Friday, April 30, 2010

Viasat - Nature & Crime channels

 If I was to say to you that I recently visited a TV network with, 16 free to air channels, 20 subscription channels and 2 Video On Demand channels broadcasting to 27 countries – mainly in Scandanavia and the Baltic regions, you would not imagine that this would be situated in a very ordinary office block situated just North of Heathrow in Middlesex.

Yet Viasat, owned by Modern Times Group, does just that.  I am told that although it doesn’t broadcast any of its channels in the UK, it is located here because of our more relaxed rules about advertising – if it originates in the UK, then it counts as a UK broadcast.  Even more incredibly they only have an average of 6 graphic designers, and 30 promo producers working at any one time.  As I was shown around by Creative Director Marta Moe, I realised this is an example of amazing efficiency.

She also told me that they hardly ever use UK- based design companies for their re-brands. A recent example is the one I have for you here.  SImon Mitchell, one of the other creative directors, has just sent me this.  They have just launched brand new crime and nature channels (called rather sensibly "Crime" and Nature"…) with idents for both supplied by Dream On in Paris.

Viasat Crime idents - Body & Cop from Tim Rabjohns on Vimeo.

What I like about these is that both of the central ideas for each are incredibly simple, but very classily delivered.  None of the images for the Crime sequences – dead bodies, autopsy equipt etc is particularly original, but with the slow, chilling piano track and the dramatic lighting it left an impression with me after it had finished.
Via Sat Nature Channel dog & Butterfly idents from Tim Rabjohns on Vimeo.

The same goes for Nature – no animal surprises here, but a good simple execution.  A case of less is more, I think – this also bodes well for the budgets of all these things, no doubt. Sorry, but I do not have any credits for these.
 Other design houses they have used recently include DMC in Berlin.  Marta explained that there is a certain Scandinavian design aesthetic that they look for (clean lines etc), and that designers in the UK do not 'get'.  Well to me this sounds like a summons to all you British companies!  Is there anyone out there with experience of motion design work with a Northern European feel who thinks they can rise to the challenge…?
Another thing all you networks should take note of is that Viasat have their own You Tube channel that they post their promos on to – I think this is a great way for employees to keep up with what others in the organisation are doing, as well as letting outsiders see what they would not be able to see because they have no access to the broadcast – go to

Have a good bank holiday everyone!

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