Tour de France

TV 2, Denmark’s largest commercial TV station, asked us to work with them on the Tour de France 2016.

In collaboration with their graphic team, we created a new versatile identity, plus a visual concept, on-air design and motion graphics package for TV.

Animation, Design, Identity, Motion, Television, UX

Only Two Things Sacred

The Identity


The Tour de France is an annual multiple stage bicycle race that dates back to 1903. TV 2 broadcast the race for the first time in July 1990. Since then, it has become a summer TV tradition for many Danes.

TV 2 invited us to challenge the existing motion design and create a new identity that could be implemented across multiple platforms -from traditional TV to TV2’s streaming service PLAY.
Only two things were sacred: the color ‘sunflower yellow’ and the established backing track, “The Sound of Summer”.

For research and inspiration purposes, we started the identity process by watching the award-winning documentary “A Day in Hell” by the Danish director Jørgen Leth. The film is a chronology of the 1976 Paris–Roubaix bicycle race from the perspective of organizers, spectators and participants. This sparked the idea of focusing on the contrast between the athletes and their audience – the fit and focused riders versus the colorful and somewhat crazy spectators.

Working with contrast throughout the imagery and combining that with dynamic stencil typography, we started to bring the identify to life.

Animating a Typeface

The Typography

We knew that we needed to incorporate a lot of different text titles etc. We decided to cut out bits and pieces of the typography to reference roads and the many switchbacks of the race. We ended up illustrating and animating the entire alphabet and numerals to serve different content to the viewer like stage names, features and titles.

The playful alphabet is not only used as typography but also doubles as individual graphical elements tying the motion design together.

Photographs Full of Life

MOVING IMAGES

Working with video footage from previous years, it quickly became obvious that it wasn’t communicating the essence of the tour for us. It lacked something important. Something only photography is really able to capture. That special moment. That split second when you can really connect and feel what the rider is going through. The pain, the joy, the determined look in his eyes.

To create the illusion of movement in the images, we split each image up in three parts – a foreground, middle ground and background. Then we animated the images just enough to make them look like real slow-motion footage.
That way, we were able to capture the feeling of the race in a controlled animated split second. When we inserted our animated typography on top of the image backgrounds, the identity really stood out.

One Size Fits All

CREATING A DYNAMIC SOLUTION

We’ve created a strong and dynamic on-air identity that can easily be versioned for other classical bicycle races like the Vuelta a España, Giro d’ Italia and all the spring classics, including Paris Roubaix.

That makes it easy for the graphic team to reuse the new branding platform throughout the entire season of cycling on TV2, saving the station time and money and giving the coverage a sense of cohesiveness.

“We really enjoyed the cooperation with you guys, and we’re very happy with the new identity and the motion graphics. It’s exciting and versatile, and there are a lot of possibilities in the concept.”

Anders Korsbæk

Creative Lead, TV 2 Graphics

Christian Mogensen

Managing Director & Partner

TV 2 is Denmarks most-watched tv-channel and a trusted client. The Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting events on TV 2 and has become a summer TV tradition for many Danes. Working on The Tour together with the fantastic team from TV 2, was really a dream come true for us. We are humbled and grateful by the chance to design and build a new brand platform for this iconic sporting event.

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