Capacity: Cartoon Network Rebrand

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LA-based Capacity proved their ability to think big and follow through with their breakthrough NBC rebrand back in 2006. Since then, they’ve been kicking out ambitious projects with consistent attention to detail and huggable charm.

The latest jewel in their crown is a massive rebrand for Cartoon Network built around Noods, blank Dunny-esque figures created by the crew at Kidrobot. Props to CN for dreaming up such a clever, collaborative concept.

Capacity’s CN montage starts off in a minimal white space but builds in complexity and vibrancy as more characters, environments and seasons are introduced. My favorite stretch is the Halloween segment, with its moonlit figures and cute sight gags. I also love Yoda reducing General Grievous to a puddle of paint—a clever way to deconstruct the underlying concept of the rebrand.

The frenetic soundtrack (also created by Capacity) tinges the entire montage with a playful 8-bit tone and moves things forward with a cheery optimism befitting such a grand undertaking. Nice job all around!

18 Comments

Rawls

That’s a LOT of really great work!! Nice job Capacity!

Aras

best rebranding i’ve ever seen since last g4 rebrand by onesize. kudos

TrenZ

I’ve always wondered who did these since I watch cartoon network 24 hours a day basicly.

Best network branding i’ve seen in years.

lindovina

best network rebranding since their NBC stuff. that was awesome!

loudhoward

i must disagree. i do not want to discredit the production quality, which is top notch, but i don’t enjoy the rebrand at all. it reminds me of the Wii characters and Nintendo music and it feels as if they are using the re-emerging nintendo popularity and transferring onto advertising cartoon network. i don’t find it original or compelling

docphibs

I think that’s why it is successful. Kids will certainly respond to this and enjoy it. I agree that it is similar to wii characters – but I’m sure to kids it won’t make a difference. I think it’s smart how they captured a lot of youthful culture in this rebrand with a colorful minimalist approach.

Wii characters too are a proven design that a lot of people enjoy. (xbox just released a similar feature of making your own simplistic character and people ate it up knowing that it was a Wii rip off.) So I could see how the wii character-ish design could have been pushed on capacity. (just guessin)

But either way it doesn’t bother me. I think it detracts away from the Wii design enough that it made it something unique. When I watched (and being a big gamer) I didn’t really think of Wii characters at all but more of kidrobot.

AdNormal

At first glance, I agree with you loudhoward. I was actually frustrated watching it before I knew they worked with KidRobot to create the Noods.

But I think docphibs makes a very valid point – kids will probably love this. While personally I feel this style is better left to vinyl toys, the energy of the campaign will surely attract attention.

So, long story short, to a 21 year old design student, this isn’t the most amazing thing ever. But I think Capacity has done an outstanding targeting of their audience for this one, and as a brand, is really on point.

However, if you don’t understand organic character animation, or how to run an occlusion pass, I don’t see that there’s much opportunity for work with Cartoon Network for a while. They’ve really limited who can work for them having a style that is almost entirely 3D. I just don’t see that this style can be expounded upon too much without risk of losing its audience. It’ll be interesting to see how it stands up over time.

Again though, I think the energy of this campaign will take it wherever they want it to go.

Great jobs guys

Tread

the similarity to wii characters was certainly not intentional, even though I think it was recognized during development, we didn’t think it was close enough to be a problem. If anything the character is more in the vein of Munny, which coming from kid robot, was pretty much a given.

And sure, vinyl characters, or character centered branding isn’t original, but what we felt was original and unique was the how the characters, and the idea of ‘blank’ vinyl toys that could be designed which ever way you want, giving the ability to have all the characters live in one space and style.

frq

I think it works perfect. It’s fun playful & innovative. quite a departure from the previous branding.

monovich

As design I think its great, and as branding I think its even better. Nobody will be left wondering which network they are watching here. bigtime props.

briangossett

Methinks that was rad. It was like a paint your own qee doll in motion. I had a blast watching it!

loudhoward

I can definately see the Munny inspiration as well now that you mention it. The style is definitely beautiful, and while it may have noticeable references to alternate pop culture icons, i must admit that it is incredibly original when considering television branding. I think that what turned me off to it on first watching it was the sound design, which made me instantly think nintendo. Amazing how sound design can affect someone’s view on something so dramatically!

Simon Robson

I am planning on starting a family for the sole purpose of being able to justify spending hours watching this re-branding on CN. Amazing!

elainaporter

really great stuff. nice work guys!

mrpeter

As a brand it’s so ambitious. It will be interesting to see how this brand develops and grows. The concept is nice, and so contemporary. There is inherent problems, but no one can argue the pure visual joy.
Nice job Capacity.

Jurriaan

I really love the work! interchangeble colors are great!

ChristopherO

This is so funny. I did a project for my school last year and I rebranded Cartoon Network. I created this same exact concept of using Munnies as blank canvases for its interchangeable characters.

haha. I wonder if anyone at Capacity ran into my youtube video when they were researching Cartoon Network.

This is great though. I should contact Capacity and see if I can work for them, haha.

xpez2000

The kid robot figures have become mainstream. The cool underground dolls have been sold out to a giant corporation.

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