How to revitalise and unify a public broadcasting service brand: with Hymn’s bold redesign of RTS
In the age of streaming and social media, public broadcasting services have had to adapt and evolve in order to survive. RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse), the only French national channel in Switzerland, is one such example. By responding to these new formats of media consumption, and the shifting patterns of consumers, RTS was perpetually trying to reinvent itself and its outputs, which eventually led to conflicting changes and inconsistent messaging.
To reach a definitive solution, they partnered with Lausanne-based design studio Hymn and set them the challenge of developing a powerful and distinctive brand identity for both RTS and its collection of brands. “RTS needed to strengthen its recognition as the only French national channel in an increasingly competitive market,” Hymn’s Founder & Creative Director Alexandre Henriques explains. “Its daughter brands (television channels and radio stations) did not sufficiently express their belonging to the RTS brand.”
The resulting visual language they designed is unifying, and establishes the brand’s presence in the current media landscape, thanks to its clear hierarchy, updated baselines, values and emotions. Crucially, the updated look retains RTS’ essential ‘Swissness,’ with the flexibility and scope to expand the brand further in the future.
It builds upon the original RTS logo with a complimentary selection of colour, animation, audio, and type. Collaborating with newglyph’s Ian Party, the team developed RTS Neue, a meticulously crafted variable typeface which balances an industry-friendly ‘French-Switzerland’ feel with a touch of ‘atypical audacity.’ Henriques reveals that they worked with Party “not only because he is one of the best (and nicest) typographers in Switzerland,” but also because they were looking for a variable and versatile typeface – an expertise of newglyph.
Retaining the main logo’s iconic red, the colour palette also nods to Swiss culture with a series of vibrant reds for on-screen and out of home applications. “The colour system needed to help differentiate, as clearly as possible, all the channels (TV, radios) and themes (News, Sport, Culture),” Henriques adds. “We also took advantage of this operation to revitalise the dynamics of all the colours and optimise them for the new TV screens.” The digital experience is enhanced with a collection of bespoke auditory components, created by Swiss-Romand composer and interpreter SANDOR.
Finally, the classification of the concept was the final element required to solidify the new brand identity, with the content organised along two main axes: vertical and horizontal. The vertical axis represents the channels, while the horizontal axis represents the themes. This allows for a wide range of variations within these two layers. Similar to a deck of cards that can be unfolded horizontally or vertically, viewers can easily navigate the same concept across both broadcast and digital channels.