Troika Design Group was selected earlier this year to create a new on-air experience for Animal Planet, a network from Discovery Communications, the leading global real-world media and entertainment company. Troika handled all aspects of the project, including concept, design and production.
"The goal for Animal Planet was to visually align the network with a style and attitude that would resonate with our viewers and bring to life the amazing connections that humans and animals share with each other and the world," commented Gheri Arnold, VP Creative Director for Animal Planet.
To achieve this, Troika deconstructed the world in which animals and people exist, and found that "Horizons" were consistent horizontal lines found within nature, such as a sun setting over water. With this framework in mind, the team poured over hours of footage to locate the most compelling material that would bring the "horizon" motif to life. The new look, which includes promos, menus, bumpers, IDs, show opens and other on-air elements, debuted on Animal Planet June 9th.
"Animal Planet reflects mankind's eternal fascination with the creatures that share our world and Troika's challenge was to keep animals in their natural environments while also putting them front and center in the new brand identity," said Arnold. "In addition, the network attracts both an adults and kids audience, so we needed to create a smart, clever, fun and awe-inspiring attitude that would translate well across those demographics."
Animal Planet's new on-air identity features imagery of the wild animal kingdom and domestic pets. The color palette is a vibrant array of verdant greens, oceanic blues, desert golds and icy grays. Smart and clever editorial language is mixed with playful typographic treatments to create network IDs that juxtapose type with image - a bee pollinating a flower corresponds with the copy, "To BEE or not to BEE," while another ID has a starfish clinging to a rock at incoming tide, with the super "Rockstar." Navigational elements employ similar techniques. Text is animated to move across the screen, mimicking the motion of an alligator creeping through water to announce what's next on Animal Planet.
Troika Executive Creative Director Dan Pappalardo and Creative Director Reid Thompson oversaw the design team. Lead designer Heather Kim worked closely with Animal Planet to sift through hundreds of hours of wildlife material sourced from stock houses and the Animal Planet Library to find clips that had the horizontal line and that represented the breadth and diversity of the animal kingdom. Troika also incorporated environmental textures as a way to extend the nature shots without altering them graphically. These backgrounds - grass, ice, sand - function as panels to support different program titles or other text.
Said Dan Pappalardo, Executive Creative Director, Troika, "When we initially started putting this package together, it felt almost like a research project. We sought artful ways to brand existing wildlife clips in a way that would engage Animal Planet's audience demographic - ranging from kids to us adults - while still maintaining the integrity of the breathtaking footage.
This was our first time collaborating with Animal Planet and we were very fortunate that they trusted us implicitly and gave us a lot of creative freedom to experiment with the look."