Launched as its own channel in 2009 (although debuting as a programming block in 2002), TeenNick is Nickelodeon’s sister channel dedicated to teenagers. A part of Viacomo, TeenNick offers a mix of original programming, Nickelodeon-produced series, and feature films. Recently, TeenNick introduced a new on-air look designed by New York, NY-based Trollbäck+Company.
A couple of notes before beginning: 1) There is no logo change in this post and no usual applications… it’s just the on-air package. 2) All the videos below are set to auto-play and loop but you might want to eventually pause them to read… I figured the motion overdose at first glance was apt given the target audience.
Everything is “in between” — and that’s something to be celebrated. Our design strategy for the TeenNick rebrand began with interviews with real-world teens and pre-teens, and experiments with all of the in-between moments in kids’ lives, both within the TeenNick universe and the day-to-day lives of its audience. It’s a universe where the modernity of the Internet meets the weirdness of real life in a way that feels tactile, original, and totally authentic to a Gen Z audience.
One of the things that stood out for me in this project is the use of custom live footage of teenagers that are not the actors of the shows yet, as you will see in the final on-air package at the end, it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s a show and what’s the new footage as they complement each other very well. Some of the casting is spot on… The kids in the video directly above have the charming kind of awkwardness of teenagers that is often hard to capture as a marketing ploy. (The two teenagers in the video on top are a little too cool but I was never a cool teenager, so what do I know?).
We pulled inspiration from both analog (old-school public theater brochures, Insta- style filters) and digital (internet swipes, scrolls and pop-ups), reinforcing the concept of being “in between” two worlds. Type stretches, squishes, pulls and respond to on-air imagery across the network’s bumpers, IDs, endpages. Loopable vector icons can be dropped in anywhere to add playfulness to any animation or video. We also created a super-dynamic live nav framework to bring a sense of immediacy, play, and online freshness to the network that is then carried through across the network’s social and digital touchpoints.
The concept of “in-between” is nicely visualized through the on-air package’s main behavior of type and images that stretch dramatically as they push and pull from one side to another as well as in the transition-by-repetition sort of effect. Add to those behaviors a high speed that makes a 40-year-old’s pressure rise and you got yourself the perfect energy for teenagers. There is also a pretty cool burst-photo effect of the kids that adds variety to the system. The various type treatments are a little trendy if you follow the Brutalist trends in graphic design but deployed on a mainstream channel, they are sure to make an impact. I also like the liberties taken with the logo and how it’s equally stretched in extreme ways.
I am far from the target audience but I feel like this is one of the most authentic branding approaches geared towards teenagers that I have seen. It doesn’t come across as pandering or out of touch by trying to be cool, it just sort of is by channeling some of that bottled-up teenager energy and letting it burst through in slightly awkward ways.