betevé by

Client: betevé
Year: 2016
Tags: Art Direction, Branding, Environmental Design, Graphic Design, Identity, Naming, Strategic Communication, Transmedia

The history of the local television channel of Barcelona goes back to 1989. During nearly 30 years the local news, cultural events, films and entertainment has been broadcasted under the name BTV.

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Mirada Imperfecta: The new perception of Barcelona

La Mirada Imperfecta (Trans. Imperfect Look) is representing the wish to change the perception of the city by avoiding glorified landmarks and iconic elements and instead giving recognition to the distinguishing features, the reality, the normality, the beauty of the everyday life in each neighbourhood. A Barcelona not defined by the Olympics ’92, but reborn through the eyes and thoughts of our team who do not carry the luggage of that decade. Half of the team derived from different parts of the globe, which also widen our possibility to reach beyond the local sight of the city to a broader external point of view.

Due to the evolution of technology, perception of territories among other factors, the time had come for a complete renovation of the local television channel. Under the direction of betevé’s Sergi Vicente, in collaboration with Anna Guiot from ADG FAD, a contest between the design studios in Spain was organised. The first race took place and left three finalist –Mallorca based Atlas Design, Barcelona based Mucho and at last; Folch– to determine the final approach of the rebirth of Barcelona Televisió. For the final heat we partnered up with motion graphic studio Norte to bring the brand into movement and production company Goroka to widen the possibilities of producing narratives within the transmedia environment we had in mind. Folch took home the great honour to give new life to the city’s channel. One of our most extensive projects was set in motion.  

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The second heat of the contest of redesigning betevé. Photography by Cecilia Diaz Betz

Television vs. Transmedia

Television as a huge influencer during the second part of the 20th century is a story that had come to an end. The communication reproduced in one single medium results in one way channel where the user is passive and uninfluential, the schedules and emissions are established by the emitter and is rapidly consumed and decayed. The reached audience is a short percentage of its potential due to all the problematic factors, and especially the younger public is lost to the growing transmedia environment accessed through interactive devices. Through transmedia we can find new ways to understand communication. The relationship between the emitter and user is parallel and the user is given the opportunity to share, modify and influence their personal network in real-time.

Replant the strategy

Two realities are evident: on the one hand, it confirms what the macro level already knew: there is a deterioration of the television environment in the face of new technologies – especially among the millennials, a group that adapts much more easily and quickly to changes. 48,5 % of the citizens between 16 and 44 do not watch or know about the channel. On the other hand, it shows that the resources available to a local television such as betevé can not compete with their direct rivals. Besides the critical numbers of audience, another figure where -45.3% of the their daily viewers has dropped since 2009. In a world where television is history it is not enough to design a new graph to solve this problem in the background. It is necessary to apply the design thinking and to rethink the whole strategy and the speech of the brand. We had to generate a liquid identity.


Liquid identity

In a multiplatform transmedia reality the function of the figure of the logo is questioned: it is not enough to define a corporate colour and generate a logo to establish a differentiated brand. The contents generated by the brand must coexist within environments outside the corporate context. Dealing with an identity in a new paradigm requires and is achieved by generating a liquid identity. Not only specific codes and a graphic system are crucial, but defining and working in a concrete way around the content is the key, such as finding and following the tone in writing, art direction in image, video and sound and treatment of attitudes and values.

Three statements for the switch of paradigm

The link to a technology with a clear tendency to obsolescence – television – should be eliminated, instead the aim is to become a transmedia medium. The transversality of media, channels and content to which aspiration is unreachable if the brand is not territorially disconnected from the physical limits of the city. The third true weight of the identity will be in the management and editing of the differentiated strategic content and narratives, which allowed us to define the universe of liquid brand.

Eliminate the implicit ideas of television and localism

We considered that the problem of verbalisation that BTV / Barcelona Televisió did not only lie in the difficulty of the citizen to identify the brand, but inevitably linked the chain to the concept of Television and limited it to a closed and concrete territorial area. It is precisely the verbalisation of the acronym that helped us to solve the problem: it became a word with its own entity, and eliminated the implicit ideas of television and localism.

Understanding the use of the lower case as a brand statement, an important gesture that helps to link the brand with the user, and which implies a series of values that will, from now on, identify betevé.

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Newspaper as a part of the repositioning campaign, covering the gap between television and social networks. Picture by Leo García Mendez

When the pixel returns to the curve

The objective has been to find a typography sufficiently characteristic to be a differentiating element, but at the same time consistent and suitable to be used exclusively in all applications of identity. Its approach takes advantage of technological limitations as a pretext to impart a series of details that makes it unique. Px Grotesk by Nicolas Eigenheer is conceived as a bridge between the most classic ways of writing and the new digital environment.

