Working in close partnership with A+E Networks, New York, we embarked on a 6-month journey to reinvent the flagship History factual channel brand. There was an urgent need to move on from the History brand of the past which felt mired in dusty, old genre stereotypes and reimagine the brand for the future. As a relevant, engaged and contemporary brand that has a voice and a presence in the world. And to create strong emotional connections with a broader audience and demonstrate a greater cultural context.
Central to the new positioning was giving the brand permission to have a voice, an opinion on the world. To use the past as a way to define the future, to give context, depth, and understanding. To tell humanity’s defining stories. The idea of – Humanity’s Infinite Storybook – was used to harness that concept, and show that the real world has a tremendous depth of inspiring, momentous, and dramatic human stories [big or small] to draw upon.
We created a powerful set of editorial principles to reframe the brand and voice – to move it from navigational to disruptive and revealing. To make language nuanced and expressive.
We retained the existing H logo as it has strong brand equity but liberated the brand around it to completely reframe what it stands for. It was important to make the H icon the hero and give it new life. We created a series of short idents that reinterpret it as a reflection of infinite stories. The facets are mirrored and therefore reflect different perspectives of the same scene – a metaphorical expression of history told from different points of view.
The ‘red thread’ connects ideas and punctuates human stories. It is a constant but unobtrusive element throughout the History brand. Underscoring keywords, threading connected messages, unifying shows and characters.
We studied the cadence of noted speakers from Barack Obama to Muhammad Ali to create a motion graphics language based on their speech patterns. Show titles appear on the screen at varying speeds with varied pauses in between words. This animation behaviour is used across all communications.
Jana Bennett, President and General Manager, History
First launched in the US, the History brand has been expanded for audiences across the world.
Tom Lucas, Head of Brand Strategy and Marketing, A+E Networks International