“Everybody has a story to tell.”

That’s the message—both visually and verbally—behind UK agency Holman + Hunt’s global rebrand of AMC Networks International’s CBS Reality channel.

The rebrand is anchored by 10 10-second portraits of people, all of whom have conquered some form of personal crisis or faced a difficult situation. Irish nurse Rebecca Taqi spent months in Sierra Leone with Ebola victims. Former prisoner Carl Cattermole is now an acclaimed writer and advocate on prison reform. Stacy Paris lost both her legs to necrotising fasciitis, but now studies molecular biology while pursuing a successful career as a model.

“I loved working on this project,” says Holman + Hunt Creative Director Richard Holman. “It gave me the enviable opportunity of spending time with people whose character and strength of mind has seen them through events that the rest of us can only imagine. And it allowed me to spend time crafting and fine-tuning a visual approach to portraiture that balances stillness with power.”

“This was one of the more logistically challenging projects we have worked on … [w]ith fire trucks being called out, air ambulance helicopters taking off and doctors being called into emergency surgery in the middle of shooting … but it all added to the real-life drama!” added Holman + Hunt Executive Producer Lucy Hunt.

Alongside the idents, Holman + Hunt also delivered a full on-screen presentation system to the channel for packaging promos, idents, menus and so forth.

“Many of the values which we were applying to the IDs we wanted also to bring to the graphic packaging: simplicity, the real world, drama,” said Holman. “So, rather than resorting to 3D, we shot ink in water for real and at super high speeds. This created a series of mesmerizing textures, all in the channel color of yellow, on top of which sits white text. And that’s it: yellow ink plus white text. The perfect environment for our real-life portraits, rich in all the color, texture and detail that only real life can supply.”

AMC Networks International also worked with Holman + Hunt on the launch of AMC in the UK, starring AMC stars such as Bryan Cranston and Frank Dillane in a campaign called “Storyteller” that was based on a poem by Holman.

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The success of that work led AMC Networks International back to Holman + Hunt for this latest project.

“This was a great collaboration with H+H once again. We’re very proud of the work and feel it’s an authentic reflection of both CBS Reality and its viewers,” said Matt Stott, director, creative, marketing and communications for AMC Networks International.

“Our research made it very clear what our audience connected with in our shows, and these moving portraits mirror that feedback. More than anything, they look for how people overcome adversity. All the subjects have fascinating back stories that are worth exploring in themselves. Eye contact remains one of the most powerful forms of communication, and H+H skillfully captured that for us.”

CBS Reality’s new branding will be rolled out globally over time, beginning with a UK launch later this month.


Creative agency: Holman + Hunt

Creative Director: Richard Holman

Exec. Producer: Lucy Hunt

Lead designer: Mirjami Quin

Director of Photography: James Medcraft

Sound Design: Echoic

Post production: Envy

Client: AMC Networks International

Chief Programming Officer: Chris Sharp

Director: Creative, Marketing & Communications: Matt Stott

Director of Programming and New Media: Sam Rowden

Head of Production: Marta Rossi

Senior Production Manager: Alison Thompson

Head of Graphics: Clive Collier

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