In continuation with “Creating Brand Consistency” we explore the techniques of visually translating your brand “look-and-feel” on-air.
When selecting materials and matching colors for broadcast television, it’s as much art as it is science. From our experience, there are three main things that affect the color of materials and lightboxes on-camera:
- Color temperature of your lighting package
- White balance settings on your camera(s) (make sure they are ALL chipped properly)
- Monitor color settings you are using for playback
- With lightboxes, using a gray overlay on all surfaces to make the colors richer and prevent hot spots
We recommend and regularly camera test colors and materials to ensure proper viewing on-camera.
Finding your “Brand Voice”
Before thinking about anything visual within the frame, first and foremost, content is king. If the content and messaging in your video doesn’t align with what your audience has come to expect from your brand regarding ”brand voice”, it doesn’t matter how much the video environment visually aligns with your brand, if it doesn’t sound like you, you inevitability lose audience credibility.
Embrace Your Brand Colors
Incorporating color can be a powerful visual instrument to keep the audience interested in content.
Our client, The University of Alabama, discusses Why Branding Is Important and what achieving visual consistency means to their community. The discussion gives a detailed layout about their brand personality, messaging, standard and applications.
Well-known brands and associated primary brand colors:
CASE STUDY: Minnesota Vikings brand colors and broadcast studio
One of our recent victories at the Vikings Entertainment Network Studio came from incorporating the teams’ signature “purple” primary brand color. Color matching reds and purples can be tricky on-camera. Our design team spent many diligent hours planning and executing color-matching strategies to calibrate acceptably.
CASE STUDY: University of Alabama brand colors and broadcast studio
Our University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies project included a Webcast Studio where achieving the UA “crimson” color for front-lit scenic elements AND display monitors was a challenge. We created a custom color match on all scenery and tweaked the lighting and white balance for the cameras to match the graphics on the monitors.
Tips For Color Matching Success
Color matching brand graphics:
We recommend camera testing a minimum of 12”x12” test-print (ideally 24”x24”) of the color you are looking to match. The test-print color output should match the brand PMS Pantone number. For camera testing, you will need to use the same lighting conditions and actual cameras to be used for the final production.
Color matching LED light boxes:
In recent years, it’s very rare that we use only RGB LED. With the general cost of LED coming down in process, we typically specify 4-diode LED fixtures or LED tape (RGBA or RGBW).The four-color fixtures provide the greatest range of color options. You will also want to use quality DMX controller and processor. Lastly, don’t forget the gray, matte diffusion film, like Oracal, on front of all lightbox scenic elements to prevent hot spots on camera. It’s a premium to add this benefit but well worth the cost if you have large quantities of lightbox on set.
Brand Logo Marks
Whether you are printing or fabricating your logo, if possible, provide vector artwork versus raster artwork. The line-work generated by vector artwork for the logo mark and copy (if any) will be much crisper. Depending on how large the final output size is, this likely will be a “must-do”.
A few additional things to consider:
- If you are printing 2d flat logo marks, always provide front lighting to visually accent on camera
- If you are creating 3d “dimensional logos” (logos with thickness and a visible side edge), in addition to including the above front accent light, consider pulling the logo off the wall by a few inches with stand-offs and add LED backlight. This will create a glow around the logo and add visual depth to the shot.
CASE STUDY: Translating TV9 brand colors and logo mark to lightbox scenic element
The textural quality of the lightbox takes inspiration from the TV9 brand logo mark and becomes an iconic on-air element.
Notice the logo behind the anchor. This technique provides simple brand alignment.
Brand Imagery & Video Content
An easy way to ensure your brand translates on camera for your audience is by incorporating already established brand imagery or video into the background of your video environment. For example, if your brand guidelines establish the use of a specific pattern or geometry, consider a large scale front-lit graphic of lightbox behind the talent.
For video assets, consider a large format display monitor. Typically, we use 55”or 65” monitor sizes as visual fill. If you are planning a tight 1-shot and not looking to go wide with the frame, you can potentially use this for the entire background. If this is the case, depending on key distances, you will likely need a larger monitor (65” or 75”). You can also use the 2d logo mark in the video monitor as well as motion graphics.
Including animated logos in monitor displays can add visual interest to the frame and hold the audiences attention. Consider having talent interact with technology on-camera, either as a remote interview or touchscreen illustration of facts and data.
The complexity of translating your brand visually is no easy feat. It requires time and a precise attention to detail. That said, once the content and messaging is established and aligned, visual expression for the content can be amplified and reinforced through a multitude of visual on-air techniques. These insights are what elevate great brands and exponentially increase credibility among audiences.