W Channel Rebrand
Art&Graft have designed and developed the branding, OSP and idents for UKTV’s rebrand of Watch to premium, flagship entertainment channel ‘W’.
UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, W, offers audiences a dazzling mix of original factual entertainment formats - Get Me To The Church, Honey I Bought the House - alongside the gold standard of shows from the US including Code Black, Grimm and The Strain plus jewels from the very best of the BBC and Channel 4.
With bold ambitions to challenge the comfort zone of women's TV and offer viewers smart escapism and rewarding journeys, the branding needed to mirror this brave strategy, whilst also working with a broad range of content. Our solution was to create a strong, confident design system that reflects the modern personalities of this female demographic, while also being welcoming and appealing to wider audiences. Sidestepping overtly feminine design tropes - pink, fluffy, soft - we have created an authoritative, premium channel brand that audiences, especially women, can relate to, be inspired by, trust to curate great content and most importantly be entertained by.
The new diamond W logo is at the heart of the rebrand and embodies the brand proposition of smart escapism. The logo, a striking diamond shape, not only provides a strong visual identity but also conceptually encapsulates the brand proposition providing a portal through which the viewer can journey and discover exciting content and moments of bravery.
Using the chiseled edge of a diamond to give the W the look of a cut jewel, the logo acts like a treasure at the end of the journey, the rewarding viewing experience of W. It's a strong graphic shape that the channel can own, craft in many ways and it provides a graphic transition between environments.
Drawing from editorial design, print and fashion, the visual language of the channel revolves around the clean, bold use of typography, strong compositions and premium, tactile textures.
The design is constructed around a strong diamond shaped grid system; a hidden grid that is exposed by how softer, more luxurious textures rest upon it. The use of the grid and 3D finishes in this way allow us to encapsulate the many facets of the core audience and content, but also add a tactility not often found in channel branding.
The chosen colour palette helps reinforce the premium feel of the brand, using a strong blue as the hero brand colour with gold highlights to add a softer, feminine feel and subtle touch of luxury.
With such a broad range of content, across different genres, the overall packaging and brand colours had to be suitable for use alongside all eventualities. This helped steer the use of different coloured backgrounds as the brand needed to be flexible in the way it talked about shows. Our 3 primary brand colours allow for all types of content and tones of voice to be used, whilst maintaining the premium, intriguing and tactile look and feel.
The type needed to feel authoritative, modern and bold. A single typeface (Wayfarer by Jeremy Tankard) provides a solid anchor for an otherwise variable package. The condensed font and diamond full stop sits perfectly alongside the textures and design details of the packaging.
The type typically unifies and grounds the graphics with the least copy possible and opened up the possibility of the channel being able to directly communicate with the viewers via editable BEOP's.
A set of idents work together with the OSP to bring to life the central theme of bravery that runs through W and the content - taking a chance, life changing moments or making a choice. Part of a series of idents which will continue to be produced, the first set focuses on interpretative moments of everyday bravery, tied together by the setting of a corridor.
“The central themes of the brand proposition, ‘Smart Escapism’ and ‘Endless Journeys,’ were key to all our creative thinking. We wanted the W idents to be intelligent and multifaceted, like the audiences it would be speaking to, and take the viewer on a continuous journey through moments of everyday bravery. With our diamond motif as a transition point, this led us to think about using the idea of forward movement; moving outside of our comfort zone and pushing on regardless of obstacles which is reflected in the scenes we pass through.
When developing our visual approach we talked a lot about the many different facets and layers to a modern women, and wanted the idents to somehow reflect this, exploring concepts around an ‘onion skin’ device and what may happen when passing through layer after layer when travelling to the core. We saw the central channel logo as being the viewers reward for going on this journey with us; being rewarded at the end of the journey by finding this jewel in the centre.
Taking this concept and placing it in real-life scenarios led us to our final approach; creating an endless journey by looping together sections of multiple, diverse scenes.”
Concept, Design and Direction by Art&Graft
Mike Moloney & William Mercer, Art&Graft
Scott Russell, UKTV
Clement Bolla & Martin Salfity, Art&Graft
Animators working as part of the in-house team at Art&Graft:
Diego Ghirardo, Sebastian Livingston, Marcos Savignano, Sam Munnings, Arnaud Dumeyni, Sean Kothe, Dave Bergin
Strategic Creative Consultant : Tony Linkson
Head of Entertainment Marketing: Gareth Barker, UKTV
Senior Brand Manager: Sarah Yeoman, UKTV
Helen Randall & Madeleine Martinez, Art&Graft
Celia Bayne, UKTV
DoP: Ben Moulden
1st AD: Andrew Potter
Production Design: Stripeland
Offline Edit, Post Production & VFX: Art&Graft
Grade: Jack McGinity, Time Based Arts
Additional VFX: Stephen Grasso, Time Based Arts
Music & Sound Design: Resonate