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News Channels Rely on Stars

No matter what network you choose to watch the news these days, you know 75% of the time it’s going to be about the current war with Iraq. And every time they start talking about it they have a little screen animation with some sort of catch phrase, Iraqi Freedom the most common, and some cleverly (being sarcastic here) deviced logo that usually involves a star and some fire. Here are some examples:





Some of these logos, like ABC’s pointy star are rather uncomfortable and unsettling. Don’t we get enough of that from the news? What is the thinking behind these logos? I guess everything needs some sort of branding. The names are also annoying and full of useless “pumpitude,” it all goes back to the naming of the operations (like we already talked about) and making the war seem like the latest Wrestlemania.

Thanks to Felix for the idea

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PUBLISHED ON Mar.26.2003 BY Armin
griff’s comment is:

i will be watching msnbc exclusively. this is based only on my opinion that they have the best kerning.

On Mar.26.2003 at 09:50 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

I imagine graphic designers for the news networks must run home each day and scrub themselves raw in the shower to cleanse themselves of it.

this is based only on my opinion that they have the best kerning.

I dunno...that 'F' is floating out there all by itself... ;o)

On Mar.26.2003 at 09:52 AM
felix’s comment is:

My favorite is ABC's logo- the star within the W in War crashes right into that Dubya with uncomfortable, intentional grace. Its incredibly subliminable.

On Mar.26.2003 at 10:05 AM
Sam’s comment is:

>>Its incredibly subliminable.

All part of ABC's mind-control stategery.

I watch CNN mostly, but their site doesn't match their TV graphics. Bad brand cohesion? Somehow seems irrelevant. The TV graphics are so tacky, so obliviously unsensitive to anything remotely like tastefulness, that I can only imagine they're made by some design department hunkered down in Atlanta under a ton of pressure and completely out of touch with anything except the demands their producrers are making on them. Everything in the background is always moving and fading and throbbing, and everything is red or black--I'm talking about CNN--that I just sit there salivating for some raw steak and a massive tax cut. I hope someone somewhere is figuring out how television graphics got to be so bad.

On Mar.26.2003 at 10:30 AM
Sam’s comment is:


/*blew the joke*/

On Mar.26.2003 at 10:30 AM
Su’s comment is:

These just make me think of that tacky-ass "Infinite Justice, Darling" image that PK made when that ridiculous name came up.

*pokes PK from halfway across the city*

Wanna share?

The bizarre way that star cuts into the letters in the ABC thingy is just, well...weird.

On Mar.26.2003 at 10:52 AM
Damien’s comment is:

I watch the BBC - either on its own channel or on CSPAN. I don't get any stars - they use the color red though.

On Mar.26.2003 at 11:27 AM
corey’s comment is:

You forgot to mention ChannelOne! That's the cable channel that is piped into all the public school rooms in America. The channel is best known for a small controversy over its policy of allowing Coca-Cola commercials to be broadcast to home rooms that cannot turn the station off, thereby forcing the students to sit through a barrage of advertisements!

Anyhow, since I can't figure out how to link, please copy this address into your browser and take a look.


On Mar.26.2003 at 12:17 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

I appreciate the simplicity of ABC's design; too bad I find it so ugly. But at least it's just ugly, not ugly and overwrought.

And dare I say that Channel One logo has some potential? Get rid of the bars and that weird rectangle and drop out the background and tweak the type and.... Whew. Maybe not.

On Mar.26.2003 at 01:00 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

I watch CNN and the BBC. Although they do use graphics and the like, I deal with it for the fact that they are the only legitimate television news channels.

Two things.

First, why are the maps and diagrams on all of the television news channels poorly executed? CNN is using some board on a table and wooden pointer with strange colorful shapes meant to depict tanks, helicopters, and soldiers. With all the headway made in the last few years on the web with Flash (when used effectively of course), you'd think broadcasters would have taken a hint. Is there a lack of technology in broadcast television that I am unaware of?

The channels had plenty of time to develop a simple, effective, cohesive, and consistent system; no? Now only if I could animate the beautiful maps and diagrams of The New York Times!

Second, is it me or do the British (Europeans in general) get design? I noticed the stark comparison during this morning's press conference that the UK Minister of Defence and a one of his generals gave. The set was simpe, with one logo on the wall with only one line of type below it. Each person had their own podium. They used one screen with simple black sans serf type on a white background. Compare this with the US's Centcom's billion plasma's, multi-leveled stage, numerous US flags and graphics on the wall behind the presenter.

On Mar.27.2003 at 10:42 AM
Kevin Jones’s comment is:

A friend and I recently had a discussion concerning the Pentagon's need for better copywriters. you would think with thier budget ...

On Mar.27.2003 at 01:02 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

This week's "On The Media" on NPR discussed a bit of what is being discussed in this thread. Listen here.

On Mar.29.2003 at 02:37 PM