Manly Baking & Girly Sci-Fi

So it’s time to cover another one of my modules this year. Introductions time of year again, hooray. This time it’s actually my preferred module of the past couple of semesters, motion graphics and video production. Basically we’ve been asked to create an identity for a TV channel of our choice, and to develop a brand through a series of video material such as idents and pre-show clips.

I’ve come up with two ideas. Firstly I’ve gotten seduced into the idea of focusing on sci-fi again, for the second semester in a row. Though this time it would be tackled in a very different way. Firstly I looked at the only science fiction channel I could think of, the recently rebranded SyFy channel. I won’t lie, I think the rebrand is totally stupid, but I can see the purpose behind it. Before the rebrand the Sci-Fi Channel and science fiction in general is a male-dominated genre. It doesn’t attract a female demographic at all, so what if I tried to create a TV identity that was more unisex without losing the lush and colourful visual culture sci-fi has built itself.

Unfortunately all the influences I’ve been looking at do seem a tad more masculine and bold, and to make it more unisex would mean to go more in the direction of what I did last year in entertainment design, which really isn’t going to happen. So, asides from making it pink, how can I make an image below into something more unisex? I was thinking of looking into electronica and dance music or 80s culture to give a more open feel to the whole thing, but it’s essential to maintain science fictions feel of adventure and excitement. Treating them more like stories in this way could help tone down the male-orientation on the genre.

Compare the two images below. The right has type which is bold and unforgiving in form. It’s dramatic, sure, but there’s something more subtle about the type on the left which almost makes me think of how literature is laid out. This emphasises that sci-fi is about great stories, and also doesn’t have the overly bold dramaticism of the right design.

The other idea I had was for a channel which doesn’t exist even in genre. There are food channels, but with the recent surge in popularity of baking, with shows like “The Great British Bake-off” getting record viewing statistics, it seems appropriate to try and create a brand and identity for a TV channel based solely on baking. However this would have the opposite problem of a science fiction channel, of being too aimed at a female demographic. Baking isn’t seen as a particularly manly past-time (I should know), so why not try to make it a bit more unisex?

This would focus pretty heavily on type I feel, as currently all type related to baking is floral and ornate and inherently feminine. However, for some great typography work that relates to food in many instances find the below example.

So both ideas basically look on not only how to expand the intended market of these channel types, but also how to appropriate them with the demographics they hold today. For example, the second concept of a baking channel. Most baking items are aimed at a female market, but why? It’s increasingly a genderless market, so why treat it like one? It just requires some reinventing.
I’ll develop both ideas, get some basic name and logo concepts for next Tuesday and let you know how it goes.

Listening to: Trying People by De La Soul

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