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COMEDY CENTRAL [graphicsdesign]

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by casekonly, May 20, 2004.

  1. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    Newly formed design shop INTERspectacular has completed the company’s premiere project, a re-design of popular network Comedy Central. Late last spring, Creative Directors Luis Blanco and Michael Uman were given the opportunity to take a stab at creating a new look for Comedy Central.

    Their excitement over this project lured them both away from their vacations at the beach. Collaborating with Kendrick Reid, VP of On-Air for Comedy Central, Blanco and Uman were shown a series of reference materials and provided with a creative brief on the new direction the network wanted to go. They decided to give it a try and took a low-fi approach. They, along with a small group of hand-picked designers, spent the summer eating cold cut sandwiches, listening to music, and making their plan for Kendrick and Comedy Central. Up against already-established competitors, Blanco and Uman created a comprehensive presentation book that included a DVD with animations, and even music selections that addressed the new sound of Comedy Central. Clearly the under dog, Blanco and Uman were thrilled when they got the gig, and INTERspectacular was born.

    For the Comedy Central project, Blanco and Uman turned to pop and street art for their inspiration. To infuse the project with a strong sense of authenticity, Blanco and Uman worked with underground artists such as Shepherd Fairey of the Obey/Giant projects and Studio Number One; Friends With You, designers and makers of plush urban toys; and Dr. Revolt, old school graffiti legend. Each artist provided icons, symbols and marks for the project. INTERspectacular also collaborated with Brazilian design firms Lobo and Piloto based in Sao Paulo.

    To view the successful results of that summer of fun, check out www.interspectacular.com

    “The work from INTERspectacular has been amazing,” says Kendrick Reid. “They've proven time and time again that graphics can be funny. They've created a world of illustrated and animated characters for us to play with and integrate into our graphic language, as well as editorial language for the network. The voice of Comedy Central has always been provocative, unexpected, surprising and honest. That is the brand mission. Now we have a graphic package that supports every aspect of our mission, connects with our viewers, and gives us the creative freedom to express ourselves visually like never before. It has given us so much more creative freedom. It has opened our minds to a more organic and playful way of approaching design and has allowed us to break the rules as often as we make them. We are the anti-network network and now creatively we can show it.”

    “The concept INTERspectacular presented to us was the visual embodiment of our network’s mission -- to connect with our viewers via Comedy Central's particular kind of comedy: comedy that is provocative and edgy,” explains Peter Risafi SVP/Creative Director, Comedy Central Brand Creative. “Our goal was to try and design a look that felt as if it had a lot of human interaction. INTERspectacular did that brilliantly. They designed a look that encourages human contact with its cool iconic characters, its touches of graffiti and the distressed overall feel. It’s a wide canvas, ripe for human interaction and it leaves room for people to connect. We have also never seen a design that has so much inherent humor; it allows us to be funny. In addition, it’s very flexible. We can alter and change it, and really grow with it. It has incredible energy.”

    Design devotees, Blanco and Uman had been discussing starting a shop together, but it was the winning of the Comedy Central project that gave them the opportunity to make their ideas a reality with INTERspectacular. They have an impressive resume with over 20 years of combined experience in the design arena. They have collaborated with a broad range of clients that include: ABC Sports, Arista Records, BET, CBS, CMM Advertising, CNBC, CNN, DC Comics, Def Jam, Discovery Channel, ESPN, FOX, Grey Advertising, HBO, InDemand, MSNBC, MTV, NFL Films, Nickelodeon, Noggin, RDA International, Showtime, Sony, Spier NY, SpikeTV, Tommy Boy Records, UBIsoft and VH-1.

    “There is a trend in design towards personalization,” says Blanco. “Design has moved from the Œsuperclean’ quality, and shifted to a more eclectic, hand-crafted approach. The juxtaposition of unexpected elements is what makes this style so attractive. Things like collage allow for humor and surprise and open the door to spontaneity that wasn’t possible with Comedy Central’s previous look,” insists Blanco.

    “Our design solution for Comedy Central encompassed a flexible collage approach,” adds Uman. “We created a series of elements and textures pulled from Street Art and graffiti vernacular. We put these elements into a new context and used them in surprising ways, keeping the package fresh.”

    INTERspectacular was also instrumental in directing the new sound of Comedy Central. Knowing that the sound for the channel should be as eclectic as the design, they drew on the talents of NY-based DJ Wally and Expansion Team.

    “Like Street Art, the new sound of Comedy Central is about unexpected combinations of audio elements. Humor is also a big part of it,” explains Blanco. “There are a lot of musicians who create sound collages within Electronica and underground hip-hop, and their music crosses over into both genres.”

