DixonBaxi rebrands ITV to rebel against the “sea of sameness” in streaming
A “retina-searing” yellow, a new streaming service and a type system based on a tapering X; DixonBaxi tells all on refreshing an institution with ITV Creative.
- Liz Gorny
- 8 December 2022
In March 2022, DixonBaxi revealed first glimpses of a new ITV logo – it was to be used for its upcoming streaming service ITVX. But, rather than opting for a ‘plus’ symbol – which is commonly tacked onto the end of channel names that open an additional streaming option – DixonBaxi turned the plus sign 45 degrees, creating an X within the wordmark to represent the multiplicity of ITV’s content. Now, DixonBaxi and ITV Creative return to launch ITVX with a complete brand revamp for ITV, a work almost a year in the making that took the studio on a road trip around the UK (more on that later).
Going into the project, Jed Carter, design director, states: “ITV has looked like a TV channel for a long time, and we wanted to break that preconception and force people to reappraise ITV as a streaming destination built for the modern world.”
The ITV wordmark still harnesses the calligraphic strokes of the “classic ITV logo”, says Jed. Though, the rebrand takes the new X created for the streaming service logo and runs with it, pushing it into all corners of the brand to connect ITVX with its broadcast channels. There are subtle details that help tie the X to the existing ITV mark, “like the taper and balance of crisp interior corners and soft rounded terminals,” says Leah Surynt, DixonBaxi design director. The X then feeds out into the wider design system, for example, in a bespoke suite of ITV typefaces created by F37 Foundry, inspired by the tapering and radius of the X.
The new typographic system features six fonts and three styles: a serif, inspired by historical British typography like William Caslon’s foundry; a sans, modern with anomalies that add character; and a sans text. Typographically, DixonBaxi wanted to ensure the design wouldn’t hinder anyone’s ability to interact with the brand, “designing for accessibility, rather than around it”, a press release states. A family of smart X cursors have also been developed for navigation across ITV networks, which transform into expressive versions of channel logos. They appear as break bumpers and bring promo sequences on screen as a content signaller.
Then there’s the colour palette which, in the words of DixonBaxi, displays a “retina-searing yellow” and a “grounding” deep blue. The hues occupy a vastly different colour space to ITVX’s competitors. Claire Langer, DixonBaxi’s senior strategist, offers a bit more context: “There’s a reality to creating a streaming brand in today’s saturated market – it has to be built from the ground up to stand out.” Claire continues: “We knew from the beginning that a slick, cinematic, buttoned-down brand wouldn’t truly reflect the eclectic content coming from ITV. We needed to create a brand that was truly eclectic and popular [...] and that’s the only way that the brand would really connect with ITV’s diverse audience.”
‘Connecting with your audience’ is an idea bandied around a lot during rebrands. But it seems DixonBaxi means it. To rebrand the 67-year-old institution, Josh Jackson-Syed, senior producer, states the studio wanted to get out of London to gather audience perspectives on Britain today and took road trips across a number of towns and cities. “What surfaced was a wild mix of identities and takes on Britishness both positive and negative,” says Josh. “From mums doing their weekly shop, chirpy international students in Wolverhampton, to the antiques shop owner with views too explicit for Twitter, and the Polish woman who ran a cat cafe in Brighton and loved the royals. What we heard on that trip drove so much of the strategy and design system and its focus on feeing authentically eclectic,” says Josh.
DixonBaxi and ITV Creative also partnered with The Futz Butler to develop the sonic identity for ITVX and five of the network’s channels.
GalleryDixonBaxi / ITV Creative: ITV / ITVX (Copyright © ITV, 2022)
DixonBaxi / ITV Creative: ITV / ITVX (Copyright © ITV, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.