How did Richard Simmons become the number one podcast on Itunes and a cultural obsession? Maybe the time was right to shift our attention from dark times to try to bring back a campy public figure whose positivity we sorely needed. Or maybe it gave us the much needed sequel to Serial. Who knows? This NYTimes article explains it better than I could. In making the artwork we commissioned illustrator/designer Timothy Mcauliffe. Tim and I discussed how we could capture the Simmons persona along with Dan Taberski's introspective storytelling and the mystery behind the podcast's storyline. We ended with this moody illustration, a nod to Magritte and Simmons' unmistakable fro.
Topic is First Look Media's ambitious entertainment studio and storytelling brand. For the early introduction of the brand we wanted to create an air of mystery and acknowledge the rise of visual storytelling in the digital age. Inspired by the work of Eadweard Muybridge, whose experiment with a horse is frequently regarded the first motion picture, we created a gif that transforms the iconic clip into ASCII art. The interesting backstory behind Muybridge reveals our desire to tell great stories. A six tile reveal introduced the brand on Instagram. A Facebook Post told the entire story. GIF by Erik Carter.
In June 2017 we launched topic.com, a monthly digital magazine that looks at culture and society through the lens of independent artists, animators, filmmakers and writers. For the site's design, created by the Topic team with brand design by Triboro Studios, we took inspiration from the world of art editions, catalogues and Monographs. The idea being that Topic is a compulsively curious brand that catalogs and examines all the world's topics and does so with the meticulous finesse that a scholarly publication would.
The Topic logo, designed by Work Order with Frere-Jones type is a visual language in and of itself that lives somewhere between a bar code and a letter form, a pleasing contrast with the straighforwardness of the Topic name.
For First Look Media’s new website, we wanted an anchor video that unambiguously stated our message and responded to the agitation of our times. We turned to design iconoclasts Hort, the Berlin based creative playground that made its mark in the Frankfurt techno scene in the nineties, to cut through the noise with this agitprop inspired typography driven animation. Copy by Traci Terrill.
Awarded the 2016 Shorty Award for Best in Civic Engagement, #IAMTHEMANY is an art-fueled digital and social media campaign which began with a crowd sourced poster drive and ended with a show at the White House. Created by ACT/ART, a non-profit that uses the power of art to inspire positive change, #IAMTHEMANY uses the tradition of poster art combined with the reach of social media as a means to spark a conversation about insitutionalized racism in the justice system. Inspired by the 1968 civil rights “I AM A MAN” labor protest, #IAMTHEMANY is designed to assert the same crucial tenets: universal right to justice, humanity and freedom.
#IAMTHEMANY solicited designs from the art community around the theme of institutionalized racism. A final selection of the artists’ works was chosen for display at the White House by a jury of art luminaries and social justice advocates including Shepard Fairey, Chuck D, Morgan Spurlock and Dream Corps founder Van Jones. The work was displayed along the public White House Tour in October 2015. The general public was also invited to participate in the campaign through a crowdsourcing platform which allows users to instantly create their own I AM posters.
Accompanied by deeply personal stories, thousands of submissions were received and shared making #IAMTHEMANY a virtual public square for creative expression and discussion about racism in America. Celebrities and influencers including Nicole Richie and Russel Simmons created personal posters amplifying the reach of the campaign. To see the artwork click here.
Phil Delbourgo is a co-founder of ACT/ART, a non profit dedicated to social impact through art.
In the 2016 election season. where you don't really know whether to laugh or to cry, Politically Reactive with Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu came just at the right time, offering a smart and comedic take on the politics of our day. This is First Look Media's first podcast and the successful launch had it featured in the Itunes store and ultimately become the #2 podcast in the News and Politics space. Illustration by the talented, Ana Benaroya and gifs and social media content created by Travis Spangler.
Phil Delbourgo has shaped the identities of some of the leading brands in entertainment and television. Ever since launching E! in the nineties with his Big Fat TV partner, Holly Chasin, he has overseen the creation or rebranding of over half a dozen media brands.
E! Logo designed by Holly Chasin, Big Fat TV
Topic Logo designed by Work Order with Frere-Jones type
VH1 Soul Logo designed by Matt Leblan
Rhapsody logo designed by Exopolis
VH1 + logo designed by Gretel
VH1 "leaf" logo designed by Nancy Mazzei
Palladia logo designed by Troika
Centric Logo designed by Eyeball
First Look Media brought its newly relaunched political cartoon platform, the Nib, to the Democratic National Convention in order to insert the brand directly into the crossfire of the 2016 election conversation. The Nib occupied its own campaign headquarters in the center of Philly's historic district where a battalion of nationally recognized cartoonists, led by Matt Bors, reacted to events on the ground in real time with a series of disruptive digital and real world activations. The HQ's were open to the public and press and also acted as a venue for a series of programmed events featuring First Look Media talent. The activation brought The Nib, substantial traffic in both web traffic and social media (53% of nib.com visitors were new during the DNC engagement. Launch day showed a 1,030% increase in Twitter engagement for the month) and also attracted 10 press hits including Variety and CNN.
