NBC Universal's Style Media was looking for more than just a brand refresh, they needed a top-down, full-blown, head-to-toe brand makeover. The team at Style turned to New York-based creative production company Gretel to help them do just that.
Style has been on the air for over ten years. Though they've enjoyed some success building an aspirational, upbeat network that viewers trust, the brand wasn't reflecting their full potential. They were looking to make a big splash, and to craft a brand that truly lived up to the promise in their name: Style.
In rebranding the network, it was up to the talented team at Gretel to capitalize on this opportunity to give Style a look, energy, and point of view to stake their claim in the category.
"There are other networks that touch on style, but Style is the only network dedicated to the idea," said Greg Hahn, Founder and Creative Director at Gretel. "At the same time, their brand has been a tad modest - in our view - and they have flown a bit under the radar. There is such rich opportunity for a network like Style, and they know it. They needed a bolder, more colorful, more expressive brand to connect with all the style-obsessed viewers out there."
"Our challenge to Gretel was to reinvent us as a brand that embodied the energy, personality and exuberance of our talent, shows and viewers. It was a tall order, but Gretel delivered on all fronts. We were in love with the look, energy and point of view right from the pitch," said Bear Fisher, SVP of Brand Strategy and Creative Director at Style.
"Style and their brand consultant Monica Halpert brought us a great brief. They know their audience and they saw the chance to build a brand with a big reach," said Ryan Moore, Creative Director at Gretel. "Their brief mentioned seeing the world through the 'style-filter'. When we started doing that, we saw Style everywhere."
Gretel took that initial inspiration and channelled it into the idea of illustrating how a style-obsessed mind works. This became a central theme in the branding, that the on-air content is carefully curated by a panel of style-minded individuals. "How do über-style-fans see the world? They're constantly searching, marking, clipping, pinning, liking, blogging, comparing, shopping. They're looking at your shoes, watch and wondering where you got that shirt. We tried to visualize that process, that mindset," said Moore.
The new network logo even plays into this theme. "We wanted to create a classic mark with a modern edge" said Greg Hahn.
As a complement to the logotype Gretel has created a series of expressive, handwritten 'signatures' that appear throughout the package. This library of gestural marks adds visual texture, but also harkens back to the idea of the network's panel of curators. It's a subtle nod to the many voices that have hand-picked and curated the content specifically for viewers. "It speaks to what Style team described as their 'approachable authority,' the idea that this network is made up of real people who are as deeply interested in fashion as the viewer," said Hahn.
Ultimately, the Gretel team was able to provide Style with a toolkit that can help grow with the brand. "The package strikes a nice balance between being rigid enough to stamp elements with the Style brand, and fluid enough to allow for customization," said Moore. "The logo is a great example; it can easily change any number of ways without losing its core identity. It's actually a nice analogy for the concept of style itself. We're proud of the fact that we've designed a structured and branded toolkit that also feels loose and expressive."
SVP, Brand Strategy / Creative Director: Bear Fisher
VP, On Air Creative: Bob Pederson
VP, Digital / New Media: Carlos Sapene
Sr Art Director, On Air Design: Lauraine Gibbons
Sr Art Director, Print: Patricia Folgar
Director, On Air Creative Production: Kim Adelman
Director, Print / Online Design: Alexandria Voyatzis
Graphics Producer, On Air Design: Amy Bury
Manager, On Air Creative Production: Pamela Abraham
Manager, Print Production: Teresa Tonai
Brand Consultant: Monica Halpert
Executive Creative Director: Greg Hahn
Creative Director: Ryan Moore
Art Director: Kiffer Keegan
Live Action Director: Thomas Edwards
Designers: Carl Burton, Danny Ruiz, Dylan Mulvaney, Naomie Ross, Sarah Ancalmo, Serge Kirsanov
Copywriter: Alison Hess
Producer: Ryan McLaughlin
Production Coordinator: Kate Johnson
Animators: AJ Kolb, Andrew Chung, Bryan Cobonpue, Chris Linea, Irene Park, Manu Gaulot, Marco Giampaolo
Design Support: Chen Longo, Katrina Soo Hoo, Thai Ngo
Writer: Daniel Freedman