Al Jazeera English Channel Idents

The Mill Design Studio was tasked with creating five channel idents that clearly represent Al Jazeera English and its unique place in the crowded landscape of world news. We looked carefully at Al Jazeera’s role in the world, its history as well as its future vision, and from there we chose five brand values that we felt encapsulated Al Jazeera: Resilient. Raw. Revolutionary. Fearless. Diverse. The natural world would then serve as a metaphor for today’s civilization and the role Al Jazeera has to play in it.

This was a team effort within the Mill’s London Design Studio and a chance to do things differently. Rather than sell an individual director for the project, we did roundtable sessions, collected ideas and put together a treatment as a studio. When it came time to make the films we carried on with this approach.

“We had an artist leading each ident and tried to give everyone as much free reign with the creative decisions. We had some rules to follow – as set out by the client – regarding how surreal everything should feel and also had some key hit points in the edits that our artists all had to match. The entire process worked very well.” -Will MacNeil, CG Design Director

Of the five idents, four are completely CG, created using a mix of Houdini and Cinema 4D along with Quixel Megascans. The fifth uses carefully manipulated stock footage and a CG wave at its climax. All design, animation, editing, compositing and color was handled at The Mill’s London studio.


VFX: The Mill
Executive Producer: Ian Walker

Creative Director: Will MacNeil
Art Director: Anthony Fieldsend, Ivo Sousa, Will MacNeil, Ross Urien, Nikita Shestakov
2D Lead Artist: Gary Driver, Jonathan Freeman, Brad Wood, Sole Martin, David Wishart, Adam Maynard
2D Artist: Alfie Vaughan, Giacomo Verri, Peter Atack, Matthew Unwin, Rich Watson, Nhat Quang
3D Artist: Roman Vrbovsky, Ollie Hallas
Matte Painting: Can Y. Sanalan
Design: Ross Urien
Motion Graphics: Anthony Fieldsend, Ivo Sousa, Will MacNeil, Nikita Shestakov, Ewan Davidson

Colour: The Mill
Colourists: Alex Gregory, Thomas Mangham

Agency: Sonic Lens Agency
Composers: Michael Ballou, Asuka Ito, Marco Vitali
Sound designer: Nicholas O’Toole