CBS News streamer’s graphics build on ‘deconstructed eye’ look, add unique elements

The relaunch of CBS Newsstreaming service showcases even more opportunities for the network to show off and refine its “deconstructed eye” identity package that’s been rolling out across its properties since October 2020.

Previously known as CBSN, the CBS News Streaming Network, which is more commonly referred to as simply “CBS News,” debuted the new name and a new look on Jan. 24, 2022.

The broadcast graphics design draws heavily on the mostly flat but slightly beveled look CBS News has been using in various applications since 2020, perhaps most notably on its “News Flash” and “Weekend News” looks as well as on its “CBS Mornings” program.

This means there are a plethora of applications of various shapes for the CBS eye, including the circular and ring elements, but also the distinct shapes and points created by the curved in the famous icon. Other common elements include hashmarks, dots and microtext.

Graphics include an updated “CBS News” bug in the lower left of the screen set in a light gray box with a matching lower third available to fill the full width of the screen.

At some points during Jan. 24’s debut, the lower third appeared to be slightly smaller than the big box, though this appeared to be fixed as the day went on. In addition, there was at least one time when an old version of the CBSN-style lower thirds appeared on screen, though it’s not clear what caused the issue.

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Along with dropping the CBSN name, the logotype that matched the “classic” CBS News logo that used the elegant serif Didot is gone, replaced with one using TT Norms, the new typeface of choice across the company (some instances of the CBSN logo were previously updated with TT Norms).

A colored box above the bug box can showcase a particular show name, such as with “Red & Blue,” or serve as a live bug.

On the lower thirds themselves, optional “flags” in various colors can be inserted atop the bar, which also adds a vertical colored bar separating the bug box from the lower third box. This is frequently done for franchise segments or developing news.

The far right of the lower third design includes a subtle imprint of an oversized CBS eye.

Meanwhile, the default video wall background during rolling news coverage known as “CBS News Live” has switched to a world map design that  inspired by nighttime satellite imagery. It’s heavily animated and also includes diagonal laser lines as well as those hash marks, microtext and arrow elements.

This look is typically blue, but can be turned red for breaking news and different backgrounds are used for the standalone shows “CBS News Mornings” and “Red & Blue.”

In addition, a variety of circle-based topical graphic options are available for display behind anchors.

Single anchor shots have an option for a larger circle to one side.

When two anchors are on set, a large CBS eye can appear camera center between them, with the center circle becoming a container for both the date and topical graphics and text. 

The network’s 7 p.m. newscast, which is solo anchored for now, includes heavier CBS eye elements camera right that features the outer ring, a black version of the “eye” and center circle dramatically extruded outward. 

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For single anchor setups, another option is a curved “cutout” camera left of the anchor, creating a much larger canvas for imagery and text.

In addition to backgrounds, the network also frequently uses the video walls installed on either side of home base for “video on video” shots over anchor VOs or bumps with topical graphics that fill the screen and feature a curved hashmark and arrow accent on one side.

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The open that appears during rolling news coverage is a similar blue shade to the primary video wall background and includes hints of the same world map look.

The viewport focuses on a variety of dramatic, carefully cropped shots of a 3D iteration of the CBS eye, which is white, while the words “CBS News” also appear on screen.

Another distinct element used here is the words “CBS News” shown in a bold, semigloss black that starts out as just an online before multiple layers fill it in and “build” it up higher within the space. This animation style appears to be a new element which also mixes in various CBS bureau locations. 

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