Although the radical change of betevé, we wanted to maintain an emotional bond with the hearing. A less aggressive red, less strident, warmer, closer, more earthy supported by a white and a black slightly lowered of intensity completed the colour palette, without great artifices.

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Stationary. Picture by Leo García Mendez

The identity as a vehicle to explain the new verbalisation to the audience

We needed to develop an umbrella brand which stands solid, yet flexible and systematic, to find the recognisable brand architecture that works both alone and in relation to its many sub brands. To hierarchise the elements alongside the colour and typographic weight, the display of the sub brands keep the lower case became the essential part of the visual code.

A symbol of interaction

The first identity of BTV was characterised by the use of the image of an eye as an indispensable element of the brand. Although the element was obviated in the last redesign, its recovery can favor and enrich the visual language of the new identity. The eye acts as an indication of participation and interactivity. It is the link with the audience, your graphic representative within the brand. It is essential to differentiate and make the spaces for participation easily identifiable to the audience.

Building a space around the brand

For drawing up an interior environment around betevé, we needed reinforcement. The interior designer and architect Stefano Colli was at our service. Due to earlier collaborations with Stefano we knew he was the right person to understand the language of the brand and find an interesting solution that would meet the requirements of the newsroom and other interior applications to the spaces. The importance laid in a functional multidirectional space where the use of light and textures creates a new dynamism in a corporate mood. Overwhelming, yet forceful and solid.

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The news studio in three shades. Photography by José Hevia

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Close up on the materials used for the news studio of betevé. Photography by José Hevia

Building a dynamic news studio

The material played a crucial point when creating a dynamic news studio. The screens are accompanied with surfaces from led supported cellular polycarbonate which gives the studio multiple options of lighting and moods. The reinforced glass partitions reflect the adjustable lights and create the essential atmosphere of the space. By breaking the otherwise innovative transparent materials, a soft circular carpet reinforces the intimate environment and the three-legged beech wood stool by Martín Azúa for Mobles114 reflects the archetypical idea whilst integrating a contemporary sense.  

The fundamental prism of betevé: content first

Going back to the initial force behind the rebirth of the brand –the urge to shift the archetype of the city– we had to find a tone of imagery that could portray the reality and environment that surrounds the citizens and in this way manifest and bring the channel closer to the audience. The direction of art and strategic content creation became the fundamental tool to achieve a unique style and tone when creating their image library and short pieces of self-promotion.

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Photography by Leo García Mendez

The creative production company Goroka was the natural choice of associate. Through earlier collaborations, such as the travel collective Eldorado, we entrusted their documenting lens to capture the essential audiovisual pieces for betevé.  The present resources in the digital language like zooms, loops, gifs and cinematography came to play a huge role in the visual approach.

Besides the audiovisual pieces we needed to build up an image library to be able to control the voice and tone of the channel and enclose the shift of paradigm. We commissioned the photographer Leo García Mendez who possesses a great experience in documentary photography in the mood we aimed to capture. A very photographic approach with natural light, fixed plans, moving elements and colour saturation of the urban space gave us a more general view of the extraterritorial city.

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Photography by Leo García Mendez

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Planning, organisation and effectivity were the key factors in the realisation of the image library for betevé.

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The presenters and staff of betevé deserved their own presentation in their natural environment. Photography by Leo García Mendez

Brand in motion

We believe the moving brand relies and is defined based on three fundamental parts: motion, image and sound. Motion as the vehicle through which the audience receives the content, the true protagonist of betevé which should reign over any other element. The motion is crucially following the codes of the digital world interface, user experience and responsive design, reinforcing the idea of a betevé as a Transmedia medium. Simplicity, clarity and solidity are the key concepts that have guided this entire development of the moving brand of betevé. The motion graphic studio Norte understood our ambitions, and with their expertise in animation we could truly meet the expectations to find a distinct movement for betevé.

Dynamic applications and symbols

The main fly is reflecting the liquid character of the brand. It is encouraged, alternating the umbrella brand and the corresponding decline at any time during the broadcast. The complementary information of the status bar has been redesigned to adapt to the brand language, so has the symbols and infographics. Maintaining graphic coherence has been the main objective to produce all post-production graphic material. The representation of information in a graphical way follows the codes marked by the identity: orthogonality, geometry and colour.

Designing a sound

The composer Nil Ciuró, born in Barcelona, has managed to capture the essence of the project through a unique sound composed especially for the occasion. The fusion of the acoustic world with the digital universe was the basic concept to create the asymmetrical, minimalist, innovative and contemporary style that breathes the composition. The use of sound as a visual element, in constant dialogue with the image and the animation, an identity that complements and expands the visible and brings us into a sensory three dimensional space. 

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Branding, Graphic Design, Identity, Naming. betevé. 2016