Channel 5 is the fifth terrestrial TV channel in the UK. A commercial channel with public service broadcasting obligations, it offers a diverse range of shows including drama, entertainment, documentaries and reality shows.
The channel has evolved rapidly over the last few years, commissioning many very popular original British shows that feature big-name talent. Despite the big campaigns accompanying these, research revealed that audiences are still constantly misattributing these shows to Channel 5’s competitors.
Channel 5 approached Pentagram to create a series of heavily branded ads showcasing a variety of its best new and established titles that would appear across Channel 5 and My5 (the Channel’s online home) throughout the year. It was important that the branding was consistent and dominant so that the Channel 5 brand is always prominent alongside the individual programme brands.
The team shared initial ideas on how to increase brand awareness, recognition and consistency across heavily branded range ads (ads that showcase multiple TV shows), and worked with the Channel 5 creative team to develop the chosen route.
The solution was to create a highly flexible system that could contain a wide variety of content, featuring single, double and triple shows while maintaining a strong visual consistency across a wide range of media and formats. The modular system is inspired by the Channel 5 logo, not only creating a visual link, but maintaining strict usage rules independent of particular content.
Careful consideration was given to taking the static campaign into the digital environment through motion, in particular for social media, maintaining the Channel’s strong visual style but providing additional flexibility to showcase the content.
The biggest challenge for Pentagram’s design team was unifying the system across a wide range of scales, formats and media types. The key was to ensure consistency while providing equal visual prominence for each individual show on an ad that could contain very different content. Another challenge was adapting the campaign for future shows, by creating a series of templates that the Channel 5 team could use confidently and consistently.
The team explored a number of styles and colours for the modular approach (ranging from extreme and striking to more muted and recessive) before creating the final design solution, which keeps a clear and deliberate visual connection with the existing on-air channel identity. Taking the static campaign into motion for social media and digital applications illustrates the flexibility of the modular system created by Pentagram.