RIOT Atlanta: Branding From Scratch

Network branding doesn’t get a lot of attention here on Motionographer. We tend to favor the quick-cut, visual slam-dances of advertising and music videos over the comparatively conservative design systems that attempt to express a television network’s ethos.

It’s easy to forget that TV’s largest advertisers are the networks themselves. Combine IDs, graphics, promos and all the other elements of a traditional network package, and you’re staring up at a staggering mountain of deliverables—and that’s leaving out the demands of multi-platform efforts for the web, mobile devices and emerging media.

To make matters trickier still, all the elements must cohere to one another while allowing for the network to evolve, to grow.

For the first in a series of features looking at the design processes behind network branding, we enlisted the help of Dominique Elliott, Professor of Motion Media Design at SCAD. This summer, Dominique was embedded in the offices of RIOT Atlanta as they worked on launching a new integrated web/TV network called Halogen, going live today in the United States and online. She talked to creative director Jeff Doud about their process and shared her findings with us.

Read the interview here.

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About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



I am glad to see Motionographer finally giving some credit for broadcast graphics. There are out there fantastic packages with very interesting concepts behind it.
It would be nice to give recognition for companies and individuals that work on this area. They are after all motion designers and animators as well.


I agree this is is awesome to be looked at.

I’m sorry I can’t see that the design is so hot though, as this seems like a repackaged version of what TV3 NZ does.

Some shorter examples I could find.


that NZ work is interesting. Never seen it before. Really. But I guess I need to acknowledge that it exists.

Jeff Doud


Sorry, I didn’t mean to insinuate that you are ripping anything off. There’s lots of design in the world and it’s not hard to find things that are similar.

And… there are only 4 million people in NZ – not too many people are familiar with their TV branding down there.

I’m glad to see your work highlighted though, it’s obvious a lot of thought and time went into it. And, contrary to what I hastily wrote before, it is good design.


Good to see that Motionographer is acknowledging the elephant in the room. On-Air has been the poor step-child of Advertising for too long. TV network brands are not often the most glamorous, but then, as Lee Hunt will attest, they work differently than consumer product/service advertising. Networks are content producers and aggregators. In their advertising you can actually experience the product- the TV show or Service they are promoting. You can’t do that with a Ford F-150, or Viagra. Because of this, branding elements are designed to label the experience and take ownership of it for the Network’s brand. My worry with this piece is not that the graphics are similar to something done in NZ- there is likely little crossover of audience, but rather that the name Halogen is too similar to HULU. Further, Media multi-tasking is not a prediction, but a present day reality. ALL entertainment brands must reach out to audiences on ALL platforms to survive. So if everyone is using imagery of beautiful happy media consumers, how is this identity going to distinguish itself from everyone else? If the service experience is compelling this Label may be enough to hold the Halogen brand in the viewer’s mind, it does look and sound great, but its reliance on imagery of shiny happy people and a name that bears a strong resemblance to HULU are worrisome. Why do you think they used Alec Baldwin and suggested he is an alien? Thanks to Jeff for sharing. We need to see more of this type of material.


I’d love to see all the lowerthirds, indicators, logo stings…etc Those id’s are nice but it doesn’t really show me much.

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