Lights, Camera, Logo: Creating the 2012 MTV EMA Graphic Identity

Posted on on 21.11.12

2012 MTV EMA Graphic Identity

World Design Studio’s Roberto Bagatti gives us some background on the creation of the 2012 MTV EMA creative campaign — from the theme to the design process behind the tentpole’s graphic identity this year.

Alicia Hosking: How many people were involved in the design process?
Roberto Bagatti: In addition to the WDS Milan team, about eight of whom worked on the EMA campaign, we developed the 2012 MTV EMA creative package with the Berlin based animation studio Sehsucht, led by Mate Steinforth.

AH: What were the main themes you sought to convey with this year’s EMA creative?
RB: The theme that we worked on this year is ‘Made of Music’. Music is at the heart of the EMA and this year we literally opened ourselves up to show off our ‘insides’.

Starting at a grassroots level – when an artist first starts working on an idea for a track – all the way through to the social media activity, the media frenzy, the red carpet rolling across the globe, we looked at unraveling every layer of anticipation, activity, glamour and hype that makes up the EMA.  With our creative partner, Sehsucht, we touched on the idea of a Zoetrope to visually reflect this activity and fully developed it. We were inspired by the idea and what’s better than a zoetrope to portray all this activity in one image?

The zoetrope is a circular device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. There’s an amazing one at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. Initially it looks like there are hundreds of things moving at the same on the various layers of the device – they all come to life as if they’re part of one giant, complex movement. But when you take a closer look you see distinct micro stories that build up the whole.

It’s a concept that correlates with the EMA: think of the number of fans voting across the world, the flock of planes that landed in Frankfurt, all of the preparations that built up to the show, the rising adrenaline of the artists as they finally took the stage… It’s all about an overwhelming hype that not only sweeps up the host city, but literally hooks the whole world. This is what we tried to encapsulate in this year’s theme: the overwhelming excitement and complexity behind a truly global event like the EMA.