MotorTrend

Network Rebrand

Every once in a while a project comes through that hits near and dear to our souls. When the fine folks at MotorTrend reached out to us for a network rebrand, we jumped!


They had an interesting challenge of trying to unify the magazine, the on-air and on-demand with the streaming channel while at the same time identifying and creating additional logic behind the different channels.
 We gave them some options at a fresh new look as well as a ton of thinking behind the audience attract and flow between channels creating a harmonious and logical ecosystem that fans of the combustion engine could get behind.


Branding | Design | Strategy

Look 1: Graphic flood

We are using paper textures and paint as well as screen print and flood colors to push the brand. This overlay technique also helps with asset manipulation giving you a way to force disparately sourced footage and stills into a singular brand look and feel.

Look 2: Paper and paint

To effectively immerse the audience to feel that they are on the track, this looks utilizes lines and segments of imagery and graphics as well as the logo as a method of animation.

We are break up and repeat imagery so it feels like it’s frozen in time as well as providing a method to editorially add energy to the shot.

Look 3: Elemental Grit

Inspired by Dadaism, we have taken what we loved from the much-revered school of thought and updated and modified to create a new, modern, energetic, and decidedly irreverent look. While playing around with different typographical solutions we found two that were exciting and seemed to speak specifically to MotorTrend.

Gritty and seemingly freeform, these largely editorial approaches embody the energy and freedom found on the road. This look feels raw and unapologetically tactile through its use of ink splats, tape, film bleaching, and burn-in typography. Overexposed footage cut with skipped double exposures and bleached color passes add excitement and energy to the footage as well as providing a method of unifying imagery under a single brand aesthetic and voice.

Look 4: Moto Manual

This look is inspired by old manuals line art and photos complete with handwritten notes in the margins or fingerprints in grease over the pages.

Don’t be afraid of the hand-painted lettering though, we gotcher back. We know the mania of the production pit before a deadline, we are well adept at creating custom-built fonts. The halftone treatment and heavy colorwork provides a way to wrangle imagery into one cohesive familial branded look and feel.

Look 5: Speed Stickers

Graphically this idea relates to speed as the logo is deconstructed into speed lines that become graphic elements. The speed lines occasionally go into bullet time and almost freeze in place and become backplates for other typography. The visual elements also have a rough worn feel as if they’re stickers on a toolbox that have been flys on the wall of a motor-head’s garage.

Accidental Beauty

The footage has a candid feel to it as if it was shot with a cell phone or an older camera and it is mostly handheld and so the color can be a bit faded or grainy and could even be black and white at times. However, it is shot in moments where natural beauty is present, for example; snow, fog, rain, sunsets and sunrises (magic hour), dust clouds, night time, and so on. This relates to the idea that most motor-heads are practical people concerned with the functional and the thrill of the experience and not so much the decorative arts, but in this pursuit for adventure and the ultimate ride they find themselves immersed in beauty as a byproduct.

All revved up and ready to go!

Creative Director: Bobby Hougham
Design team: Ana Cezeta, Vince Diga, Eric Edwards
Strategy: Chuck Granade, Bobby Hougham, Andrew Kobliska
Executive Creative Directors: Sevrin Daniels, Bobby Hougham
Executive Producer: Andrew Kobliska

The Process

The machine is in our core. We have been riding for years, we breathe Premix, and bleed 5w-40. We left our first conversation with the network vibrating with excitement at the possibility of working on this venerable and well-respected brand we grew up with. The evolution and extension of the brand into video and digital energized us and we found ourselves talking constantly about possibilities and potentials.

We approached the MotorTrend rebrand with a focus on lifestyle and feeling of exhilaration and freedom that comes from automotive. To that end, we crafted a number of different treatments that hit the mark.

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