Established in 1946, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is best known — or more accurately is best shadowed — by its popular and coveted Primetime Emmy Awards, given each year to the best work on television. Officially, it is a “nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of telecommunication arts and sciences and to fostering creative leadership in the telecommunication industry” with “over 18,000 members, representing 29 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various other artisans, technicians and executives”. Last month the Television Academy, as it is most regularly and colloquially called, introduced a new identity designed by Siegel+Gale.
To express the new direction of the brand, Siegel+Gale developed a visual identity, including a refreshed logo. For the first time, the new logo features the name of the organization as it’s widely referenced: the Television Academy, versus its legal name, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The logo also includes a visual palette of energetic, colorful light trails that reflects the role of the Television Academy as a portal of creativity and a conduit for content that inspires members and partners in shaping the future of television.
The master logo features the Television Academy name, stacked and aligned and displaying a new typeface, Foundry Sterling. Certain letters (T, A, V and Y) have been modified to carry both sharp and rounded edges to make the logo typeface unique to the Academy. A vertical bar appears to the right, representing a transformative portal and the many possibilities offered by Academy programs that encourage, connect and inspire talent, and engage television audiences.
The main goal of this project is to establish a clear hierarchy of who is in charge: The Television Academy is the boss of the Emmys, just like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the boss of the Oscars. In both cases the glitzy event and prestige of the award eclipse the organization and its efforts. So removing the Emmy statue from the primary logo for the organization is the right move and assigning it a secondary status, by showing up when needed, is a smart way of keeping the statue but not overusing it. Just like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences now goes by “the Academy”, so will the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences go by “the Television Academy” — it doesn’t roll off the tongue as nice, but it’s much better than the legal name. The main wordmark is okay — not too fancy, not too friendly but somewhere in between — although the rounded parts of the “T” and “A” seem unnecessary. The vertical bar, or the portal, is kind of weird without anything to its right, although it does imply that there is more to the story, and it works great when it does have the trail graphic motif coming out.
Perhaps most interesting is the graphic motif element - inspired by the timeless Emmy statuette, and flowing from the right side of the Television Academy portal line. This artful collection of circle and diamond shapes, indented and wavy lines, is derived from the forms of the physical Emmy Award statuette and its base, and are used with bands of transparent, gradient color.
The graphic motif is lively and, well, golden. I really appreciate how it’s not gratuitous and it comes from the shapes found in the Emmy statue. It also looks a lot like the graphics we usually see on Emmy or Oscar telecasts: glitzy yet ambiguous. It’s a great way of adding some life and energy to this identity and it’s something that could potentially evolve into different textures and patterns in a few years.
Complementing the visual identity is a refreshed rendering of the iconic Emmy statuette, which provides greater utility and consistency across all touchpoints, including digital and social media. During “Emmy season”—spanning the summer announcement of nominees until the fall telecast—the refreshed Television Academy logo will be used in conjunction with the newly designed Emmy statuette to create a strong connection to the Emmy Awards.
The graphical treatment of Emmy is stronger and more athletic, but loses none of her grace and inspiration. She teams with the Academy logo during Emmy season and when there is a need to establish a strong connection with the Academy or the Foundation. The primary color for both the logo and Emmy is a gradient gold, and a vibrant, complementary selection of secondary colors was chosen to use in materials designed for the wide variety of Academy programs and events.
The new rendering of the statue is definitely an improvement. It’s more energetic and works great small.
Overall, this is a great and appropriate redesign for the Television Academy. It builds a visual language where there was none before and perhaps where it wasn’t even needed but it’s something that should help bring attention and recognition to the organization.
Thanks to Shane Dennis for the tip.