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davidson

New Fox NFL Graphics Package

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Okay, so the designer wasn't familiar with the NFL — that much is certain. Let us not forget the NFL is the end-all, be-all of sports ONLY IN THE USA, and not all Americans are into sports. This man could be foreign, could care less about sports or —God forbid— cares more about the actual craft of design than a team (or league) he's established some sort of bizarre mental affixation to. Having said that, I do wish the guy had done a little more research.

For those of you who (quite obviously) know nothing of design to be piling on this saying things like "Thank GOD they didn't use this" or "There's too much unused space" is kinda like me going in to Yankee Stadium and trying to tell Rodriguez how to handle a knuckleball. I'd be making myself look stupid, and so are you.

First things first:

There's no such thing as "too much unused space". I know this may sound odd to the uneducated, but the primary role of a graphic designer isn't to make things pretty. It's to make things legible to better communicate the message the client wishes to convey. The more "unused space" an object has around it, the easier it is to read. In this case, the client is FOX Sports and wants to communicate the score of a ballgame. That's it.

Secondly:

From a pure design standpoint, these graphics are miles above anything I've ever seen on a sports broadcast. As a consumer, I don't care about how many bevels, swooshes, flames or shines are on the infographics. All I want is the score, time, and possibly a few stats. And these mockups are not only successful — they may just be groundbreaking.

First thing's first, no design is above the understanding of anyone. We clear pal? Good. This "you're not educated, you just don't get it, this is groundbreaking" attitude is on par with the "you have to be from Cleveland to understand Cleveland" stuff in terms of absurdity. To suggest that a proposal or concept, or even a finished and used piece of work is beyond constructive criticism is to spit in the face of the creative process.

As for your unused space comments, admiral's right. Ultimately the point of the broadcast is for viewers to watch the game. Unused space here results in more of the field being obscured and/or covered then it has to be, and thus the design is flawed.

The ones that work work really well. And the ones that don't? They still work really well. That's how you know it's good — even the worse ones still function brilliantly.

Um, no they don't.

This one is the only one that's anywhere near "good," and even then it needs one or two more revisions before it's spot-on....

02_FoxSports_01.jpg

These are all too big and they get in the way of the actual game, you know, the primary point of the broadcast....

01_lowerthirdscrorecard_05b%20%5BConverted%5D_3.jpg

01_lowerthirdscrorecard_14%20%5BConverted%5D.jpg

01_lowerthirdscrorecard_05%20%5BConverted%5D.jpg

Granted, the guy's got some good ideas, and some positive feedback from both viewers and Fox could lead to him fine-tuning his designs until he has something that's simple, functional, and cutting edge. As they are now though? Only the first one I pointed out comes close to doing its job "really well," and the rest take up way to much space and feature way to much unused space to work as on-screen graphics during a ballgame.

It seems to me that some of you are simply backlashing against something you aren't familiar with and don't fully understand. Everything this man presented is highly legible, informative, and devoid of any extraneous embellishment — whether you like it or not.

It seems to me that you're a condescending snob (hey, you call yourself one) who assumes that if people don't like what you like they must be uneducated Neanderthals who just don't "get it."

These aren't groundbreaking, they borrow heavily from Europe, as admiral pointed out, and on top of that they're overly simplistic. There's beauty in simplicity and there's so plain it's just boring. These currently are the latter. They could become the former with some tweaks here and there and a better understanding of what the graphics are suppose to do (realizing they can't obscure that much of the game would be a good start).

They aren't masterpieces of graphic design that you have to be "educated" to get, they're rough drafts that are going in a direction that could yield some nice results, but they're not there yet.

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There's clean and different, and there's "looks like it was put together by a high school television production class." This is, by and large, the latter.

Exactly. This "package" looks like it was designed on Windows Movie Maker or iMovie or something. It looks cheap and unimaginative. This "designer" should probably keep his day job.

And in response to this...

For those of you who (quite obviously) know nothing of design to be piling on this saying things like "Thank GOD they didn't use this" or "There's too much unused space" is kinda like me going in to Yankee Stadium and trying to tell Rodriguez how to handle a knuckleball. I'd be making myself look stupid, and so are you.

