How do you brand a TV show that has 18 unconnected episodes?
Create a symbolic language to unify them with attitude and mystery.
IMPORTANT: The original concept for the branding was created by myself and Mike Hill but the final execution including everything you actually see here and in the show was delivered by Jennifer Miller and Norn Jordan at Blur Studio, Elastic, Jared Purrington and Neil Kellerhouse, based on my concepts and development work.
1. Boil it down
Tim Miller and David Fincher's anthology of adult animated short films posed a tricky branding task; each of the 18 episodes has a different theme, style, run time and tone, leaving only three things in common across the season...Love, death and robots.
The show is about boiling big ideas down to short sharp episodes, so each word in the title is reduced to a punchy symbol. Above is my first sketch, which has made it through almost unchanged to the final execution.
2. Abundance and mystery
Each episode has its own set of 3 icons. Branding each story under the same visual system unifies the disparate shows.
Before each episode, a slot machine 'randomiser' appears, asking the viewer to decode what the episode could be about.
When seen as a grid of icons, the system communicates the scale and diversity of the show, and the unlimited potential for future icons.
3. Get people talking
"The new Fincher/Miller show Love, Death and Robots just posted a bunch of symbols and letters on Instagram"
Posted by jeremyfrankly on Reddit
The icon language is built to be shared and discussed in the modern social media landscape. Before launch, unexplained icons were posted on Instagram to generate a buzz of anticipation.
The use of symbols also lends itself to abbreviating the show's unwieldy title into emojis - this happened internally during development, and has continued after launch with fans using emojis to reference the show in online discussions.
4. Say it with attitude
The show is direct, punchy, and aggressive but its attitude is always tempered by a playful self-awareness. This comes through in these concepts for the show's tone of voice.
The 3 portrait posters are my own concepts, not official show artwork, but the concept of the brand hijacking its own marketing material made it through to the real-life billboard.