Video Branding illustration

Video Branding

Video has become one of the most preferred ways to receive and digest information. Visual elements of a video contribute greatly to the credibility of an organizations' brand. Below you will find standards to apply our brand constantly and accurately across video content published on RFE/RL websites, social media, or other platforms.

1. General

1.1 Title Safe Area

For compatibility with a growing range of screen sizes (from older TVs to smaller mobile devices) we have a designated title safe area to ensure clear visibility of video and graphic elements on all devices. This area is shown in green. Please do not place any graphic element in the red "not safe area".

"Safe Margins" in Adobe Premiere
Safe and not safe area — scheme

1.1.1 Title Safe Area Misuse

Do not place subtitles outside of the title safe area. Devices which cannot display Full HD resolution will crop everything that is wider than the screen resolution of the device.

Brandmark safe area misuse — scheme
Brandmark safe area misuse — result

Do not place subtitles outside of the safe area. Devices which cannot display Full HD resolution will crop everything that is wider than the screen resolution of the device.

Subtitles safe area misuse — scheme
Subtitles safe area misuse — result

1.2 Brandmark Layout

In order to ensure consistent branding across all RFE/RL videos, careful brandmark placement is essential. Therefore, please follow the guidelines outlined below:

  1. Use the transparent compact brandmark only (see Compact brandmark).
  2. The height of the brandmark must not exceed 81px.
  3. The brandmark should be visible throughout the entire video and in the correct placement as shown below.
  4. The brandmark must be placed within the green "title safe area", flush upper right or left (see Title Safe Area).

The placement of the brandmark changes according to language of the video. There are two different orientations for the brandmark placement, LTR (left-to-right) used for a majority of the RFE/RL language services, and RTL (right-to-left) for Arabic language services. For LTR, the brandmark should be placed in the top left corner, and for RTL in the top right corner. See figures below.

Brandmark placement LTR — scheme
Brandmark placement LTR — result
Brandmark placement RTL — scheme
Brandmark placement RTL — result

1.2.1 Brandmark Layout Misuse

The compact brandmark must always be used to properly brand video content. It should never be recreated, recolored, distorted, or reorganized in any way. The correct use of the brandmark is specified in the previous pages. See the examples below of incorrect ways to brand videos.

Do not place the brandmark outside of the title safe area!

Do not use any version of the brandmark other than the one provided in the package!

Do not apply any additional effects (heavy drop shadow or outer glow)!

Do not rotate, scale or move from its correct placement (see Brandmark Layout)!

Do not apply any color or use a different opacity than the one provided in the package!

Do not create any video without the brandmark visible!

Do not place the brandmark on the bottom corner.

Do not use two different brandmarks together.

Do not duplicate the brandmark with an avatar or similar element.

Do not place LTR brandmark to the right side and do not place RTL Brandmark to the left side.

1.3 Opener

The opener is the fullscreen animation clip shown at the very beginning (opening) of an RFE/RL video. It is important to include the official opener especially for any productions posted on social media platforms in order to reinforce the proper RFE/RL brand throughout the web. Unless the video belongs to a special project or uniquely branded show, only this opener may be used.

The approved opener is a short animated clip which displays the the white RFE/RL torch on top of the orange background.

Here you can see an example of how the short opener should look when used with content.

1:1 version
Full HD version
Opener files

Opener files are placed on LibertyNET for all RFE/RL staff via login.

What's Inside?
  • Full HD opener, in 1:1 aspect ratio intended to be used for videos on social media
  • Full HD opener, in standard 16:9 format

1.4 Closer

The closer is the fullscreen animation clip shown at the very end (close) of RFE/RL videos. It is important to include the closer when videos are shown on the website or on social media platforms in order to reinforce the RFE/RL brand. Unless the video belongs to a special project or uniquely branded show, only this closer may be used.

Unlike the openers, closers are unique to each language service. Closers feature the service brandmark and localized text "share this video". There is also an option to display up to 3 social media icons by request.

There are two versions that may be used:

Full HD, in 1:1 aspect ratio and are intended to be used for videos on social media.
Full HD, in 1:1 aspect ratio and are intended to be used for videos on social media — with social media icons
Full HD, in standard 16:9 format can be used for all videos including for social media.
Full HD, in standard 16:9 format can be used for all videos including for social media — with social media icons

Please note > When adding a closer to your video, please make sure that in Pangea CMS you DO NOT use the embed watermark or else the watermark will appear both in the center (in the closer clip) and in the top left or right corner (embedded from CMS).

1.4.1 Closer Misuse

See the examples below of incorrect ways to place the closer in videos:

Do not add additional brand elements.

Do not add any additional text.

Do not add additional brand elements that can over-brand and make the page busy.

Closer Files

Closer files are placed on LibertyNET for all RFE/RL staff via login.

What's Inside?
  • Full HD closer, in 1:1 aspect ratio intended to be used for videos on social media
  • Full HD closer, in standard 16:9 format

2. News Video

2.1 Source Box

Along with careful brandmark placement, the placement of the source box is also very important. The source box informs viewers of where the external video footage is coming from. Please be sure to follow these guidelines when citing a source on video:

  1. Use white text on black bounding box. (see News Video Package to download the files, plus information regarding typeface and size.
  2. The height of the source box must not exceed 49px.
  3. The source box should be placed within the green zone (see Title Safe Area).

The placement of the source box changes according to language of the video. There are two different orientations for the source box placement, LTR (left-to-right) used for the majority of RFE/RL language services, and RTL (right-to-left) for Arabic language services. For LTR, the source box should be placed in the top right corner, and for RTL in the top left corner. See figures below.

