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Splash Hits! See ESPN Radio’s New Show Lineup Logos’ Colorful Designs

Four programs launch Monday, Aug. 17; here's how ESPN Creative Services helped conceive their individual brands

A new era begins on ESPN Radio Monday, Aug. 17.

At 6 a.m. ET, four new shows launch: Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin (hosted by Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti); Greeny (hosted by Mike Greenberg); The Max Kellerman Show and Chiney & Golic Jr (hosted by Chiney Ogwumike and Mike Golic Jr.).

The shows’ vibrant and contemporary logos (see above) reflect the hosts’ personalities and content. They were designed by ESPN’s Creative Services team through collaboration with a variety of departments. Mike (Spike) Szykowny, senior director, Motion Graphics, discusses the ideas, goals, and creative process behind the show’s logos.

How long did it take from start to final product?
We started the design process on July 12 and presented the first round of logos the next day. We spent the next two weeks dialing in the designs, adjusting color palettes, and developing brand assets. All logo assets were approved by July 28.

Going in, what was your goal?
Our goal was to develop four diverse animation packages with a common visual language in a short period of time. To do this effectively, we created an “umbrella system” by developing unique-looking brand assets and animation components that share the same foundation-like typefaces, animation keyframes, and clip durations. This process allowed us to quickly version our four similar yet distinct sets of animation deliverables.

Did that goal change at all during the creative process?
Things didn’t change so much as evolve. The initial design process happened quicker than we anticipated, leaving us more time for design and animation revisions later in the project. Also, as the project progressed, we realized that it was very important to create logos, color palettes, and assets that authentically represented the hosts’ personalities of the four different shows.

How did you come up with each logo?
Each logo uses the typeface Avenir with different attributes that evoke the proper tone and personality of each show.

ESPN’s Mike Szykowny, senior director, motion graphics (Photo courtesy of New York Festivals)

How does each logo reflect each show?
The overall package is a bold departure from the previous radio visual package – by design. The new show logos reflect where the audio business is moving. It’s mobile, high tech, and consumed wherever/however the fans want – terrestrial, on-demand, or on TV – versus the traditional radio iconography of old-school mics and sound meters. The KJZ logo is designed to be big and bold, a jolt in the morning! The colors are from their alma maters – USC, Duke, and Rutgers. Greeny’s logo features a razor-sharp type treatment. The color is electric. It is a reflection of his broadcast style and minimalistic design taste. The Max Kellerman Show reflects Max himself: dapper, measured and cool. Chiney & Golic Jr. have a logo that is ultra-vibrant. The colors are from their favorite Starburst candies – yellow and pink. The style reflects their affinity for sneakers, fashion, and technology.

Who on your team was involved?
The project started with a conceptual phase from Mike Ruddy, Carolyn Bellizzi, and Carol Boyle. Ben Bieglecki and Joe Lauria helped to plan the overall creative strategy for the project. Jeremy Simches, Renata Sedzimir, Thomas Maloney and Dave Traylor all contributed to the design & animation of the core creative elements. Nicole Egan, Nancy Franklin and Jorge Gonzalez also contributed to the project build.

What other groups were part of the collaborative process?
We worked closely with Megan Judge and Devon McGowan of Radio Marketing, as well as Radio Production, Studio Design, Music, Studio Directing, Marketing and Legal.

How do you sum up the process?
Creative Director Mike Ruddy said this to me when we were discussing this project: “The team is having fun, and it shows in their work.” I think that says it all.

“The overall package is a bold departure from the previous radio visual package – by design,” said Mike (Spike) Szykowny of ESPN Creative Services. (ESPN Creative Services)
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