USA Network has had a long history with quirky characters and it’s offbeat original programming. The tagline, “Characters Welcome” had been synonymous with the USA brand since 2005. However, the landscape of television has evolved. Consumers are now seeking more dramatic scripted content and USA needed to evolve our brand positioning to address that shift in viewer interest.
As a play on the first line of the United State’s Constitution, we adopted the new tagline “We The Bold” to tie into our new, progressive programming, while maintaining an accessible and inclusive identity for existing viewers.
In rethinking the USA brand design, we asked ourselves a few questions: What does it mean to be bold? Is bold always bigger and louder? When do you use this new tagline and when is more bold not to? We also needed to determine a voice for the network that was independent of the identities of each show.
As Creative Director, I helped lead outside agencies and internal, cross-department team members to create a design system that was on-strategy. The result is a graphically clear and edgy device that allows the network and each show to have independent identities. The system uses the logo lock-up with it’s parallel lines to create a stage and whatever content is in between those lines, has the stage. This new design system was translated across all mediums, including usanetwork.com, broadcast television programming, social media, print and interactive displays.
Mr. Robot, a USA original series is the story of vigilante hacker by night, cyber security technician by day, Elliot Alderson. The dark nature of Mr. Robot is miles away from the blue skies outlook of typical USA Network, and called for a departure from the traditional style of promotion.
For this type of show, portraits of the protagonist mugging to camera would have been a disconnect. We needed to re-think our approach.
How do you visually represent the personality of a hacker? Knowing we needed to find a way for audiences to identify with the troubled protagonist, we pursued an alternative to the expected device of computer glitches and instead employed a number of prisms, mirrors, and other gizmos to achieve a fractured portrait of our anti-hero. Imagery of characters and landscapes were projected through the rig onto a screen and each piece of this Rube Goldberg machine spun, twirled and hummed. The result was a beautiful and disruptive snapshot of Elliot’s shattered personality.
Dig is a mini series that aired on USA Network in the spring of 2015, created by the producers of Homeland and Heroes. The story follows a FBI agent in Jerusalem who discovers a conspiracy 3,000 years in the making.
As the show was set in Jerusalem, we decided to use the desert and ancient landscape as a tool to express the show's historic and religious nature. This was brought to life on-air and in several prominent out of home executions, including a Times Square "take-over".
Every USA original series typically uses character-based footage to bookend or “package” promotional material for an entire season. The purpose of these packages is to raise awareness of each of USA’s originals by showcasing tune-in information and other messaging.
The task is to create compelling moments that feel in line with an entire season, without the use of dialogue and while assuring the quality of the footage matches USA’s brand guidelines. With budget in mind, the challenge is to get as much variety as possible from a single location, within a limited timeframe.
We achieved this by partnering with talented commercial directors who provided a premium production quality to each shoot. Together, we developed scenes for the talent to showcase their characters in diverse locations that demonstrated the unique quality of each show while adhering to the USA brand.
As Creative Director, I researched and selected the directors for each package. Once awarded, I worked closely with them to compose and choreograph each moment. After the shoot, and color correction, my team led the integration of the messaging. I managed and art directed the designers who built a unified toolkit of assets that could be used throughout the season to promote each of USA’s originals.
LXTV is a lifestyle digital content brand bought by NBC to be the lifestyle entertainment brand for their local markets.
The popular WNBC franchise "Live at Five" was returning with a new look, feel and new name too. This program was re-tooled to replace the 5pm news hour which was suffering in the ratings. LXTV produced the live show from their own studio.
LXTV wanted to let viewers know there is a new place to watch lifestyle programming at 5pm. With an existing demand for programming that spoke to the demo, we needed to inform them where and when. As the Creative Director, I created a logo that suggested 5 o'clock in it's design. I lead a team that then created a new bright colorful identity for the afternoon block. From this design, we built and implemented a custom display typeface, a system of design assets and templates to execute over 120 custom deliverables.
The Match Off is a competition reality show where matchmakers compete to find compatible matches for a few lucky singles. The show was produced by LXTV for NBC Local Media and aired after Saturday Night Live.
Matchmakers competing? So it's an unscripted competition show, about love? Why not give a nod to Milton Glaser and incorporate the international symbol of love into the logotype.