, echoing the colors of the re-imagined MNF logo, now with a more modern and more abstract appearance. It was important to both ESPN and Big Block to retain the well-known logo, but also infuse it with a new aesthetic.
Production on the graphics package ran from March to the beginning of August. During that time, the ESPN and Big Block creative teams met twice a week to collaborate, taking cues from Jay Rothman, ESPN Monday Night Football producer as well as ESPN’s vice president of production, and director Chip Dean, who are experts in staging with years of live broadcast experience.