Spike recently tapped New York-based branding and creative agency Juniper Jones to create a new on-air identity. The cable network unveiled its new look – and tagline “Spike: The Ones To Watch” – at its annual upfront presentation on March 3, the same day it went live on-air.
“As Spike evolves from a male network to a general entertainment brand, it’s important that the network maintains a unique point of view,” said 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,” said 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.”
The network design mandate called for clean, digitally-conscious designs. 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.
To promote content and tentpole network events as prominently and efficiently as possible, Juniper Jones focused 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.
The longevity of the graphics package was equally important.
“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,” explained 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.”
Juniper Jones coded the package in order for Spike’s in-house broadcast design team to be able 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,” explained 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.”