    “Sampling is audio collage,” continues Uman. “We wanted the tracks to have a cool old school hip-hop vibe. What appeals to us are the collage aspect and the gritty loops used in those early tracks. The rumble and scratches of the vinyl, as well as early production techniques have a certain analogue warmth that’s missing in a great deal of today’s electronic and hip hop music. To expand on the audio palette, Soul, R & B, as well as some punk elements were included in the mix.”

    Under Blanco and Uman’s guidance, INTERspectacular’s mission will be to take on a diversity of projects including design for print, and music, as well as the development of original content.

    INTERspectacular Creative Director Michael Uman has created brand and image campaigns, show packages, commercials and web design. He was responsible for directing teams of designers and animators as principal and partner in the award winning FDG Design Studios for the past four years. Previous to FDG, Uman maintained his own design studio, Umanoid Studios, where he collaborated with a wide variety of broadcast and commercial clients. Early in his career as an illustrator, Uman was heavily influenced by the leading graffiti and hip-hop artists of the 1980s. He participated in group art/graffiti shows, and completed design projects for Def Jam and Tommy Boy record labels. Uman is also an accomplished electronic musician who has released tracks on various compilations.

    INTERspectacular Creative Director Luis Blanco has created branding campaigns, image campaigns and show packages in addition to his work as a commercial Director. Over the last four years, Blanco held the position of Art Director at USA Network. At USA, Blanco directed a team of designers and animators helping to create and shape USA’s brand identity. Previously, Blanco founded and was Creative Director of Chelsea Design where he worked with a diversity of broadcast and commercial clients.
  2. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5

    Comedy Central gets Network ID Remix from EyeballNYC, Expansion Team

    In 2002, design-based production company EyeballNYC and music company Expansion Team created a package of network ID’s for their client, Comedy Central. Pleased with the results of the award-winning package and eager to entice their viewer’s with a sneak peak into the network’s evolving on-air look, the network challenged the companies to do it all over again, but with a twist: use the same ID’s. The results are 10 ‘remixed’ ID’s for the network that share the same beginning as the old ID package, but then quickly transition into a completely new creation, warping and twisting the visual and musical elements of the original package.

    After opening in the same way as the old ID, each remix takes a dramatic, schizophrenic shift, exploding in a flurry of graffiti tags and spray paint. “We wanted to take a fun, expressive approach to remixing these IDs,” says Limore Shur, creative director of EyeballNYC. “Each transition punches you in the face and says ‘this is where we are now’, with no subtlety about it.” “Working on this project was a natural transition from my days as a graffiti writer,” adds Brian Sensebe, a recent hire at Eyeball and lead designer on the package. “Street art is very spontaneous, it just happens – I wanted to bring that same aesthetic into motion.” Comedy Central’s CD/VP of On-Air Design, Kendrick Reid added, “That's what comedy is: unexpected and spontaneous...it is what defines the Comedy Central brand. This was the perfect way to introduce our new look and will open us up to a whole new visual way of connecting with our viewers”

    The same spontaneity of the visual design transpired in the music as well. “Comedy Central basically told us to go have fun with it and do whatever we wanted,” says DJ Lux, Expansion Team’s creative director. “Everyone flipped the old tracks into something completely, stylistically different.” Some of the most dramatic reworkings include Disco D’s West Coast G-funk take on big band jazz in “Dominoes remix”; Mathematics’ ‘80s dub meets French house in the “Boogie Nights remix”; Roger Manning Jr’s glitch pop version of surf rock in “Washing Cycle remix”; and Vinroc’s scratch attack in “Roller Coaster remix”.

    Sensebe credits the music with helping the direction of each individual ID. “The music was a critical element in my design process,” notes Sensebe. “The music really set the tone to make each ID a piece within itself.”

    About Expansion Team
    Expansion Team was created as a spinoff of EyeballNYC so that the company's music composition and supervision services could be offered to the entire production and advertising community in addition to -- and outside of -- EyeballNYC's production packages. ET represents a virtual dream team of composers, producers, songwriters and DJs running deep into all facets of underground and mainstream music and culture.

    About EyeballNYC
    EyeballNYC is a boutique design-based production company located in SOHO-New York, with capabilities that include graphic design, live-action, editorial and original music. For more information, contact the studio at 187 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013, Ph 212-431-5324, or see this and recent work at www.eyeballnyc.com/recentwork
  3. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5



    i dunno what to think...mixed views, i guess.
  4. adderall

    adderall Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 10, 2003 Messages: 2,921 Likes Received: 1
    comedy central meets rap city da bassment

  5. duh-rye-won

    duh-rye-won Member

    Joined: Aug 8, 2001 Messages: 580 Likes Received: 2
    i think reas works for comedy central. not sure, maybe. he definitely worked on crank yankers.
  6. Fondles

    Fondles Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 31, 2001 Messages: 7,866 Likes Received: 28