LOS ANGELES, CA and DELFT, THE NETHERLANDS Combining their distinct creative skills and resources, award-winning design studios Onesize and yU+Co teamed together to deliver the comprehensive redesign of G4, the LA-based network seen in 61 million homes that boasts being the fastest growing network on television in 2006.
“We were looking for a network redesign that was unique and sophisticated with a point of differentiation that we could build on to help carry any number of programming and marketing initiatives,” said Scott Bantle, G4’s Senior VP of Creative Services. “This turned out to be that and much more.”
As a network, G4 covers a lot of entertainment ground featuring shows about technology, gadgets, video games, web culture and beyond all aimed squarely at a male 18-34 demographic. From a branding standpoint, the new G4 look needed to encapsulate all of those diverse interests in way that resonated with their core audience.
When Onesize was invited to the pitch by G4, the company saw it as an ideal project to team with yU+co. Working together on the initial pitch and overall design idea, the two companies responded with a concept that made the crucial visual connections G4 needed. But in an interesting twist, the redesign also empowers G4 with an amazing amount of customization and control over the design so they could internally create an infinite amount of specialized, program-specific animation sequences.
For Rogier Hendriks, Co-Founder/Creative Director of Onesize, the notion of providing G4 this level of control was precisely what they needed. “We wanted to create a look that would encapsulate all of the network’s components into one iconic image, while at the same time give them everything they needed to create their own specialized short animations within the framework of our design,” says Hendriks. “Basically the redesign is a big toolkit consisting of about 300 different animation sequences.”
In broadstrokes, the look consists of an array of 3D animated photo-real images of such G4-centric items as an iPod, a classic video game joystick, and a hip cellphone, all hovering around a silhouetted box shape containing the G4 logo. In the background, bold colors are accented by a circular pattern that visually suggests a tornado of iconic images complete with wires dangling everywhere coming together inside the G4 logo and tagline “TV That’s Plugged In.”
The key to the design is that it never has to look the same way twice. Every aspect from the color of the background textures to the specific imagery is customizable, with Onesize and yU+co creating hundreds animation sequences that can be stacked in any way imaginable.
From a workflow perspective, yU+co modeled and animated a library of 3D elements, which were then passed to Onesize to be animated. Once the animations were refined, Onesize sent them back to yU+co to present to G4.
“During the pitch we went back and forth with Garson, (Yu, yU+co Founder/Creative Director),” said Kasper Verweij, Co-Founder/Creative Director of Onesize. “We deliberately avoided clichÃƒÂ©d technology imagery and strove to make the visuals work in a powerful way with the audio tracks.” Composer Jeff Dodson of Runsilent, Hollywood, CA created the audio tracks, which are also fully customizable.
While it’s unusual for two design companies who might normally compete against each other to collaborate so closely, for Garson Yu, this is the future for the global minded design studio. “This was a great experience for us to work with a European company that we truly respect, ” said Yu. “It helped us grow as a company to work with new people with different ideas and ways of communicating. I’m proud of what we accomplished together.”
Client: G4 Network
Project: Network redesign
President: Neal Tiles
Senior VP of Creative Services: Scott Bantle
Director of Design: Rick Hassen
Producer: Tricia Porter
Design/Post: Onesize, Delft, The Netherlands; yU+co, Los Angeles
Creative Directors: Rogier Hendriks, Kaspar Verweij, Garson Yu
Executive Producer: Michelle Maples
Music/Sound Design: Runsilent, Hollywood, CA
Composer: Jeff Dodson
Quicktimes of G4 redesign: