A look at Gannett’s ‘red’ and ‘blue’ graphics packages

WKYC-TV, the Gannett NBC affiliate in Cleveland, has debuted new graphics using the group’s Pyburn Films-designed packages and powered by Chyron’s Axis Graphics.

More images, analysis and a poll after the jump…

The new look uses what many consider Pyburn’s trademark look; bold colors, metallic surfaces and bursts of light and comes as a part of the company’s consolidation of news graphics operations in Denver.

We’ll now compared the iterations side by side.

Both of the looks make liberal use of the colors and surface styling we’ve already mentioned. The red package, like the one used at WZZM-TV, is accented with golds and blacks and isn’t quite as “shiny” as the blue version.

It’s also interesting to note that addition of the glassy ring-like elements in both versions of the package, an element that isn’t found in the similar looks seen at WNBC-TV in New York, which still uses its Pyburn package, and KYW-TV in Philadelphia, which is no longer using the look Pyburn originally designed for the station.

Meanwhile, the blue version of the package uses many of the elements found in its counterpart, including the gold-toned elements.

It’s interesting to note that the blue version, as used at WKYC-TV, uses red in its lower thirds, a technique that seems a bit out of place. It’s that red block that tilts my preference to the red version.

That said, the 3D version of the station’s logo found in the open is done with a particularly nice semi-transparent treatment. The only thing that throws the element off a bit is how the right-hand side of the number “3” is chopped off.

That chopped off element is part of the station’s clean and innovative logo, but a vertical line is typically placed where the numeral is cut off. In the 3D version found in the open, it’s missing and, when you look carefully, makes the logo look odd.

Both packages also have impressive-looking OTSs. The square portion of the graphic sits on what reminds us of a silver platter, while additional silver elements and bursts of light are found around the graphic and its sides.

One particularly weak area of the Gannett package is its type treatment. The package uses some variation of Helvetica, a typeface that looks way too plain compared to the style of the package. I’d also like to see slightly better defined first and second tiers; right now the two line aren’t separated very well.

Of both packages, I feel the red one works a bit better. Overall the package is more consistent and cohesive.

However, me preferring the red version isn’t just because of the unexpected red tones found in the L3s.

Overall, this version of the package is much more unique and rich. Blue is such an overused color in television news and red tones have been showing up more in graphics. It’s a bold color that conveys a sense of urgency and its still relatively underused, allowing a station to stand out.

It will be interesting to see how the package rolls out in other Gannett markets and which stations chose which version. Gannett’s decision to consolidate graphics operations is certainly not a new concept, but is likely be closely monitored by others in the industry.

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