Sky Sports has announced the launch of nine dedicated sports channels, and with it a top-to-bottom rebrand by Sky Creative and Nomad. The seven-month project saw Nomad working in-house with the Sky team in partnership, to redesign everything from its logo, typography and photography to set design and digital output, including a digital-first design, making it the biggest change to the branding in Sky Sports’ 26-year history.
Nomad’s creative director Stuart Watson tells It’s Nice That the logo has been “evolved” working in collaboration with brand typographer Miles Newlyn. Moving from upper to lower case, and with the addition of each genre’s appendage (eg. football, cricket, golf), the logo is “simpler and more refined”.
“Unlike most rebrands we had the added challenge of Sky being a network — any change to the Sky Sports logo affects the other channels in the portfolio. And this comes at huge expense to the business. Sky also has a house style made from glass, which has served them well but doesn’t work well in the digital. So it was a battle from day one.
“The key change to the logo is less aesthetic and more about the spirit. Sky has spent decades and millions becoming a liked and even loved brand. It’s informal and lowercase. It doesn’t shout. Then you bolt on a super heavy UPPERCASE SPORTS logo on the end that screams at people. This is what we wanted to change.”
Working with Swiss Typefaces, Nomad created a bespoke typeface Sky Sports Display – based on the foundry’s face Euclid Flex – which has five cuts used for different sports. “They each share the same footprint while capturing the essence of each sport,” explains Stuart. “F1 is raw and technical, cricket is sophisticated and stylish, Premier League is atmospheric and iconic, golf is about focus and precision, football is authentic and contrasting.”
Photography similarly uses a personality-driven approach: “It turns every sports person into a hero, capturing their individual persona and showing every side of them – it’s more intimate, authentic and heroic,” says Stuart.
Each channel has been “designed from a master kit of parts of typography, colour, tone-of-voice and sound design that flex and stretch to create unique channel personalities that stand alone and sit together,” he continues.
“The result is a fresh and modern brand that moves beyond the cliche celebratory moments to bring you every side of the story – the grit, the pain, the passion and the disappointments.”