BACK TO SQUARE ONE
WHAT WE DID: CONCEPT, CREATIVE DIRECTION, ART DIRECTION, DESIGN, ANIMATION, ORIGINAL MUSIC & SFX, OFF-AIR TEMPLATES.
Rebranding RAI was so nice we did it twice, and then twice again, crafting a contemporary visual identity that unites Italy’s largest network across its four primary channels, RAI 1, 2, 3 and 4, while also celebrating each one’s unique personality.
And it all stems from RAI’s familiar logo, which consists of one of the world’s simplest shapes.
Turning a rigid square into a powerful yet nuanced on-air system that feels beautifully alive is no easy task. Transforming that system four times over, into four promo toolkits that reflect the style and tone of a quartet of interconnected yet completely distinct channels, is downright herculean.
Fortunately, we had some wonderful artists in the modernist tradition to help guide us, such as Max Bill, Josef Albers and especially, Italy’s own Bruno Munari, who once wrote:
“The square is the finest expression of a spatial idea complete in itself. It represents an order of charged spiritual symbolism.”
Taking our cue from Munari, we put a charge into the RAI square, making it twirl, spin, dive and dart through an array of bumpers, lower thirds, end pages and other elements. Along the way, we created rules for the square’s motion depending on the channel it was appearing on.
It is the most-watched TV channel in Italy, showing everything from news to sports to soap operas. To tap into the daily comfort it provides viewers, we kept the animation safe and secure. Wherever it’s headed in RAI 1, the square, like a rook in the game of Chess, always moves along vertical or horizontal lines.
On the other hand, Rai 2 mixes things up a little, adding a narrative edge to its programming slate of series and movies. With the added depth, we deepened the movements of our square, angling it to make it a diamond or growing it into a cube to evoke a new dimension of viewing.
For RAI 3’s thoughtful blend of cultural commentary and current affairs, we removed the predictive element of our square’s angles and rotations. Like discourse itself, you never quite know where the square’s going to go in RAI 3 – the fun is in watching it go there.
Last but far from least, we deconstructed the square for RAI 4, finding beguiling new ways for it to materialize and come apart as it shows off youth-oriented fare such as sci-fi, fantasy, anime and other content.
Abstractly evoking four separate yet interconnected network personas was incredibly challenging. But by staying true to our endlessly expressive little quadrangle, we found a way to do it, bringing a new RAI identity into Italian homes that is simple, strong, and open to all ages. After all, as Bruno Munari once said, “The square is as high and as wide as a man with his arms outstretched… It signifies the idea of enclosure, of home, of settlement.”