Video via ESPN Front Row
When the National Football League kicks off its 100th season this week, ESPN will unveil brand new graphics, animations, edits, and insert looks for its entire on-air NFL presentation, including Monday Night Football and all of the company’s NFL studio shows – every program from NFL Live to Sunday NFL Countdown.
The new visual and overall aesthetic refresh – which debuts on Sunday NFL Countdown (Sept. 8, 10 a.m. ET) and during ESPN’s season-opening MNF doubleheader (Sept. 9, 7 p.m.) – unites ESPN’s entire NFL presentation with a signature look and feel for the first time. Yet, individual shows will still possess distinct elements that stand out within the overall package.
“Simply put, we wanted to create an NFL graphics package that would change the design landscape and highlight the intensity and passion found only in football,” said Mike “Spike” Szykovny, ESPN’s Senior Director of Motion Graphics, who has overseen the project with Creative Director Lucas Nickerson.
ESPN Creative Services has helped MNF win Sports Emmy awards three years in a row for Outstanding Post-Produced Graphics and the 2018 NFL Draft won the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Graphic Design. The award-winning NFL Draft package, featuring a fast-paced, highly-crafted and editorial-centric animation approach, was fully embraced by ESPN production executives and became the inspiration for ESPN’s new NFL graphics.
The process of designing and building the new NFL package started with ESPN’s in-house design, directing and producing teams and the collaboration extended even broader. The ESPN team worked with well-respected design houses Man vs. Machine, whose many A-list clients include Apple and Nike, and Big Block, which worked on ESPN’s Major League Baseball package and past MNF seasons.
Each design team contributed different visual elements that are part of the overall NFL package, so the project has resulted in the creation of a plethora of assets, while allowing ESPN’s Creative Services and NFL production teams to continue to build new elements that will ensure the longevity of the new look.
Signature elements of ESPN’s new NFL graphics package include:
- A unique color palette that showcases black-on-black and white-on-white with splashes of team colors and a signature neon yellow dubbed ‘venom’;
- Hand-sculpted show and team logo identities in various treatments;
- Premium materials like smoke, liquid chrome, and ‘battlemesh’ mixed with analog scans
“We have created a library of design elements that will uniquely showcase NFL players and teams, and, whether it’s Monday Night Football or one of our many studio shows, fans will know when they see this innovative new look that they are watching the NFL on ESPN,” said Nickerson.