Trollbäck + Company helps to rebrand The Weather Channel, creating a modern, exciting new image for the network.
The Weather Channel has hired strategic design agency Trollbäck + Company (T+Co) to re-launch the brand as the world’s most immersive and knowledgeable source of information and inspiration for the weather enthusiast.
The re-imagined network is guided by a passionate drive to explore the world around us. The Weather Channel guides you through each day with precise and up-to-date local information, and invites you to experience the amazing outdoors through compelling new weather-related original programming.
"Our goal with The Weather Channel relaunch was to create a completely new and fresh visual presentation for all of our weather content, allowing us to present much more weather information yet in a simple, elegant and uncluttered way," said David Clark, president, The Weather Channel network. "The Trollbäck team really understood our vision and was able to bring it to life beautifully."
Trollbäck + Company (T+Co), an industry leader in branding and expressive visual communication, was tasked with re-inventing the information design and creating a modern, exciting image for the network. All the communication, from maps and data visualization to the graphic language (which includes a large system of modernized weather icons), represents a new way to see our relationship with the world around us and further seals the network's authority as the "go-to" destination for all things weather.
“The Weather Channel serves millions via on air, online and mobile, so we set out to build a robust, future-proof structure with brand cohesion and even more mass appeal,” remarks Creative Director Elliott Chaffer, who led the T+Co team.
T+Co's soup-to-nuts graphics packaging included the rebrand of Severe Weather show properties (“Tornado Central” and “Hurricane Central”); virtual 3D sets; primetime promo packaging toolkits (including "Sunday Night Promos”); a motion control mountain-view time-lapse with typographic lighting; and live-action talent IDs showcasing a deeper view of network personalities.
Given the vast amount of information The Weather Channel communicates, the package designs needed to be sophisticated and pleasing to the eye. To achieve this, the primary design aesthetic was created around full-frame immersive photography with glassy transparent overlays holding clean 2D graphic information.
“The new look embraces negative space to give visual balance to the constant stream of data," Chaffer explains. "With such a huge amount of simultaneous information to convey, our approach was to ‘Zen-ify’ the viewing experience wherever possible to deliver the core information faster, while backing up the tagline that whatever the weather, ‘It’s Amazing Out There.’"
To ensure a seamless experience across all presentation and navigational elements, T+Co established unified design and typographic rules for on-air visual assets for the network's local, national and international broadcasts. With all the technological platforms people use to interact with and discuss the weather in today's age, T+Co explored it in a modern sense.
“No matter where you are in the world, weather unites us all and is a constant conversation topic," Chaffer elaborates. "So we thought 'why can't The Weather Channel be something really amazing to talk about?' Something cool, useful and ever-inspiring to connect you to the outdoors during the good times, while keeping you safe and informed during the bad."
In addition, T+Co helmed physical set designs to interact with the onscreen graphics; modern wardrobes to sit harmoniously in the new world of weather; and a new tone-of-voice guide with a friendly and respectable tilt. They even created a sonic identity, working with Man-Made Music, featuring all-new branded anthems, show opens and alert sounds.
All of the grids and visual assets were designed for Tru-Vu Max and Intellistar compatibility for local forecasts. Chaffer adds, "The challenge was marrying our concepts to an incredibly complex transmission system involving one national master control in Atlanta, and simultaneously tapping into 4,000 distribution points feeding localized data enabled through old and new technologies."
“There's nothing better than a great client," concludes Chaffer. "Throughout the process, they reminded us to stay true to our vision and to not be afraid to push them because they wanted a real change. While a huge rebrand usually means a lot of technical challenges, it never felt overwhelming because we had such open, free-flowing conversations built on a foundation of trust. We look forward to our ongoing involvement as their agency and all of the exciting work we have ahead of us.”
Source: Trollbäck + Company
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.