Putting the ION brand in motion

The task
My task was split into three aspects:
  • To produce all on-screen elements needed for a variety of video productions (from 10sec social media posts, to 60 sec adverts, to full recaps of events)
  • To produce guidelines on their use
  • To edit and produce certain videos in-house (such as short course recaps, adverts, and more)

Constraints and opportunities
Being a non-profit educational charity there were a few considerations to be aware of:
  • Due to all departments being affected there was a large approval chain-of-command
  • A £100 budget for any templates/stock media
  • A go-live date in step with the overall rebrand go-live date

Competitor analysis and surveys
At the start of the project, I suggested rather than being inspired by ION’s competitors, they should instead be looking at news and media companies.

My reasoning for this was due to their breadth and depth of production, the quick adaptability to new technology or platforms, and how these vast entities are able to have different people integrate their ”look” within the overall branding. Having accepted this analysis we focussed mainly on the BBC and The Guardian and to ensure we don’t lose sight of our audience we also included a few universities.

Design requirements
Having understood the task I produced the following criteria needed to produce these assets:
  • All three of the ION rebrand concepts should be used, but reinterpreted for on-screen
  • If possible, an intro sound identity should be produced
  • A D.O.G should always be used in video
  • A rectangular holding frame should be used at least once in any video
  • Ensure elements are scalable
  • Ensure elements retain interest when video production has limited assets (such as only stock images)

As time being a significant factor in this project, I purchased an After Effects video template package that could be manipulated for ION needs. I then set about reinterpreting the three rebrand concepts.

“The strip” was used in text treatment scenarios. Examples included title screens, lower thirds, and information screens:

In the example above you can see “the strip” concept applied to a flier, which has a heading and subheading area.

This is then applied to video situations, in this instance as a lower third, where the presenter’s name is treated as a heading and their credentials as a sub-heading appearing fractionally later). You can also see the “snap-to-edge” being applied. Later the same principles are applied to the construction of an intro title card.

“Layering” was used in the construction of on-screen graphics. Examples include title screens, transition screens, and general image construction:

In the example above you can see the “Layering” concept applied to a flier, which is constructed from:

  • Texture image
  • Main image and logos
  • Content/text
  • Gridlines
This is then applied to video situations, in this instance layering a video’s title intro by:
  • Texture footage
  • Colour graded adjustment layer
  • Gradient layer
  • Content/text
  • Gridlines
Later a transition (itself layered) swipes to the main footage.

“Snap-to-edge” was used in asset placement or the intro and outro of graphical elements:

In the example above you can see the “Snap” concept applied to a flier, with the placement of the logo and call-to-action at the bottom. This is then reinterpreted in video with examples including how a transition/cut scene appears (and its text content) or how content begins and appears from one edge of a video frame.

This style was then codified (with deference to the brand guidelines) to give a modular brand look that could be applied in various scenarios. Examples include videos on course content on the ION website:


Short course videos:


And miscellaneous items such as platform guides/walkthroughs, internal videos, and presentations:

The videos then look part of a family: