Inside the Design: CNNI

Broadcasting from around the world from studios in Hong Kong, London and Atlanta, CNN International presents the news the same way in three very different countries.

In 2007 CNNI unveiled three new studio for its international CNN property, CNNI. The studios all feature matching elements of metal, lighted LED boxes, scrolling tickers, plasmas, and rear projector screens. Each set is different, but have many similar elements. No matter the studio or the country, the news can be presented in the same way because the studios are designed to work the same for the director and to give them the same experience. This allows the experience for all viewers of the world to be the same, no matter which studio is being used.


“Reaching a broader audience than CNN domestic, CNN International is the news channel of choice by citizens in transit, who possess only small portions of time to receive their news. Their news must come fast, simply and globally comprehensive. The world’s news is their big story, and CNN International is their forum.”

The CNN International studios don’t get in the way of the news, instead they work well with the news. The set, much like The Situation Room set, helps convey information to the anchors and to the viewers. Lighted LED panels display the color code of the upcoming story, and the plasmas on the left display the upcoming stories, giving the viewers a preview of what is ahead. These color differences also help divide the set and give anchors different places to stand.

“One the major challenges faced was that the ultimate design needed to be scalable and customizable to CNNI’s facilities worldwide
– the most important of which were the studios in London, Hong Kong, and Atlanta. Each facility offered myriad new challenges,
ranging from outdated technologies to crippling facility constraints. CNNI required a design that would be immediately recognized as
CNN, while also being unique to its specific locale.
The project required a studio design that would be internationally unbiased, contemporary and timeless. In addition to the look, it
essentially had to build the machine that allowed the set to be filmed the same ways in every location, and yet remain receptive to
future unexpected uses, unique storytelling opportunities and requirements.”

The new studios allow all of the CNNI broadcasts to remain unified around the globe and allow for the news to be delivered the same way to any viewer. The sets neutral palette also allows for the set to work in any culture, and work for any viewer.


This unification helps CNNI dominate the international news business and remain open for business 24/7. Instead of having one crew up all night in Atlanta, CNNI can have crews around the world working a normal job, while still broadcasting the news to the world. This collaboration around the world helps set CNNI apart and makes it a station to watch.

CNNI presents a unique design for international news, combining a new new approach to world news with a modern studio. The CNNI set was designed by Clickspring Design, a New York agency.