Gray Television brings visual cohesion to stations with GrayONE graphics

Gray Television is rolling out a distinctive motion graphics package across its stations known internally as GrayONE.

The newly formed Gray Design Group, which combined the former Meredith and Gray creative services hubs into a centralized team, developed the package.

“We’ve got a group of people who know the stations really well, and I think that that’s made our lives a little easier because we know the station’s capabilities and what we can and can’t do with the graphics package,” said Matt Quinn, creative director, Gray Design Group. “Gray has grown so fast that we have numerous graphics packages on the air… and a graphics hub is much more relevant when the graphic look is consistent.” 

Now serving 113 media markets, Gray’s growth was key in developing the unified design.

“Standard packages get territorial. Stations get pretty defensive over their market… We got really lucky with Gray because stations are enthusiastic about adopting this,” said Quinn. “This has been a really pleasurable experience because we see a lot of enthusiasm from our station.”

Mixing adaptability with versatility

GrayONE seeks to provide a consistent yet flexible visual design language while catering to Gray’s wide range of markets, from rural stations to larger media markets – such as Phoenix or St. Louis. The package will appear on most Gray Television stations moving forward and is the only package currently offered by the Gray Design Group.

The move to a single package makes it easier to add special templates for breaking news, special events or topical items like a hurricane, Quinn noted. 


The design first debuted on WCAX in Burlington, Vermont, and WCSC in Charleston, South Carolina, and has since appeared on WABI in Bangor, Maine, WGEM in Quincy, Illinois, and KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota.

The overall design embraces a strategy that favors contemporary, flat design over flashy 3D visuals, using sophisticated animation techniques in a flat environment for its motion theory. Much of the animation relies on a “fracture” effect, where rectangles intersect across the scene from left to right.

Going 2D and focusing on Adobe After Effects maintains the appeal of the design while negating the need for 3D editing and rendering, which would have been tricky given the staffing at local stations and the learning curve with more specialized software, Quinn noted.

Stations can work with modular opens in After Effects to adapt the package for their local market and news music package, mixing in as much footage as they want to capture the market or the station can use none at all for a more graphical open. Further customization is possible through color and the various segment opens.

Quinn noted the package includes exaggerated curves with easy ins and outs on the motion making the opens easy to adjust and time.

“As we roll this out more and more, the package will grow,” said Quinn. “I think particularly on the set design, stations are really moving towards big monitor walls and big LED spans. So as we roll into more of those stations, our templates and our offerings will just get more robust.”

Font-wise, GrayONE uses Barlow from Jeremy Tribby as its primary font. The font family was selected for its legible and versatile across markets, aiming to avoid visual fatigue over time. Gotham, meanwhile, will continue to appear in station logos and First Alert Weather branding. 

Drawing inspiration from Atlanta

The spark that ignited the creation of GrayONE was the unique rebranding of Gray’s Atlanta CBS station WANF, branded as Atlanta News First.

“The conversation of GrayONE started with Atlanta. Their rebound was so unique – not using a channel number, not using a network logo. We had to separate them out as a unique station in that sense. But piggybacking on their look, we developed and expanded that to work on the rest of the Gray stations,” said Quinn.


Visually, Atlanta News First has unique opens but shares many of the same bumpers and insert graphics now featured in GrayONE.

Working across graphics platforms

Given its large footprint, Gray Television uses a variety of graphics systems across its stations, with GrayONE designed to work with Chyron Prime and Vizrt Viz Trio.
Quinn noted the package is designed to be both user-friendly for smaller markets and competitive for larger ones.
“If you A/B some of our stations that are running Chyron or Viz, to an average viewer or somebody in our design world, it’s going to be hard to tell the difference,” said Quinn, who also noted the creativity of the process required to bring the package’s unique animations natively to the different platforms.