VH1 relaunched with a new identity in January of 2013 to considerable buzz. Accompanied by a new slate of programming, VH1's rebrand was centered around a plus sign, signifying the network's sometimes over the top mashup of pop culture programming.
Here's the entire strategy explained by robots.
View launch promo.
Read Fast Company article.
Creative Directors for VH1: Phil Delbourgo, Traci Terrill, Amanda Havey, Julie Ruiz, Tony Maxwell
Logo and On-Air Design: Gretel
Launch Promos: Hill Holiday
VH1 Design Team: Travis Spangler, Snejina Latev
Illustration: Peter Stemmler
Photography: Piotr Sikora
At Viacom I was privileged to be part of Ripcord, a small innovation team of developers and content creators who experimented with new ways to deliver content aided by technology, often using legacy MTV content as our raw material.
One such experiment was the Beavis mouth app. Select Beavis or Butthead, take a photo of yourself, record a message and send the animated message to a friend.
We also created a prototype reviving Celebrity Death Match which would allow users to create their own death matches on the fly. In addition to a UGC app, the real time animation technology, developed by Flickerlab Animation Studios, had far reaching implications in speeding up the animation process to the point of being able to create animated clips and content around topical events.
Prior to Ripcord members of the group were responsible for overseeing the launch of the MTV Artists App, a music discovery app which was part of MTV's music mobile strategy. Our product launch, which used exclusive content and integration into the VMA's as its lynchpin, drove over half a million downloads in the first few months.
Creative Directors: Phil Delbourgo, Shannon Connolly
Developers Beavis/Butthead App: Flickerlab Animation Studios
Video Producer Celebrity Death Match: Andrew Alburn
For the launch of Mob Wives season 4, new younger cast members joined the mix, setting themselves up as rivals to the O.G.'s. The "new blood" title provided a potent metaphor signifying potential trouble as well as the family ties binding the mob. The theme of rivalry and the red motifs carried through to the print campaign which tipped its hat to West Side story gang rivalries.
Creative Director: Phil Delbourgo
Art Director Advertising: Julie Ruiz
Art Director Main Title: Amanda Havey
Main Title Design: Imaginary Forces
Photography: Piotr Sikora
An eye catching campaign for VH1 featuring Nicole Richie and shot by acclaimed fashion photographer, Miles Aldridge
Creative Directors: Phil Delbourgo, Julie Ruiz, Beth Wawerna
Stylist: Elizabeth Stewart
Photographer: Miles Aldridge
To commemorate the pioneers of hip hop featured in VH1's Hip Hop Honors show in 2009, we commissioned, then rising artist, Kehinde Wiley, now widely considered one of the most important American artists of our time, to create portraiture of the honorees. The portraits were later exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. View press.
Creative Directors: Phil Delbourgo, Nigel Cox-Hagen
Art by Kehinde Wiley
TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle is hip hop's version of the Cosbys. This main title was a nod to the original Cosby show open. This was before Bill Cosby, well y'know...
Creative Directors: Phil Delbourgo and Jim Fitzgerald
Theme music: TI
Creative Director: Phil Delbourgo
Art Director: Julie Ruiz
Photographer: Piotr Sikora,
Video Director: Robert Rugan
Video Producer: Corey Nealon
Type Design: Mogollon
Renowned for its uncanny ability to forecast new visual trends that are embraced globally, SCOPE Art Show is the largest emerging art fair in the world. For three consecutive years, VH1 and SCOPE joined forces through a partnership that I created with SCOPE VP, Daria Greene, for a program of art and music during Miami's art week. The week of cultural programming included unique collaborations between visual and music artists and culminated each year at a party whose headliners included Metric, Tegan and Sara and Swizz Beatz. The partnership drew in lucrative sponsorship including a multi-million dollar three year deal with Fiat for VH1.
Using street art to celebrate Big Ang's pop culture cred, this stealth campaign helped create buzz in advance of the notorious mob wife's spinoff series launch. Five murals were created throughout NYC and Chicago without any conspicuous branding. The public read it as a genuine street art play triggering over a 100,000 spontaneous earned social media impressions across, Twitter, Facebook, Buzzfeed and Instagram.
For season 2 of Mob Wives, this unified cross platform campaign capitalizes on the New Year's launch date to create a memorable appointment with the audience. To heighten the drama, the print execution takes compositional cues from French Romantic painter Gericault's Raft of the Medusa.
Creative Directors: Phil Delbourgo, Traci Terrill, Tony Maxwell
Live Action Director: Micah Perta
Print Art Direction: BLT
Photographer: F. Scott Schafer