Unbranding VICELAND with Unmotion
Greg Hahn and the crew from NY design studio Gretel strip away all the tropes and artifice of modern broadcast branding for the launch of VICELAND “the most notorious and innovative youth media brand in the world.”
From Gretel: “Spike Jonze (VICE Creative Director) and Eddy Moretti (VICE Chief Creative Officer) tasked us with creating a transparent and empathetic brand.
“A voice and design that could punctuate, counterpoint, inform, and whenever possible, step back. A range of emotion, and the full impact of the images had to pass through the brand undiluted.
“Because content is developed, produced and promoted almost entirely under one roof, everything is naturally steeped in the VICE sensibility. Therefore, the branding didn’t need to impose a visual or tonal super-structure to unify disparate voices, the challenge was to craft a brand that could express its own voice through the content.”
“The VICELAND brand is equal parts exhibition catalog and street flyer; Craigslist and couture; generic and refined. It is simultaneously the elevated ‘high’ and vernacular ‘low.’ A translation of the VICE sensibility, it’s blunt and raw. An exposed structure, a functional language free of decoration, artifice and veneer. The brand is an objective frame for the network’s content. Unstyled, unslick, unadorned.
“The basic ingredients combine in different proportions to modulate the VICELAND expressions. Content falls under one of three types: smart and curious, light and fun, or deep and dangerous.
The objective, null design brings the personalities, content and tone of each show to the foreground while allowing for diversity in composition and messaging, and smooth translation to any platform.
“VICELAND is made by and made for people who are curious about the world at large. The brand borrows more than just visual cues from populist, vernacular design, it also functions as a service. It can point viewers to cultural events, emerging artists, topical facts, even promote local goods and services for sale. All in the interest of pointing the viewer out into the world.
“The way VICELAND behaves in motion is an extension of the default aesthetic. It’s ASCII, text-edit, HTML 1. No effects, no techniques – the animation is deliberately basic and throws the focus back to the content.
“The entire brand is built on two core moves: hard cuts and linear slides. These can be used alone or compounded to create blinks, reveals, ripples, stretches and waves. The irony of such a low-tech, analog approach is that it can easily adapt to virtually any contemporary platform with the most fundamental tools.
“Because VICELAND creates content as opposed to aggregating, the VICE sensibility imbues everything naturally. The brand guides articulate that point of view as it translates into language, design, motion, and editorial structure.”
Chief Creative Officer: Eddy Moretti
Creative Director: Spike Jonze