nicolas arnold

Background

In the fall of 2020 my dear friends at BRANDNEW have been commissioned to come up with a fresh look for famous TV show ‘ZDF Magazin Royale’ hosted by Germany’s John Oliver Jan Böhmermann. The show was moved to a new channel with a much bigger audience which made a complete reboot mandatory without neglecting the show’s playful and deviant DNA. Facing a global pandemic and a two months tour de force BRANDNEW have done a fantastic job creating a compelling design including 3D driven opening titles and a versatile broadcast package. 
 
When BRANDNEW asked me to step in I was fortunately given a lot of creative freedom to switch into experimental mode. I helped out developing an extendable visual language which eventually made its way into a couple of key visuals, the final logo design, social media assets as well as on air set elements.

Process Reel

Initial Tests & Look Development

Considering the legacy of ‘Magazin Royale’ the redesign was expected to communicate the same edgy and unconventional appearance like before while raising the bar in terms of incorporating classic late night TV show aesthetics. We decided to translate ‘Magazin Royale’s’ logo hexagon into a real world 3D item using various physical objects like prisms, plexiglas icosahedrons, ice cubes and barbecue smokers. Shooting these objects against a set of homemade motion graphics assets led to an abstract yet slick look with an analog feel.

Hero Loops

Behind the Scenes

It was great fun to go on a huge Amazon haul grabbing basically everything with the slightest resemblance to anything geometric. Since the shootings took place in a tiny studio I was told to always keep a candle lit while dealing with dry ice because once the carbon dioxide to oxygen ratio gets criticle the candle will go out. That is supposed to be the last thing you will see unless you leave the room. However, with hexagons in your mind 24/7 all day every day staying mentally sane turned out to be the biggest challenge.

Motion Graphics

Part of creating both the overall visual language and the practical effects shots was to develop a library of motion graphics elements. Some of them have been projected onto surfaces. Others where used to complement the show’s opening titles.

Studio Elements & Content Creation

In addition to key visuals and opening title assets a couple of practical effects shots have been used to be displayed as on air set backdrops. Glossy chrome hexagon tiles have been shot in various distances reflecting the show’s polymorphic nature.

Key Visual Design

We quickly discovered that many of these shots worked extremely well when combined with the redesigned logo. After a series of tests we chose three different key visual backgrounds delivering an ambient look-and-feel.

Final Key Visuals

Social Media Tools

After dodging several pivots over the course of the project the new design has been rolled out on social media with millions of impressions during the first weeks. Backdrops and key visual elements have been used on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the show’s homepage. News outlets quickly started to adopt the redesign sending its predecessor into a well deserved retirement.

Awards

2021
Best Lead In Show, Eyes & Ears of Europe

Credits

Client
ZDF

Production
UFE

Studio
BRANDNEW

Creative Direction
Kim Schwaner

Head of Design
Michael Kruse

Art Direction
Florian Becker, Nicolas Arnold

Practical Effects
Nicolas Arnold

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