Channel O's afrothentic identity
Taking a stance against increased European music channels introducing 'fake' African imagery to viewers, Channel O took a brave stance and briefed motion design and animation greenhouse Masters & Savant to create a channel identity that is authentically African, and notably different from other 'Africa' targeted music channels.
"Channel O also adopted a revolutionary 'seamless' approach to the channel branding. The music videos are not interrupted; instead the low tech and original African design style imaging happens as an overlay over the content to connect with African viewers and keep a programming continuity other music channel lack," says Mabutho.
The concept for the channels facelift was to use authentically African colours, imagery and art direction to brand Channel O's offerings, and in so doing 'keep the channel real'.
"It took months of research to come to a conclusion of what the channel required. We also looked at other afrocentric youth brands that are successful and took inspiration from there. What's more the channel's overall positioning had to tap into the positivism of African renaissance," Mabutho says, "So far the response has been great."
Says Masters & Savant executive producer Roger Smythe, "For Channel O we rejected the euro-centric imagery that has made design so homogenous and replaced it with African design elements. Channel O looks African; the same way a Chinese vase looks Asian.
"To meet the requirements of the brief, it was necessary to keep the elements both clean and true to Africa. The elements were then required to be earth tone 'African' colours and be images that are originally African; images that the audience could associate immediately as being truly African. These images included simple, easily recognisable images of chameleons and minibus taxis. Complex, busy, or flashy designed images would reflect a more European or American style. Our images reflect what defines Channel O. Original. African," concludes Smythe.
View the work at www.mastersandsavant.com
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