I’m very pleased to announce the result of our latest project.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been at work for Christian Müller. Christian is a German Social Media & PR consultant who focuses on small and medium-sized businesses. His message: a holistic approach to social media. He joins meditation, sport, good energy with traditional marketing and PR. Quite a good package, if I’m allowed to say so.

 

Christian also has a popular YouTube channel. On his channel he combines three of his projects into one:

When he approached me he said “I need some intros”. That sounded like an easy job to do, so I agreed to further discussions. I soon realized that “intros” was code for “a redesign of my entire YouTube appearance”. The problem we faces was that he he combines three different brands on one channel.

These three things didn’t just pop into existence, they’ve grown organically and over time. Not hugely unusual. That’s just how popular things become popular sometimes. The art was to bring these three things together so that his followers and viewers realize that all comes from one and the same company.

He suggested a redesign of the entire YouTube page. New channel artwork, new intro animations, lower-thirds, thumbnails, bugs, everything, the whole package. We wanted something modern, flat, and minimal.

The video thumbnails were another constraint. They should be portable; allowing him to quickly make a thumbnail on the go. That meant, in the context of minimalism and flat design: no fancy layers, not too many layers either, few colors, gradients, re-using shapes. That’s what he gave me.

Another problem turned out to be YouTube’s artwork and channel guidelines. YouTube suggests to target a document size of 2560 x 1440 at the moment. The downside is that only TV’s show the entirety of this image. All other platforms and devices only use the middle portion of the image. This meant a huge problem in the design for Christian. The channel artwork needed to shine in every resolution. With the main content being in the middle, and so much white space to the sides, the sides needed to be visually pleasing, without having informational content (like a web adress or something similar).

After some back and forth we decided to start with the channel artwork first, since that would be the graphic everything else would be derived from. Christian suggested “make something with waves”. Waves themselves didn’t turn out too well. They were much distracting and not abstract enough to have the eye focus on the main content. I played with it a bit in Motion and used some triangles aligned to a wave shape. Really heavy and thick triangles.

I knew that I wanted to have some sort of element align to the wave. I tried something with particles, but particles have a life cycle which turned out to be visually less than pleasing in this case. They also added too much glow to the graphic for the same reason. Everything but minimal.
Needless to say this didn’t turn into “waves” of excitement on Christian’s and my end. We made them thin, and really really long. Giving them the appearance of almost being lines. I also decided to re-use the shapes from his logos only making the entire picture less distracting. Something was still missing though. A little bit of structure in the background. The background color was just too plain. So after several iterations I had this:

We were pleased with this and built the rest quite easily. The intros all use the same sequence of actions. They only differ in:

  • the music used
  • the logo reveal is different every time

You can see the work at Christian’s Channel on YouTube.