The rapid growth of Social TV and the development of multiple-screen viewing is proving that web video is a game changer in how we experience entertainment. So when the producer and director of BIFL asked me to brand their new web series, I was excited to create a social TV brand that could live inside and outside of digital web series space.
What is ‘BIFL’? BIFL is a Gen Z comedic web series (with a lot of drama) created by and for a wide variety of LGBTQIA+ identities. The series is about intersectionality grounded in meaningful, real-life situations; both behind and in front of the camera, it’s about our communities being seen and heard. BIFL is expectations, different shades of intimacy, and what it really means to love someone. Blood family versus found family and how toxic relationships can both manifest and disguise themselves. How identities intersect, how labels can matter but don’t have to, and how perception isn’t always reality.
Before we began design development, we binged watched the first 6 (rough cut offline edited) webisodes. We enjoyed the sincerely hilarious relationships between characters who are still understanding their own gender and sexual identities—comedy here is a gateway to socio-political commentary. In one segment a non-binary roommate quickly runs through proper pronoun use i.e. She/Her vs He/Him vs They/Them (preferred)—this casual comedic moment becomes a profound statement on our society. This is the essence we tried to capture with their brand.
We wanted the rom-com’s logomark to be easily identifiable, full of personality, and still be a bit awkward (like all of the personalities on the show). The logomark had a 1:1 proportion to fit all social media avatars, yet have a horizontal option to fit on all social media header areas. The logo is a literal x-acto knife cut-out of the show’s title. I imagined each clunky weird letter to have a special relationship to the other letters (insert typography ‘character joke’ here). We also made sure the logomark could be reskinned to pride colors as well be skinned to match brand color IDs of other social causes and woke brand partners.
The BIFL team wanted the brand to rollout for ClexaCon (an annual media and entertainment convention for the female LGBTQ+ community and its allies). With this in mind, the BIFL brand launched using the pride logo-version (based on the traditional color scheme of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). These rainbow colors work great because the web series itself is so colorful while these bright colors pop on social media feeds. The amusing ‘clumsy-cutout’ graphics also add to the visual language for the viewer. We pushed this further with our choice of typography—using the entire Knockout font family, mixing different weights and sizes more both irreverent and delightfully-gaudy typographic choices.
Being a social TV show, BIFL heavily relies on there social media reach. We first developed a screen-friendly digital brand style guide. We then applied the brand graphics to BIFL’s Twitter, Facebook page, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, etc. Every social media platform has it’s own unique purpose, so we created specific design templates and video layouts to best represent the BIFL brand.
Since BIFL is a crowd-funded project, the built-in fan base is eager for merchandise to further support the web series. Along with the logo-branded offering of apparel and swags, we extended the goofy banter of the show into cheeky dialogue merch i.e. “Totally Into” and “So NOT Into” written on campy mugs and tees that literally points to your crush (or non-crush) standing next to you.
Overall, this brand is about having uproarious fun, navigating life/love authentically, and ultimately embracing others by humanizing our struggles and triumphs.