Broadcast design


The field of Broadcast Design (BD) is a path that Motion Graphic artists can walk, and it comes with its own challenges. Previously, you may have been taught to make every piece of a visual exciting but in BD you have to tone it down for information display. It is very much function over form in which your designs need to complement content that is shown on screen.

When you approach Broadcast Design , you should plan your designs around an "intensity spectrum". Hence on one end, you have an exciting over-the-top animation which you can use for bump-in which usually centered around a logo. On the other end, you have a basic design with less motion for designs which primary purpose is to communicate information

My job at WarnerMedia Studios and working with Turner Sports, I have worked on several sports broadcast projects such:

  • NBA Opening Night 2019

  • NBA All-Star Draft 2020

  • NBA All-star Chicago 2020

Below are my notes and observations on how to approach this field.

Recommended Readings



Documentation / Tutorials


Industry / Case-studies

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Visual Grammar / Terminology

The reason for writing a grammar of visual language is the same as for any language: to define its basic elements, describe its patterns and processes, and to understand the relationship between the individual elements in the system.

Sets of deliverables



  • Bumps

  • Endpages

  • Insert

  • Open

  • Interstitials

  • Transitions

  • Score

  • Bugs

  • Locator

  • Sponsors

  • Teams

  • Event / segments


Creative bit

  1. Find references

    • Videohive

  2. USER INTERFACE CREATION via simple shape building / asset creation (ILLUSTRATOR)

  3. Material design / Skinning / Layer styling 4. Motion


Thriving in Broadcast Design


  • 20% of the time you spent is for creative production (eg. concepting, designing, approval)

  • 80% of the time you are tasked with:

    • versioning dozens of your designs or animations for an event or a show

      • Eg. NBA AllStar 2020 has 30 teams; that means 30 different types of logo transition

      • In addition, there are sponsors. So there is a high volume of work that needs to be done within a short period of time

    • Making revisions based on clients and creative/art director notes

    • At the end of the day, broadcast design is creating a UI for media often used to identify subjects, players, segments, sponsors. To put it even simpler, it is extravagant display of logos and texts.


Core skills

As a junior broadcast designer, you will be more inline with volume, diversity and speed. Quality of course does matter; but being able to adapt quickly to any project does go a long way

  • Speed

  • Build your repository of presets and graphic styles

    • AE - Script, animation presets

    • Photoshop - Text effects, Actions

    • Illustrator - Graphic styles,


    • Production toolkit Begin with level 3 Motion passes Tone it down for the smaller elements


  • Specs

    • Optimal duration for animate in / resolve : ~10 – 30 frames

    • Optimal length for renders: 8 seconds

    • Output format: Prores 4444 + Alpha

  • Biggest challenge

    • Tendency to overthink the animation because it can be too simple

    • Versioning dozens of them with responsive sizing

    • Procedural / responsive design

  • Review

    • Are elements 'inter-animating' instead of linear

Crests β€” Orginate from the knights of medieval England where announcers would differentiate knights based on their crest designs. Context: Arena, large audience, quick identification
Tips - iterative design eg. Aaron Draplin, Logo creed
- ASSEMBLY & DISASSEMBLY β€” How does things come together?


Responsive containers with regards to type Automation with JSX FXPHD AFX210 Introduction to After Effects Scripting (Outdated but still extremely relevant) Animoplex Motionscripts All for one Layercomps in Photoshop




  • use Houdini > Substance Designer > Unreal

  • hence when we pitch to clients or teams, we are look at a 3D shader ball which we can incorporate into layer styles or 2D Designs; this is call "Skinning"

All element of broadcast are essentially rectangles or containers, with stylization on top. There is minimal narrative involved because their purpose is mainly used to supplement the content; not overpowering it.

that TECHNOLGY LOOK which is characterized by

  • pixelization using dots or squares > data bits?

  • streaks of light running through a network > Electric circuitry

  • Horzontal Displacement > Datamosh

​ which mostly looks as typography. The still you sent looks a lot like the original AT&T animated globe from the 1980s.

One of the sources for the wire frames etc that tend to appear is a combination of DARPA project designs and older NASA computer simulations of the Pioneer and Apollo programs in the 1970s when these kinds of computer graphics were state-of-the-art. Much of what gets thought of as "future" is actually retro once you recognize what it references, often at two or three removes from the source. Much of this "interface" stuff is really diagrammatic rather than functional.... Maybe look at Edward Tufte's work with information graphics?