Bearing in mind the undeniable prominence of the theme of broadcast design and television branding, it seems strange that very little has been published on the matter. The colossal speed at which the industry moves seems to leave little time for contemplation and reflection, which is a shame, as this is a fascinating area of audiovisual design, both in terms of content and technology, and has many interesting phenomena worth studying and applying in other contexts.
This book is not an educational textbook, nor does it pretend to be a comprehensive guide. What it does try to do is depict and discuss very different design positions, strategic thinking and market-specific contexts in the field, using ten channels selected as examples. The main focus is of course the representation of these design positions on-air (that is, in the form of a TV signal). However, it shouldn't be forgotten that a channel's corporate design has to be transferable to other media channels - media convergence has become a feature of daily life for the field.
The people behind the design are the channels' creatives, and frequently the agencies they work for. This book seeks to make this context transparent, not only because daily business often leaves little time for developing new design concepts, but also because the collaboration between channel and agency is inspirational, enabling new ways of seeing things to emerge. Design companies often feature in the interviews alongside a channel's representatives, or elected to answer the questions themselves, in agreement with the channels' creative departments.
A further important point was to show the design of audiovisual media in their natural environment - on screen. To this end, each network represented in this book has put together a short showreel of their on-screen presentations, which you can view on the DVD available free with this book (in NTSC formati.
Great changes are facing the TV landscape, in light of new distribution channels and changed content models. You could cali it a paradigm shift. The next few years are sure to put the established model of a channel to the test, and creating a unique position in the ever-more bewildering marketplace looks set to become one of the deciding success factors for future competition. Keeping up with this process will entail changes for the role of design, as well as that of strategic brand development. Fuelled by the strength of its interdisciplinary nature, design is set to contribute to the transformation of what is stili our number one medium.
I would like to thank all the channels, agencies and individuals who were involved in this process - without the personal involvement of many industry professionals, this book would not have been possible. And with the constant threat of deadlines looming, this collaboration cannot be praised highly enough!
Criticisms or other inspired comments are of course welcome and can best be expressed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you find the book enjoyable and interesting!
Bjorn Bartholdy, Editor
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