A new identity for More4

Digital channel More4 launched a new identity yesterday created by ManvsMachine and Channel 4’s in-house agency, 4Creative. The graphic device is also carried across a range of idents featuring installations made up of 400 mechanical ‘flippers’

Digital channel More4 launched a new identity yesterday created by ManvsMachine and Channel 4’s in-house agency, 4Creative. The graphic device is also carried across a range of idents featuring installations made up of 400 mechanical ‘flippers’…

The redesign replaces the inaugural identity created by Spin for the channel’s launch in 2005 and will be used in idents and across marketing material. Spin’s design employed a graphic number “4” housing the word ‘MORE’ and (to my mind at least) resembled a stylised hand with one finger pressing a remote control. (More images of the previous identity are on Spin’s website, here.)

“The original branding of More4 was very bold and uncompromising,” says Chris Wood, 4Creative‘s head of on-air promotions for More4. “The colourways and graphic look gave the channel a unique ‘grown up’ look that worked perfectly with the original content and ambitions. However, over the years the content of the channel has shifted and with the plans to launch the upcoming ‘scrapbook’ service, it was felt it was time to redress the gap between the channel branding and channel content.”

More4’s original identity design by Spin

ManvsMachine‘s new identity moves away from the minimal approach of the previous design and incorporates 15 differently coloured triangular shapes, which also animate, again making up the numeral with the text similarly placed.

“We still wanted to create an identity that had a singular strong design feel, but one that had more flexibility and a lot more warmth and tactility,” adds Wood. “In addition, in the back of your mind you have to ensure any new look can sit comfortably and hold it’s own along side the other Channel 4 brands.”

Here’s how the new identity works on-air:

While the new graphic device is clearly an attempt to use something that has a bit more activity to it, the sense of movement is translated in a series of live action idents designed and directed by ManvsMachine in collaboration with art installation designers, Jason Bruges Studio, and students from Middlesex University.

Each one is made up of hundreds of mechanical ‘flipper’ units that, when set in motion, reveal a range of colours and patterns. These structures are placed within a series of different environments, such as a cafe, a staircase, on a tree, and on an abandoned boat on a beach in Dungeness.

“The new idents are definitely born from the new mark,” says Wood. “We knew we want to create live action idents, initially ideas were too convoluted or grandiose, but as ManvsMachine developed how the logo would animate it inspired them to think about taking elements and breaking them out into the real world. After that, creatively, things pretty quickly came to the point at where the idents are now.

“However, the realities of designing, manufacturing, installing and transporting 400 flipper units was a challenge, but all those variables, the extra input and expertise we gained along the way, means we’ve ended up with something that is incredibly visually satisfying, is unpretentious, and has warmth and charm.”

According to ManvsMachine’s James Greenfield the flexible logo “morphs through a series of flips, folds and reveals [and so] the colour palette reflects the vibrant nature of interiors, food culture, fashion and other contemporary lifestyle programming.” The typeface used is More4 Omne, a version of Darden Studio‘s Omnes Pro.

“A lot of More4’s programming is about making things,” Wood adds, “so we in turn wanted to physically build these idents, construct them and film them in real locations, rather than computer generating all the magic in post-production. I think the installations we eventually came up with subtly reinforce the new look but offer a satisfying spontaneity which, I hope, will make them continually watchable .”

Here’s ManvsMachine’s making of film for the idents work:

Creative Director: Tom Tagholm
Head of On air, More4: Chris Wood
Design & Creative: ManvsMachine/4Creative
Director: Mike Alderson/Tim Swift/Chris Wood
Producer: Louise Oliver
DOP: Daniel Trapp
Production Design: Jason Bruges Studio
Design Co-ordinator: James Greenfield
Editor: Jamie Foord
Post producer: Pete Winslett & Sarah Antrobus (Envy Post)
VFX: Marcus D. Dryden
Composer: Guy Connelly
Music: commissioned by Alice Godfrey at Channel 4, Pete Beck at Warner Chappell
Sound Design: Rich Martin (Envy Post)

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