Viceland Brand Identity

Simplicity is not boring. But, its not often you see minimal design with moxie. Simple: “Easily understood”. Boring: “Not interesting; dull”.

Viceland. It’s a TV channel.

Simplicity may be disguised as boring. But, a simple design is memorable. It communicates clearly. Effective, because it doesn’t offer the next steps. Mystery is intriguing.

Buy tickets”. “Go here”. “Do this”.

F*** all that.

Viceland doesn’t tell you what to do or try to sell. Doesn’t target an audience. It knows people will seek it out. Other brands give you all the info and you decide right then whether you’re interested. Viceland? Not sure yet.

Simplicity looks scary to clients because it can be confused with boring. Scary, because it might not work? Needs more to be attention grabbing. No. Simplicity screams louder than complexity around it.

Image from Gretel

Identity is the visual visceral expression of brand. Expression of ideas and personality. Do Viceland care about design? Do they care about branding? It’s an anti-brand. A lack of color and logo. A Jolly Roger.

Designed by Gretel.

Gretel explored many typefaces for the brand.


Modern, stark, unbranded.

“Viceland brand: exhibition catalogue. Street flyer. Craigslist and couture. Generic and refined. Simultaneously elevated ‘high’ and vernacular ‘low’. Translation of VICE sensibility. Blunt and raw. An exposed structure. Functional language free of decoration, artifice and veneer.” — Gretel

Stark. Blunt. Straight-forward. Not classy, but stylish. Identity system just about the message. System used as a tool to do its purpose and nothing more. Any other embellishment would be inauthentic.

Viceland uses critics against themselves. Criticism launched at them is bounced back at the thrower.

^ Viceland ad. Reinforces the beliefs of the audience and builds doubt in Wired. Viceland is the outsider. So is the audience. They feel this with the ad. They like that you don’t like them.

“It’s the ugliest channel I’ve ever seen, I hope you get cancelled next week!”

^ Viceland voicemail ad.

Poorly recreated ad because I couldn’t find the real one. Not claiming 100% accuracy.

^ Viceland ad. Lazy or Brilliant?

“On-air, simple typographic animations used for idents and bumpers. Entire brand is built on two core moves: hard cuts and linear slides. Can be used alone or compounded. Irony is it can adapt to any contemporary platform” — Gretel.
image from Gretel


It’s f***ing brilliant.