I'm not a designer but I do work in television and we produce a lot of sports. I fully "understand" and I can tell you that this "graphic package" is a joke. This thing would get laughed out of the room if someone presented it to us. A multi-billion dollar network isn't going to use graphics that can be produced by anyone who has a computer and the necessary 29.95 to buy this program. Especially when aspects of the package take up ridiculously large and unnecessary amounts of screen space.

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01_lowerthirdscrorecard_09c-Converted.jpg

WTF?

My thoughts exactly. Looks like a live action Tecmo Bowl. Great for that game, horrible otherwise.

touchdown+rex+grossman(2).gif

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Also, it should be pointed out that any of the "successful" ones only look decent because it's a still photo from a far wider angle than any camera operator would ever take. Laid over actual game footage, I'm 110% certain that even the folks who like these would see that it's just not reasonable.

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nfl281copy.jpg

unreasonable

In all fairness, though, I don't think people should be bashing the designer, saying things like, "He should probably keep his day job." FOX asked for something minimal, unique and different. Keep in mind that these are all first-round sketches that cover that aesthetic pretty thoroughly.

With that said, I don't think you're looking outside what's presented here. You're looking at how it is used as opposed to how it could be or how it was intended to be used. When I look at the image you posted, that, clearly, to me would be the lead-in/lead-out score box; the larger one that appears before and after the commercial. I would imagine it would shrink down to an acceptable score-bug size for in game use. Give the guy a little credit. :rolleyes: It's clearly not the size of an in-game bug, and I'm sure he realizes that/intended it to be that way.

I mean, in 10 at-bats, the guy only hit one home run, but when you think about it, that's a pretty good percentage.

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Even if these are his first round of sketches, it doesn't seem like he has a clue about a)American football or b)television sports graphics. Almost all of these sketches seem to have an arbitrarily placed graphic with arbitrary (and in some cases confusing) colors. His use of sentence case in the graphics severely hurts legibility in my opinion, and the spacing of information within the boxes as well as the use of negative space has no apparent rhyme or reason.

If simplicity is the aim here, why not take what currently works and simplify that? Team colors are easy and quick identifiers, as are team/city abbreviations. I understand the direction he was going in and I can appreciate that, but to me this is an exercise in over-indulgent simplicity.

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01_lowerthirdscrorecard_09c-Converted.jpg

WTF?

My thoughts exactly. Looks like a live action Tecmo Bowl. Great for that game, horrible otherwise.

touchdown+rex+grossman(2).gif

I couldn't tell whether it was real or that Front Page Sports game by Sierra. :D

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01_lowerthirdscrorecard_09c-Converted.jpg

WTF?

My thoughts exactly. Looks like a live action Tecmo Bowl. Great for that game, horrible otherwise.

touchdown+rex+grossman(2).gif

I couldn't tell whether it was real or that Front Page Sports game by Sierra. :D

I had that! Forgot all about it.

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01_lowerthirdscrorecard_09c-Converted.jpg

The glaring issue I see with this is that I have no idea which team, Denver or Minnesota, has 21 points and which has 7. And that's besides the over-indulgent amount of negative space and the bad placing of the graphics.

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I mean, in 10 at-bats, the guy only hit one home run, but when you think about it, that's a pretty good percentage.

I think that a double is maybe more accurate than a home run......

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I mean, in 10 at-bats, the guy only hit one home run, but when you think about it, that's a pretty good percentage.

I think that a double is maybe more accurate than a home run......

Yeah, I agree with that. The one solid design there still needs some work before it's "ready."

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I have four five key problems with this.

1. It's impossible to tell which team has which points.

2. The colors used do not correspond to either team.

3. There's horribly inefficient and ineffective use of space. Seriously, tiny font with on a huge background?

4. IT'S HUUUUUGE! When I watch football, I want to actually see the game, not be have the action blocked by the graphics.

5. Irony - using the old NFL logo on a too-modern-even-for-Apple graphic design

The current Fox package in use for the past few years, while not the most visually modern, is ideal. Sitting at the top frame, it's completely out of the way and let's you focus on the action. Colors are coordinated with team names and logos. Every inch of space is used.

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01_lowerthirdscrorecard_09c-Converted.jpg

The glaring issue I see with this is that I have no idea which team, Denver or Minnesota, has 21 points and which has 7. And that's besides the over-indulgent amount of negative space and the bad placing of the graphics.

Good point. But it's obvious the Dolphins are winning that game.

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