Source box placement LTR — scheme
Source box placement LTR
Source box placement RTL — scheme
Source box placement RTL

2.1.1 Source Box Misuse

See the examples below of incorrect ways to credit sources in videos.

Do not use any typeface or attributes (size, color, etc.) other than what is in the source package (see News Video Package).

Do not change the color of the source box or add any additional graphic elements than what is in the source package.

Do not place the source without the black background box provided in the News Video Package.

Do not place the source box in any bottom corner or outside of the green zone (see Title Safe Area).

2.2 Lower Third

The lower third is a special graphic element used for displaying names, context, headlines and other additional information. It is designed for use in all RFE/RL videos.

  • Do not use with additional animation, only fade in/out for titles. The element should not exceed a height of 175px and must be placed inside the safe area (see Title safe area). Text in the lower third should be left-aligned for LTR and right-aligned for RTL. Use typeface, placement and size specified in the News Video Package.
  • Do not change the position of the lower thirds, it should always remain on the bottom.
  • Do not change the color of the elements or add any additional lines. There should only be 2 lines in the official lower thirds provided and both lines should be used.

Please note > In order to properly use the templates for the lower third, make sure to use version 11.02 Adobe Premiere and 14.01 Adobe After Effects.

Lower third — scheme
Lower third LTR
Lower third RTL

2.2.1 Using Lower Third with Subtitles

In cases when it is necessary to display the lower third and provide subtitles, there are two possible options:

Recommended: Version A

This option is the most clean and simple solution for viewers. The lower third is displayed first, followed by the subtitles in the same placement as the lower third.

Version B

This option should be used only if it is absolutely necessary to display both the lower third and the subtitles at the same time. The lower third is in its normal placement, while the subtitles appear above the lower thirds. Once the lower third information has finished displaying, the subtitles then are moved to the same placement as the lower third.
Note: Animation for moving the subtitles to the lower third position should be only 1 frame with no fade or additional animation.

2.2.2 Lower Third Misuse

See the examples below of incorrect ways to use the lower third element.

Do not use any typeface or attributes (size, color, etc.) other than what is in the source package.

Do not change the text alignment or add any other element to the Lower Third design.

Do not use any Lower Third design (different color, shape, orientation) other than what is in the source package.

Do not add any animation to the element or text than the fade in/out which is already in the source file.

Do not change the position and width of the Lower Third.

2.3 Subtitles

Subtitles are captions displayed at the bottom of the screen which show the translation or transcription of audio content from the video footage.

  • Do not use for additional animation, only fade in/out for titles. The element should not exceed a height of 175px and must be placed inside of the green zone (see Title Safe Area). Text in subtitles should be center-aligned for both LRT and RTL. Use the typeface and size specified (see News Video Package).
Subtitles — scheme
LTR text align: Left
RTL text align: Right

2.3.1 Subtitles Misuse

See the examples below of incorrect ways to display subtitles in videos.

Do not use any typeface or attributes (size, style, color, etc.) other than what is in the source package.

Do not use text without the black background box or add a colored outline or stroke.

Do not change the text size or enlarge the background box outside of the green zone (see Title Safe Area).

Do not change the text alignment or black background box size.

2.4 News Video Package

News Video Files

The video package is placed on LibertyNET for all RFE/RL staff via login.

What's Inside?
  • Source Box
  • Lower Third
  • Subtitles

3. Social Media Video

3.1 Ident for Social Media Video

For special cases when a normal lower third cannot be used (for a special project, due to composition of shot, branded show, etc.) to introduce a person and their occupation, an ident may be used instead. The ident consists of the orange highlight, name of the person and additional details about that person (location, occupation, etc.).

There are two approved versions of the ident:

Version A

The ident appears in the same placement as the lower third, inside of the safe area on the bottom left.

Version B — with subtitles

In cases when there are subtitles that need to be displayed, the ident may also be shown on the upper left hand side (inside of the safe area). This version has the first and second names vertically stacked on top of the description information. This is mainly in order to avoid displaying the name or other information on top of someone's face.

3.2 Thumbnail Image for Social Media Video

Below are good examples of how branding can be applied to thumbnail (cover) images for use on social media networks and other platforms. Please note that the same rules apply to the thumbnail image as for static Social Media Graphics.

Version A

This example shows the image with a 60% black overlay, title, film credits, and highlighted brandmark. All elements are inside of the safe area and follow all rules applying to typography and element highliht.

Version B

This example shows the image with 60% black overlay, highlighted title, film credits, and brandmark. All elements are inside of the safe area and follow all rules applying to typography and element highliht.

3.3 Text Overlay for Social Media Video

Text overlay is used so that the viewer can understand the content of the social video without listening to the audio or clicking to view fullscreen. It is usually a punchy, abbreviated text version of the audio. Text overlay is popular technique used on social media platforms to grab viewers' attention as they often quickly scroll through content feeds.

Use the typeface and size specified (see Social Video Package)

Example A: Use of the text-overlay on a light background
Example B: Use of the text-overlay on a dark background
Example C: Use of the text-overlay with orange highlight

3.4 Social Video Package

Complete brand packages per service containing all graphic elements are available via direct download. Please be aware that due to the range of RFE/RL languages, not all characters are supported by one universal typeface. If you do not have the designated typeface for your service, please contact the service desk and they will install it.

Use only the type treatments provided in the source package below per service. Do not change the typeface, size, style, color, etc.

News Video Files

The video package is placed on LibertyNET for all RFE/RL staff via login.

What's Inside?
  • Ident
  • Video Placeholder Image
  • Text-Overlay