Who are the artists behind WAVE 3 News’ new look?

Who are the artists behind WAVE 3 News’ new look?
Your local NBC affiliate station introduced a new graphics package that is the talk of the local TV news industry this week. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Meteorologist Ryan Hoke, motion designer Scott Isaacs and art director Rhonda Harshfield led the graphics upgrade over several months.
Meteorologist Ryan Hoke, motion designer Scott Isaacs and art director Rhonda Harshfield led the graphics upgrade over several months. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Perhaps you’ve noticed a few changes on WAVE 3 News.

Your local NBC affiliate station introduced a new graphics package that is the talk of the local TV news industry this week.

We seldom get to tout the accomplishments of some of our behind-the-scenes players, but that’s precisely what we’re doing today.

Many people had a hand in this graphics rollout, but we wanted to tip our caps to three people in particular, and let them share in their own words a little bit about their backgrounds, as well as their involvement in this graphics tranformation:

+ Art Director Rhonda Harshfield

As the Art Director in the Marketing Department at WAVE 3 News, I can do a lot of things, but my specialty is brand identity design. It is through brand identity design that a brand strives to communicate clearly with the target audience. It is the combined message transmitted via the brand name, logo, style and visuals. My role is distilling complex ideas into clear visuals in all aspects of WAVE 3 News' messaging.

This isn’t the first graphics package I have worked on. I have worked on three previous ones over the years. However, this has been much more involved because we have so many more platforms/applications to consider than before.

Our brand’s logo is the face of our business. People can’t help but form an impression of us based on what they see, and our logo is the most commonly-used visual that represents WAVE 3 News. The basic shape of our logo is a rhombus. It implies movement, energy, forward-thinking, emphasis and urgency. I wanted this message to be conveyed in our graphics package as well. We used this rhombus shape in some aspect of all of the graphics.

When the LIM4 package was offered to us several years ago, we had a choice of five accent colors (red, yellow, purple, blue or orange). I wanted the orange for a variety of reasons, but mostly because orange stands out. It alerts us to whatever is at hand. So when it was decided to evolve the graphics package, the one thing I was insistent on was keeping the color orange in the new look. The biggest aspect of our old graphics package we changed was the charcoal backgrounds. We changed those to soft white. The soft whites combined with the boldness of the orange make our brand more authoritative in the marketplace.

+ Motion Designer Scott Isaacs

I am a motion designer. I created the 3D elements and the animation. I also handled the technical design portion of getting it ready for Chyron.

I worked alongside Rhonda to develop the “Rules” for the new look. We decided very early on that the new look should celebrate our brand and showcase our logo more than our previous looks have. The rhombus shape used throughout the look is the exact angle from our logo. The idea behind the look was to make everything brighter, bolder, and cleaner.

We were inspired by the clean, sleek look that is popular in UI design right now.

This package isn’t a complete departure from the LIM4 look designed by Limerick in Charoltte, N.C. We kept the color that (was at one point) unique only to our station in the market and the super clean Gotham typeface.

+ Meteorologist Ryan Hoke

I'm a meteorologist with a background in basic graphic design. I've been using Adobe Photoshop since I was 12 and have always enjoyed graphic, photo, and video production alongside my deep interest in weather. While I've not had any formal training in graphic design, I've learned a lot from online tutorials and tips over the years. More recently, WAVE 3 News Art Director Rhonda Harshfield has taught me a great deal about design layout, color, style, and more advanced features of the Adobe Creative Suite.

My experience working on the new graphics package was a fast-paced, challenging, but ultimately incredible experience. We have hundreds of different weather graphics at WAVE 3 News, and each of them had to be converted by hand to match our new look. Some graphics, like our 10 Day Earliest Alert Forecast, took over a week to plan out and execute because of so many moving parts involved. The most fun part was animating the elements that our art department gave us to bring the whole thing to life. Everything is so fast and fluid now. There’s no more waiting for our forecast to display; the animations are instant!

The overall “Flat UI” trend that you see in mobile device operating systems, advertising, and just about everywhere else was a big inspiration for this design. Simplicity is key. Gone are the days when explosive, shiny elements and embellishments ruled news graphic design. Let the information be presented in a way where the form is pleasing, but not distracting. Modern design is clean, tidy, and simple, almost 1960s-esque if you ask me.

I’m absolutely in love with the orange, white, and blue color palette we use in the new graphics package. It’s so bright and energizing while also providing a clean backdrop for our elements. We’ve had orange and charcoal graphics in the past, but this new package brightens and cleans up that look in so many ways.

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