Contributed by Dervla O’Shea of London-based Dixon Baxi.
A multi-platform rebrand, UKTV Yesterday was underpinned by the new positioning ‘Entertainment Inspired by History’. This led to challenging the viewer perception of how history can be portrayed, with the aim of transforming it into a vivid, immersive experience.
We wanted to create a logo that felt as if it could have been made by civilisations past and we wanted something sculptural. An object rather than a graphic. Something iconic, pure and with presence. It was also about transforming the Yesterday brand and giving it a scale and power it lacked.
While developing the identity we had always envisioned fabricating it out of different materials. The facets also create strong areas of light and shade and this is a subtle reference to how sunlight and shadow moves across similar iconic objects, buildings and monuments.
We worked with model makers Einsteins Octopus and looked at lots of materials that might work. Ultimately we settled on a set of four that worked with our theme for each ident. So for “Flame” we used copper sheeting folded around a computer cut “Y” which was then painted green, aged and distressed. The other “Y’s” were made from a solid piece of American Oak, another from concrete — the mixture of which was tested to provide the best explosive dust and debris. The fourth “Y” was made from a japanese lacquer effect which was produced using layers of lacquer and crackle glaze.
As each “Y” was to be filmed very close up they had to look perfect and so each was crafted as a beautiful object in its own right. Seeing them finally made really brought the essence of the logo to life — a sculptural, iconic object that could have been made by civilisations past which has now been unearthed.
We loved creating the audio for these idents. In this case the sound design is really important in providing a context to the action. We wanted the audio to feel cinematic and unlike typical channel audio which tends to sometimes be quite passive.