When it came to sprucing up TruTV’s on-air look, Brooklyn-based Block & Tackle adhered to three principles: content first, keep it simple and have fun. The result is a rebrand that keeps the network’s do-it-yourself comedy front and center.
“I have such a deep love for what Block & Tackle does,” said Kathryn Allen, vice president of broadcast design for TruTV. “They are an agency that can really bring out the cool in anything. We really wanted this redesign to have a cool factor and to be something you haven’t seen before.”
“[TruTV] was describing a raw scrappy approach,” said Adam Gault, creative director at Block & Tackle. “They feel like the content on the network leans toward experimental, like a playground for comedians to try things out.”
TruTV airs such programs as At Home with Amy Sedaris, Impractical Jokers, Adam Ruins Everything, It’s Personal with Amy Hoggart and Hack My Life, targeting young men. In order to let those shows shine through, Block & Tackle designed a brand look that highlighted the channel’s fun and fresh aesthetic.
That started with the palette, which Block & Tackle took all the way back to the beginning of television with an RGB-inspired look, although each color is a little more bright and zingy than a traditional RGB palette.
“It’s really reverting back to when color television was first invented,” said Allen. “I love that the color palette is stripped down.”
The team then chose to pair that palette with one simple monotype font: Neue Plak. The on-air look uses only one version of this font, letting show footage and title graphics take center stage.
From there, Block & Tackle moved on to the motion graphics, which are intended to feel like they could have been made on the fly.
“We wanted the graphics to feel like they were made by humans,” said Ted Kotsaftis, creative director, Block & Tackle. “We wanted to keep them feeling simple and organic and like they are just happening right now. There are rules behind the animation and the package, but those are very few.”
To achieve all of that, Block & Tackle took advantage of an often overlooked feature in After Effects: motion sketch.
“We took the content and repeated it in as many different ways as we could think of – cascading, stacking, echoing, looping, grids, slices, etcetera,” said Block & Tackle Producer Megan Anderson. “We pushed the idea all over the place to see what stuck, then dialed-in the concept from there. Ultimately we focused on the simplest techniques that still hammered home the concept, while letting the content do its thing.”
Once the entire concept was complete, Block & Tackle created a tool kit for TruTV’s internal team that they could use to create promos or brand campaigns on the fly. Block & Tackle delivered the rebrand in December, and TruTV’s internal design team translated the rebrand to the network’s linear, digital and social platforms over the past few months.
“These guys have a very cool street aesthetic. They take it to places that I couldn’t even think of,” said Allen. “I haven’t worked with another agency that does it in the same way. They are in Brooklyn, so they have their fingers on the pulse of cool and I can always trust them for that.”
SVP, Brand Creative TBS/TNT/TruTV: Bret Havey
VP, Brand Creative TBS/TNT/TruTV: Kathryn Allen
Senior Art Director, Brand Creative TBS/TNT/TruTV: Chris Brooks
Senior Design Manager, Brand Creative TBS/TNT/TruTV: Josh Bradford
Agency: Block & Tackle
Creative Directors: Adam Gault, Ted Kotsaftis
Producer: Megan Anderson
Lead Design: Yun Chen
Design: Gault, Daveion Thompson, Wei-Shen Wang
Animation: Gault, Kotsaftis, Mike Russo, Gung-Kai Koo
Toolkit: David Jouppi
GFX Sizzle: Gault, Russo, Wang
Sizzle Music Track: Skeleton Boogie by Senbei