Autoplay.co: The branding for a new type of video player
What if you could let the internet play like TV?
The idea is pretty simple. Take the best videos on the internet and sort them into channels like on tv. Each channel is a brand of its own and becomes a destination for the likes of news, movie trailers, music videos, technology, etc.
What’s great about TV is that in theory it’s extremely simple. You turn it on, then change the channel when you’re not feeling what’s on. It just plays good stuff. And you always know what channel to go to for your mood. It’s automatic. You don’t have to look through thumbnails and constantly make decisions. Good content should just play: Autoplay.
Creating the brand
After hacking together a few initial prototypes, I began focusing on the mark. What says “Autoplay” in a simple and easy to remember visual? I felt it needed a connection to the well known play button to have an obvious reminder of video.
Stemming from this I tried locking up the A from Autoplay in different formats and using typography to create something compelling. The simplest result was basically just a rotated letter A. In Gotham the style wasn’t bad, but felt like it was missing something. Unfortunately, altering the character or skewing it made it just feel off.
Another option aside from the play button was the fast-forward icon. Some really great post-rationalisation could have been applied. You know future thinking and all that stuff. In the end though I moved on because it just felt too ‘hipster logo’.
I wanted something that could work for everyone. Not seem too serious, trendy, or technical. Merging a wing and play button was always something that tickled my fancy, so I did some tests… They all sucked.
In my first executions a kind of frankenstein was emerging. Like a sci-fi wing forced into a triangle. After dozens of directions I found a route that was both graphic and organic. However, many rounds of subtle tweaking were needed since every subtle movement of a line would cause it to turn into a fire breathing Autodragon.
These were all trying to create something iconographic out of how a wing actually looks. To me the most natural was the 6th of this group. Just needed be a little ‘less’ natural. So I used some circles.
Animating a wing
Autoplay is an experiential platform with full-frame video and very little interface. So what little elements are on the page need to animate. This includes the logo. The only way to professionally create a flying wing would be to do it in 3d. I tried doing frame-by-frame animations but they always looked too choppy. So I created my first Cinema 4d animation:
Cinematic but functional typography
The typography is drawn from the traditional movie poster which needs to condense loads of type in a small area so all the important people are mentioned. I borrowed this to construct title blocks, descriptive copy, and buttons. In cases of excess space, I use an exaggerated letter spacing with regular din. This became the subhead and meta style.
A video friendly aesthetic
On Autoplay, you’re always watching video in the background. Information and interface are designed to be clear, legible, and minimal. This way you can easily watch great videos and find what you’re looking for at the same time.
Interested in checking out Autoplay? Jump over to autoplay.co and add your email at the bottom of the site.