New York-based design agency Trollbäck + Company (T+Co) recently created the branding package for The Late Late Show with James Corden, which debuted March 23 on CBS. Featuring a new logo and a classic late-night show open, the identity represents a new era on CBS as Craig Ferguson‘s successor James Corden brings his own signature blend of humor and warmth to the long-running late night talk show.
The brief for T+Co was to creatively introduce Corden and his offbeat sidekick Reggie Watts, who serves as both announcer and leader of the show’s first-ever house band. “It was important to communicate the fun and renewed energy of the show as well as its home in Los Angeles,” said T+Co creative director Elliott Chaffer.
T+Co embarked on the project a new logo for the fourth installment of the franchise. The wordmark juxtaposes “Late Late” in neon cursive writing with a white sans-serif font against a black backdrop. The cursive portion of the logo was designed by hand before giving it a 3D treatment in Cinema 4D.
The show open also features an unmistakably L.A. vibe, with Corden and Watts frolicking throughout various L.A. landmarks – from Venice Beach to Hollywood Boulevard.
T+Co achieved the aesthetic primarily in-camera, using an array of shooting rigs and lighting techniques, including Snorri cams, which attach to the body to keep the person centered in frame, and Pixelsticks, which Watts spun to essentially draw unique fluorescent patterns on the screen.
“Pixelsticks are an exciting piece of new technology that lets you print beautiful neon designs in mid-air with long camera exposures,” explained Chaffer. “We got amazing results with them that really embodied the free spirit of the show, which dovetailed throughout the production of the open. It’s great when clients like CBS give you the freedom to experiment visually and conceptually – especially when it works.”
During pre-production, Chaffer storyboarded various late-night backdrops to visually connect with the logo-inspired palette – from a purple-infused beach sunset to the neon lights of Hollywood nights. With only one day to shoot, Chaffer said that serendipity had a hand in realizing the visual motif. They encountered and shot LED-lit beach cruisers, a magnificent sunset on the boardwalk following a rare rain shower in Los Angeles, and, of course, Corden and Watts in a lowrider next to a street art mural.
“James is a lovely guy and a consummate professional,” said Chaffer. “He was always prepared during the shoot even though he had lots going simultaneously as he was gearing up for his big debut. Reggie was amazing too – a charismatic force of nature. They both brought a lot of energy and ideas to the set to make the open exceptional and on par with the show itself.”