“Unstyled, unslick, unadorned.” That is how graphic design firm Gretel describes the new identity and on-air graphics it has created for VICELAND. The new tv channel from the people at VICE is a “collection of personal perspectives” with shows revolving around personalities like Action Bronson, Ellen Paige, Eddie Huang, and Michael K. Williams who provide unfiltered perspectives on “food, sex, fashion, music, sports politics and more.” The idea is that the VICE sensibility is “blunt and raw” and the identity should simply be an objective frame for the content.
The design firm explains that VICE Creative Directors Spike Jonze and Eddy Moretti “tasked us with creating a transparent and empathetic brand. A voice and design that could punctuate, counterpoint, inform, and whenever possible, step back. A range of emotion and the impact of the images had to pass through the brand undiluted … The challenge was to craft a brand that could express its own voice through the content. The way VICELAND behaves in motion is an extension of the default aesthetic. It’s ASCII, text-edit, HTML 1. No effects, no techniques – the animation is deliberately basic and throws the focus back to the content.”
A key element of the identity is the use of a single typeface in a single weight, Helvetica in black or white on black background, to avoid any sense of decoration. The exception is the logo, which uses a bolder version of Helvetica.