Established in 1976, El País is one of the three main daily newspapers in Spain — along with El Mundo and ABC — and the one with the highest-circulation, at more than 230,000, along with a smaller but fervent circulation in other Spanish-speaking countries. Its online counterpart, launched in the mid 1990s, receives over 14 million unique visitors a month, with five of those millions being from outside Spain. Like other newspapers online, video has become an integral part of its content, and El País recently introduced a comprehensive identity and approach to El País Video designed by Madrid-based Erretres.
The goal was to open a new active window to the world with a dynamic and versatile identity that serves as the base of numerous animated resources such as identified themes, signs, graphics, covers, credits, signatures, locations, etc. which a project of these characteristics requires.
A window from which El País, in its most synthetic form, is converted into the brand-curator of reality, thus a window from which it observes the world and shows to the world.
The El País logo is one of the most well-known and recognized logos in Spain, which makes you wonder if all those blackletter newspaper logos have got it wrong in going for the same approach instead of choosing something as basic as Clarendon, which is all that the El País logo is. The familiarity with the “E” is almost the same as The New York Times “T” — who also built a concise video platform identity back in 2014 — and serves as the basis for the logo along with the ubiquitous play button. There is nothing special about the El País Video logo; it’s very simple and basic but it works: You can spot it easily amidst the editorial density of the newspaper’s website and its two circles, reminiscent of buttons, pack good functionality and subtle cues about the videos.
The main animation that plays at the beginning of the videos is 1 or 2 seconds long and it’s also simple and to the point, with a brief whoosh-and-boop mnemonic sound that gets you in the mood to watch a video. It does look and sound similar to the NYT video logo, so to each his own on whether it’s a coincidence or not. I would give them the benefit of the doubt.
The opening title frames have a great editorial look and the logo pairs great with the beautiful and sturdy Majerit typeface, designed by Feliciano Type Foundry for El País, which looks superb online at large sizes. The second circle of the logo plays a nice role indicating the time expired on the video or introducing the video’s host.
The print applications are — not to sound like a broken record — simple and effective, if a little dry, but on something like ad directly above, the transparency of the logo works great on top of the photo. The use of Benton Sans (also on the videos) rounds out the identity quite well. Overall, an intelligible logo and application that serves the content properly and without distraction.