When France Télévisions wanted to launch a pop-up channel dedicated to the arts in France, it knew it only had to make one call when it came to creating the brand identity: Gédéon, led by Emmanuelle Lacaze.
“I got a call at 9:30 pm on a weekend from France 2’s Artistic Director Stéphen Harlé saying ‘I have a really amazing project for you. We have to launch a channel and we have to do it in seven days,’” said Lacaze.
With the pandemic shutdown in France, all cultural venues have been closed for months, leaving young and up-and-coming artists nowhere to perform. France Télévisions already had a sub-brand called Culturebox that it hadn’t really built out. France Télévisions CEO Delphine Emotte decided on January 15 to turn Culturebox into a pop-up channel dedicated to showcasing these young artists. She gave her team until February 1 to make it happen.
Lacaze immediately took Harlé up on the challenge, and her team did as well. The brand identity is simple and straightforward, but clever: The “x” in Culturebox is used to center the identity.
“Gédéon came in with the idea of transforming the X into a significant sign and into a simple but dynamic logo,” said Harlé. “The two arrows show performance, like two curtains opening in a theater, or two pointers to show the place where you can see culture. It’s a new way to see an X.”
From there, Gédéon relied on the simple, sans serif font already used by France Télévisions and then created idents using motion graphics and brand spots with existing footage.
France Télévisions and Gédéon also are partnering to create a contest, calling for young, local designers to produce additional idents for Culturebox. They are reaching out to eight French design schools, including ESAG Penninghen, Ecole Estienne ESAIG, ENSAAMA Olivier de Serres, ENSAD / Ecole des arts décoratifs de Paris, ECV Creative schools & community, ECOLE DE DESIGN / Nantes Atlantique, GOBELINS and LISAA L’institut supérieur des arts appliqués.
“We want this to be a place of expression for students,” said Lacaze. “Schools are also closed in France and students are working in a virtual way. It’s really great to give them an outlet to express their creativity.”
Gédéon didn’t want to just make the contest a call for work, they wanted to “help the students through the process and make it very professional,” said Lacaze. “We organized workshops and that sort of thing with them. It’s really about sharing and collaborating.”
France Télévisions and Gédéon expect to start airing the student-created idents later this spring, with Culturebox expected to be up and running until at least May, said Harlé.