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Ever wonder who's behind those cool identity graphics on broadcast and cable TV networks? Come take a peek behind the scenes at Troika Design Group, the leading firm for branding television networks. The members of the exceptionally creative team at Troika explain how they go about creating unique and dynamic on-air brand identities for some of the biggest networks in the world, including ABC, FOX, Oxygen, and ESPN. They show how the company organizes projects, develops its team members, and nurtures a highly collaborative and creative environment. Troika's employees show their creative solutions and tell the stories behind the work. The company begins with a deep understanding of the client's needs, and develops solutions that may include live action elements and a whole range of graphic animation techniques. This installment of Creative Inspirations takes viewers to the very epicenter of TV network branding.
Gil Haslam: One of our primary focuses here at Troika is network branding and quite a few people always are wondering what does that actually mean. What is network branding? So the word branding and it's thrown around quite a bit and sometimes people are confused by what it means. For us, there is a lot of different interpretations of it, but for us, branding is really being able to create the connection between the channel or network, and the audience. So you are asking the audience to invite you into their home and what you really want to do is communicate the right message. Do you know who that brand is? Do you know how they act, they perform? What programs are on their air? So it really, truly is an emotional connection to the network or channels. It's what we consider branding.
One of the latest re-brands that we have actually worked on was the FOX re-brand, but we have been working with FOX for the last three re-brands in a row with them, so we have had a great partnership which is incredibly key to us. The more that you know and the more that you partner with somebody, the trust level is definitely there and we love working with the guys over at FOX. They inspire us to do great work. So this last year, we were given the assignment to relaunch their brand, to provide a lot of attitude. They had a new position, a new platform that they were running off which is called 'So FOX,' a heavy attitude.
So FOX is going to be all about the attributes that could define the network and define the shows, and so we just got done finishing. It's actually launched this fall, so it's looking great on the air. Everybody was happy. It was a combination of animation. They did a great job with the live action and what I'd love to do is actually show you those, show you the project and the lead designer and the animator who I partnered up with amongst other team members that were here, but you can actually see some great stuff that he develops. So I would love to take you over with us, let's go.
So this is some of the work that was done in the previous year and Craig will scrub through that and show you some of that work and we will actually take you through the latest re-brand and where we have taken them this year. Craig Stouffer: So like we said, the previous re-brand was a lot more 3D intensive, using a lot of Cinema 4D. I am just going to scrub through right here, just showing some of the sequence and layers of all the 3D elements. So it literally just hundreds of elements back on top of each other, lot of particle effects, things like that.
Whenever we jumped into re-branding again, we wanted to take it a completely different direction. So one thing that's not thought about is how to really push the limits of what networks are doing and one thing we did was just with the talent in general, is just keeping it really close-up shot on some of these because it's really groundbreaking whenever you look at some of the other networks. It's shot completely different, a lot of contrast in the face, a lot more dramatic lighting.
So we thought that that was pretty groundbreaking, and then really just keeping them over a simple black and white backgrounds with a strong accent color is really the theory of this whole package, along with integrating a lot of these like type textures to really introduce the So FOX branding that they are coming up with this year. Gil Haslam: And what you are seeing here is the actual promotion toolkit. You have seen a lot of the back plates that are conveying the information, the show name, when it's on, and it's usually tying it with a live action piece of footage, where it's just on a graphic.
The other things that we created with the night opens. That's the actual animated piece that actually introduces the night and the characters that are going to be playing out on the night. So on a Monday, it's a Monday night open, and it highlights 'Terminator', then 'Prison Break', so it gives you kind of the line-up for the night, kicks you in, gets you amped up, and ready for the night. The other pieces are the rest of the toolkit where you have got lower-thirds. We have got transitional devices. So you can see how the concept, the design and the animation techniques get spread across a toolkit of elements.
One of the most important things that we always look at in branding or re-branding certain networking channels is really to make sure that we are applying our philosophy to chase a concept and not to chase design trends. I think that's one of the things that separates us is that there is no two clients alike, and we recognize that, and so each individual problem has a unique solution to it. So as opposed to chasing a trend which will apply a found technique against a problem, we actually work the other way around and concept is king here, and this is what we believe in and that's why the work stands out.
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