ABC News marked the one year anniversary of David Muir at the anchor desk with a new graphics package Monday. With the exception of the set itself, almost all references to the Diane Sawyer era are gone.
A new logo is a nod to the one used for Peter Jennings, with simple sans-serif block text – but with a modern twist. Gone is what I have always thought of as the “skillet” logo that was introduced for Sawyer. I think it was supposed to be a tabbed file of some sort, but part of it jutted off the screen. To me it looked like someone flipped around the shape of Oklahoma and put some letters on it. The new one is much better.
The rest of the graphics are very modern, with greater transparency. There are layers in the background with moving maps, numbers, and unreadable text to give the sense of depth. The lower thirds (the graphics with people’s names on them at the bottom of the screen) and the OTS templates (Over The Shoulder – the box with a logo or image and short text that appears to the side of an anchor) are closer to the style used by CBS. The new map used in the open and on the screen behind Muir has a hint of NBC.
The whole scheme is darker, less blocky, and better suits the fast and urgent pacing of Muir’s delivery. Even the show’s open has been shortened to get right to the top story. Some alterations had been made after Muir took over for Sawyer. The graphics and music for the cold open (the previews of the major stories right off the top) were changed, and the show open was shortened – but the overall appearance was still almost the same. The weekend editions have kept all of the Sawyer elements – although I’m sure that will now change.
ABC News has always been at the top when it comes to production values. They somehow find a way to make even the most visually challenging stories engaging. This new graphics package will continue that tradition.