Seeker
2018 Brand Refresh
Services
Creative Direction
Brand Identity
Art Direction
Print & Packaging
Motion Design
Summary
Strengthening the core visual identity of the most engaging science-based social media brand by drawing from the golden age of modern intellectual curiosity

Challenge
In late 2017, the creative leadership at Group Nine Media (NowThis, Thrillist, The Dodo) approached EFFIXX with the ambitious call to consider what the “punk” version of a science content channel might look like. Perhaps not literally, but we knew exactly what they meant. Acquired by Group Nine in 2016, the former Discovery Digital Networks had technically already been re-branded and given an interim visual identity but had been lacking the type of youthful energy and attitude that had worked successfully for the group’s other properties. Working with an existing logo mark, we considered how to refresh the brand's visual universe while keeping a few of the core elements established during the transition.

Embedded full-time throughout 2018, our Creative Director joined Seeker to kickstart an in-house design team, give the core brand identity a massive update, and approach each original series with a complete facelift.
Solution
The brand refresh was built in the spirit of the pioneering broadcast graphic designers of the midcentury, through the 70’s, who inspired wonder through vibrant palettes employing hues from across the color spectrum, paired with minimal, timeless type choices. Scientific wonder is often derived from a plethora of diverse materials and forms, so the brand language embraces naturalistic textural environments paired with modern design elements. For series packaging, we wanted to encourage the content to speak for itself and to be as communicative as possible with simple design and layout principles. Paired with technical but approachable illustrations, we developed a bold visual language centered around the energy of spectral elements in motion—inspired by the science of elemental light and a sense of curiosity.
The Pillars
Color System
Seeker content is published in five category pillars. We refreshed the palette and designed a system of elemental color interactions celebrating the crossover and intersection between content topics.


Tech
Culture
Space
Earth
Health
The Spectrum
Motion Theory
The Spectrum is a kinetic mark representing a convergence of all pillar colors in a singular, articulated expression. Most commonly, The Spectrum Bar is used as a compositional anchor element in layouts. Often interacting with the chevron focal point of the existing Seeker mark, we also designed an amorphous shape-shifting element for moments of visual punctuation with iterative variation.


Typography
Acumin: A modern Variable Font
For our primary typeface, we chose Adobe Acumin — a versatile and unique humanist neo-grotesque with over 90 weights and variants to choose from, and one of the few commercially-available variable fonts on the market. This gave us tons of flexibility in establishing diverse typographic voice from one use case to another, all within one overall font family, with timeless retro-modern characteristics.


Show Packages
Brand IP & Production Toolkits
The originals programming lineup was designed from scratch in 2018, giving each show a distinctive riff on the core brand identity refresh. Design toolkits and Adobe Creative Cloud motion graphics templates were delivered to editors for easy implementation of the new styles. Everything from on-screen graphics to set design and cinematography were considered.
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Hosted Set Design

New studio set concepts reflected the diversity of content, adding distinction from one series to another.
News / Shortform
Facebook & Instagram In-feed
A major focus for Seeker, Group Nine Media, and many digital content publishers in the industry for the past few years has been shortform "text-on-screen" news. We completely overhauled the graphics toolkit for this format with a clear and identifiable visual language featuring The Spectrum bar mark, clean typography, and a set of graphic elements that help editors create quick-turn stories that look great with minimal effort.
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Brand Collateral
merch, print, presentations & beyond
The Seeker design team continues to expand the new identity and work brand elements into various other media formats. In Winter 2018, a Teespring merch shop was launched.


The Result
Seeker ended the year with a full set of re-designed original programming and a core visual identity that sets it apart from competitors and has gained an instant recognizability in social media feeds.  During A/B testing on Facebook in-feed, the news toolkit more than doubled engagement over the prior graphics package.  Originals series editors were equipped with graphics toolkits which empowered the content creation process and saved post-production time.