The Wall Street Journal
The WSJ Video Identity exists to establish a consistent brand experience across all WSJ Video content. The identity allows readers to quickly recognize WSJ content and identify that it is coming from a reliable and trusted source. The identity builds on our existing WSJ design language, leveraging existing assets such as color, typography, graphics, and our brand mark. This approach contributes to the overarching efforts to provide a consistent WSJ experience for our audience, regardless of platform or medium.
The WSJ Video Identity came about when faced with the challenge of producing consistent video content with journalists and editors located all across the globe. The objective was to create and fully document a system complete with examples, instructions, and templates that could be easily utilized by anyone who creates WSJ video content – regardless of their physical location. With the aim of not only creating more consistent content but also improve the workflows and speed at which high-quality video content can be produced.
The WSJ Video Identity has been developed to provide guidance and direction while allowing for an equal amount of creative freedom. The identity will be continuously evolving and is flexible enough to accommodate new and ongoing requirements.
The WSJ Video Identity builds upon existing WSJ design language, adapting it to fit the unique needs of video content. (A great example of design language can be found in the WSJ iOS App).
While designing the video identity, we took extra care to accommodate a diverse set of video content (breaking news, world events, politics, personal technology, etc.). The identity includes two separate, yet complementary directions. The first is based on a more traditional serif typeface, Escrow. The second is based on a more modern sans-serif typeface, Retina. Typography is one of the strongest visual assets we have to differentiate our brand and content. We leveraged the WSJ brand typefaces to create a unique experience for video while still maintaining brand consistency.
In addition to the parallel typographic directions, other aspects of the identity apply to all video content. These include the brand mark, bug, and functional typography (such as subtitles). This ensures the videos share aspects of the core brand DNA.
The brand mark is the cornerstone of the WSJ identity and appears across all WSJ products. A video-specific animated version of the brand mark has been developed for use on opening titles and the bug. The animated mark demonstrates how the WSJ brand can adapt to a specific platform, yet remain consistent with the broader design language.
The video identity leverages the global WSJ color palette with a few adjustments. Most noticeable is the inverted WSJ mark (white on a black background). Conceptually, the black background represents the “dark” unlit area around video (cinema screen), creating a more immersive experience for the viewer. The inverted mark also serves to visually differentiate video from other WSJ products.
Global elements of typography are intended to remain consistent across all video content, regardless of the subject matter. There are two main components: flash lines (used for titles or subjects) and subtitles.
Flash lines are used globally across all WSJ products (Web, App, off-platform, etc.) and contribute to making WSJ content uniquely identifiable. The subtitles have been designed as a universal element to ensure a high level of readability and legibility, regardless of content.
Market data is one aspect of the WSJ brand that is consistent across all platforms. It is always set in sans-serif (Retina) type and is featured prominently on WSJ.com, the WSJ apps, and even on the front page of the printed paper. The way market data is presented is unique to The Wall Street Journal and has become somewhat of a signature style.
A series of grids has been established to assist with placement of typography and visual elements in all WSJ videos. These grids also provide ‘safe zones’ for content and take into consideration the WSJ native video player.
Sans-serif (Retina) typography is used when the subject matter is more playful or relaxed in nature. Examples include Personal Tech, My Ride, video series, and lifestyle content.
The sans-serif type treatments are bold and refined while still communicating in a friendly manner. Retina is also used in the paper and is distinctive to The Journal. Sans-serif templates include titles, lower-thirds, location, nameplates and more. Every template developed with sans-serif typography has a corresponding serif variation. Below are examples of WSJ videos utilizing sans-serif typography.
Serif typography should is used when the subject matter is more serious in nature and requires a more formal tone. Examples include politics, world news, and events. Escrow is one of the primary typefaces used in the paper and will likely appeal to a more “traditional” reader of The Journal. This direction is used when establishing trust or authority is paramount.
Serif templates include titles, lower-thirds, location, nameplates and more. Every template developed with serif typography has a corresponding sans-serif variation. Below are examples of WSJ videos utilizing serif typography.
The WSJ Video Identity was created by Thomas Williams, Adele Morgan, Joanna Stern, Jarrard Cole, Cory Etzkorn, and the WSJ Video Team.
All videos have been edited to highlight the work completed as part of the WSJ Video Identity. To view the complete videos, please visit WSJ.com/video