CHANNEL 4

A creative burst of energy 4 All the UK

Publicly-owned but commercially-funded, Channel 4 has a parliament-agreed remit to champion diversity and push boundaries. It looks to us to reflect this when developing the strategy, structure and visual concept of its reporting. We’re encouraged to disrupt received thinking and challenged to reflect the brand’s personality, while still delivering the content that matters.

THE CHALLENGE

For 2018’s report, we needed to set out how new strategic pillars would transform this unique business. Core to this task would be '4 All the UK', a strategy to ensure that Channel 4 serves the whole of the UK – and the biggest change to the structure of the organisation in its 35-year history. 

The strategy increases content spend for Channel 4's Nations and Regions, supporting up to 3,000 production jobs across the whole country. It sees the opening of a new national HQ in Leeds, and creative hubs in Bristol and Glasgow.

Our challenge was to highlight '4 All the UK', while still keeping the wider story of the organisation's remit at the heart of everything. We also needed to apply their new visual brand in a way that showed their evolution and expressed a fresh burst of creative energy. 

THE APPROACH

Every aspect of the report was guided by four characteristics which shape the way the business works: Creators, Challengers, Champions and Commercially-minded. To achieve this, we worked exclusively with Channel 4’s communications manager. We involved stakeholders in the visual process too, ensuring that the report reflected the organisation’s vision.

We created a document with the look and feel of a coffee table book. The cover is black, minimalist in design, and uses a gloss foil effect on the typeface. Introductory pages are presented in black and white, with stylish executive photography to match. But in the centre of the document, there’s a surprising change of tone.

Following the CEO’s statement, we presented the remit as a tipped-in booklet, exploding with content and colour.

Subsequent pages make full use of the brand’s imagery and typography, including bold splashes of neon. The paper stock switches from matt to gloss. It’s a creative burst designed to champion innovation – and show how new ideas, formats, views, voices, faces, talent, audiences and production companies are nurtured.

THE RESULT

Telling the story about how we are performing is vitally important for Channel 4 as a publicly-owned, commercially-funded public service broadcaster with a complex remit to fulfil. Our 2018 annual report does a fantastic job in helping stakeholders understand our role and how we’re doing in an engaging and evidence-packed way. To cap it all off, the design makes you want to open up the report and read all about it.

- SOPHIE JONES / Head of Corporate Relations, Channel 4 

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