With Surreal Short Films and Spiky New Fonts, Jonathan Glazer and Neville Brody Rebrand U.K.’s Channel 4
Under the Skin filmmaker Jonathan Glazer and design hero Neville Brody, alongside creative agencies 4Creative and DBLG have “rebranded” iconic U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 with jagged new fonts and a deliriously weird, vaguely Kubrick-ian series of station IDs. Glazer’s four narratively-linked shorts fit more comfortably into his recent film work than they do any kind of television advertising, with their mysterious creatures, magenta rock formations and high-tech science laboratories. As for the fonts, well, back in the day, we at Filmmaker used to spend late nights with our late, great designer Wayne Van Acker geeking out over Brody’s work for The Face and other publications. So, this whole campaign is a thrill.
At Creative Review, Eliza Williams has all the details. First, about Glazer’s films:
Glazer’s idents present the blocks as elemental forms born of nature and found within the earth. His films have a sci-fi, slightly mad feel, depicting the blocks being discovered and their impact on the world. While there is a narrative running through the four films, they are abstract enough to potentially leave viewers, especially those more used to the obvious approach of most TV channel branding, scratching their heads and wondering what on earth is going on. Their subtlety is their charm though, and the decision not to spell everything out is a bold and exciting one, plus intentionally leaves room for the channel to expand on the theme in future films.
And about Brody’s work:
The concept behind the channel’s use of type in the new identity is a little more straightforward, though the blocks remain central to this too. Designed by Neville Brody, there are now two fonts, Chadwick and Horseferry, named after the streets that Channel 4 sits on. Chadwick serves as an information font, while Horseferry is the headline font. “Horseferry is built out of Chadwick and in it you can find all the little blocks. They’re all buried within it,” says Alice Tonge, creative director at 4Creative.
“It’s got loads of character – it’s occasionally spiky, sometimes smooth, sometimes goes against the grain, doesn’t always follow type rules. Full of personality, and only something that Channel 4 could own. That was the big thing – to create something that when you look at it, you know it’s Channel 4.”