The package rolled out with CNN’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections, but was designed to be multifunctional. The toolkit we designed is the foundation of the package, enabling an evolution of design so it can be utilized for additional elections moving forward, including the 2024 presidential election. Developing this from a graphic perspective required us to design something with maximum versatility that could reflect any number of informational permutations the CNN newsroom staff would need in the future.
Design Director Ross Henderson led our design exploration which tried out different interpretations of the aesthetic CNN was seeking. After a few productive exchanges between our teams, we landed on a look that we all agreed struck the right tone: punchy, urgent without being alarmist, nonpartisan and could be evolved for future elections.
Once our design was set, we were able to begin animating the graphics and incorporating elements for our toolkit. Animation Director Casey Drogin oversaw the toolkit, adding timing and movement to the graphics so that they would seamlessly deliver the relevant information to viewers.
CNN needed a system that had a strong foundation, but could evolve visually over the course of the next four years, specifically in the leadup to the 2024 presidential election. Functionally, we had to consider the quick turnaround for these graphics to be updated on election night and informationally, we needed to cover a huge number of potential results scenarios.
Toolkits are fun to produce because they’re always unique to each client and so we’re always evolving. For CNN, we had to design elements that visually convey the escalation of urgency as coverage nears decision time, and then include that functionality in the toolkit for their team to manage in the lead up to results coverage and beyond.
“From a design perspective, we wanted to start big and then become more poignant as we get to those defining moments,” said Virgil Conklin, VP, Head of Production. “Being easy to use and putting our clients in control to quickly enact design changes was key, and the toolkit we delivered is really special in that it’s highly functional, but keeps the integrity of the design at a premium, too.”
Another goal we shared with our client from the outset was increasing the bipartisan appeal of the network’s design and expanding reach across generations, especially younger. We pushed our voiceover and music to be more progressive stylistically in line with the visual elements.
CNN is known for their comprehensive coverage and real-time results of elections, and we designed a graphics package that visually contributes to their unique election experience, starting as CNN reporters and analysts covered the 2022 Midterm Election results and what they mean for the country. We enjoyed coming up with a design language to progress the nonpartisan stance of the network and pushing ourselves to the next level to develop a toolkit with premium output to match our standards as well as those of our client.