MSNBC unveiled a new graphics package this morning. The new graphics use a flat style and are fairly similar to the graphics that CNN debuted roughly a year ago. The package is also heavy on arrows. Arrows are used with the live bug, now in the lower left hand corner, the date, the upper lower third (seen above with Developing Now), and the location of the camera feed. MSNBC has always been hot on arrows and they have been used in the past for intros.
Most significantly, the new package removes the Lean Forward branding that previously graced the cable news outlet’s airtime. When the network started doing straight newscasts to replace the previous opinion program as interim programming, the newscasts were labelled only as Lean Forward. Now, the network’s slogan has been removed from on-air. This comes as the network works to shed its liberal image in an effort to boost ratings. MSNBC is refocusing on straight news programming. However, primetime and morning programs will remain opinionated. The biggest question comes Monday on primetime to see whether or not the Lean Forward would resurface.
The change also expands the ticker to the full screen, as it is on the other cable news channels. The ticker is now used to show the date. Since the package was updated on the weekend, it is unknown where the stock updates will be placed.
I think it’s a positive change. The old
I’m a little ambivalent about the change. I liked the old graphics, but they were getting stale and a change was needed. Like most graphics designed in the late-2000s; they were designed for a full screen presentation on both a 16:9 HDTV as well as a 4:3 SDTV, which squished all of the graphics into the center of the screen. For the last few years, cable TV, including MSNBC has moved toward simply letterboxing the wide screen feed on SDTVs, rendering the style pointless and distracting.
On the other hand, MSNBC had an opportunity to either show more information in the additional screen real estate or to open it all up by shrinking the OSGs altogether, but they did neither. The box for the logo contains a lot of white space and could be shrunk substantially, or it could be made to contain the clock, stocks and live bug similar to how the graphics were laid out in the angular logo graphic on the 2006-2009 package. Why is the clock on an arrow shaped graphic on the other side of the screen and pointing in the opposite direction as the live bug? Why does the live bug have to protrude into the picture? The graphics still need some tweaking IMO.