ABC Chicago first to debut new ABC-owned group graphics package

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ABC 7 Chicago has debuted the long-anticipated ABC Owned Television Stations group graphics package, marking the first appearance of the new design NewscastStudio first reported on in June 2022. 

The package has been in development for nearly four years with extensive market research from SmithGeiger guiding the overall rebranding effort.

SmithGeiger’s creative services division, Vivid Zero led the design along with ABC’s internal creative team. It will eventually roll out to other ABC Owned Television Stations, with others such as Raleigh-Durham’s WTVD already using the new weather graphics.

Like the recent redesign of CBS Television Stations Group, the graphics package is built around a flat design aesthetic for the inserts — such as the lower third and over-the-shoulder — eschewing lens flares and bevels. Instead, gradients, shadows and stacking layers provide depth and a sense of order for each element. 

The news intros, meanwhile, are built around a unique 3D environment that integrates real-time data including current temperature, headlines and, of course, the newscast title. 

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These intros become a bento box of information for viewers, mixing photos, video clips, and dynamic animation in a layered grid of varying depth that can be seen as a nod to the flow of information or even a news ticker. 

Segment opens and interstitials also utilize the 3D environment, supporting the ability to add relevant imagery in real time. 

The three-dot motif, first seen in the weather graphics update, is used as a key animation element along with arrows and chevrons.

Overall, the package packs a fair amount of information into each scene and on the insert graphics while not overwhelming viewers. 

The first piece of the new design debuted in June 2022 on WLS in the form of weather graphics, with a fresh take on traditional elements like the extended forecast and current temperatures graphic. 

Stay tuned for more extensive coverage of the new design and rollout.

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