In early 2020 Saffron was engaged by telco group Swisscom on the creation and development of a digital entertainment suite.
Over the past years, Swisscom has been growing its entertainment portfolio to encompass TV, News, Cinemas and Gaming, operating partly within the Swissom universe and partly under independent brands. We partnered with their Corporate Branding team to unify these offers into one product and develop a brand architecture and design system to underline its uniqueness.
Capitalising on heritage
Swisscom is colloquially known as “the blue giant”. An association going back
to when the state-owned company entered the Internet business as “The Blue Window”, which was later changed to “Bluewin”, the Swiss news and email portal still widely popular today. Furthermore, the colour blue is a highly recognisable brand asset for Swisscom.
It was only natural then to anchor the newly bundled entertainment offer under the name “blue” as a homage to Swisscom’s legacy and its history of transformation.
The highly collaborative process kicked off with an in-depth on-site immersion for our team. The high-paced rhythm of the project called for regular on-site working sessions, followed by intensive digital collaboration in order to progress smoothly and engage all business areas and teams impacted by the project.
Seeing the light
The key visual thread in the identity is ‘The Gateway’. We repurposed the Swisscom design language of ‘light assets’ into a refined, singular gesture to allow for blue to have a degree of visual autonomy whilst remaining intrinsically part of the masterbrand.
The Gateway comprises of two sides—a hard edge which represents the blue platform and an expressive side, out of which an energetic blue light emanates from. This light is the manifestation of the content and emotion on offer from blue.
To allow for a greater range of expression, the Gateway has a categorised adaption for specific content. Sports content gains a light which has increased pace and intensity, mimicking the aesthetic qualities of stadium floodlighting. Non-sport related content, from fiction to drama to comedy, takes on a cinematic treatment of lens flare and projector flicker.
Making the identity fit for purpose
We worked closely with the Swisscom team to create a nomenclature system for descriptors and UI elements from TV packages to cinemas across Switzerland. The wider Swisscom visual identity was honed to create a specific toolkit for blue. This approach ensured enough visual equity to maintain recognition as a Swisscom product whilst allowing for sufficient dynamism to best represent the world of entertainment and content on offer.
Setting it in motion
Making the identity work in motion was crucial for a digital-forward product. Movement allows the Gateway to be both a dynamic and purposeful element. A robust set of motion behaviours were attributed to the Gateway to allow it to interact with content in an organised manner whilst keeping options open to content creators to play with.
A major requirement in our scope of delivery was to define a component-based motion graphics kit for the blue’s TV broadcast offering. We developed a grid system, typographic stack and motion attributes for multiple broadcast uses - from highlight reels to channel stings through to programme titles, all in 4K resolution.
Partnering with world-leaders in sonic branding Sixième Son, a sonic strategy and identity was created for blue to work in conjunction with the visuals. The sonic elements extend throughout the broadcast offering, with individual audio components devised for each channel.
Swisscom launched blue in September 2020, creating a singular product family and gateway to groundbreaking entertainment for Switzerland—spanning TV, cinema, news and gaming.