Case Study: SNL 'Weekend Update'


Honored and humbled to lend my tiny design voice to the legendary broadcast 'Saturday Night Live', a show that spawned the comedic geniuses that I, along with countless millions, have watched and laughed with over the years, and somehow now having the ridiculous luck and good fortune to design Weekend Update's intro, it's just pandemonium.

Thanks Visual Creatures and Ryan McNeely for giving me a shot on this one--they're a sweet studio in Santa Monica and you should check out their stuff here:

Quick backstory: SNL added a newcomer to Weekend Update, Michael Che, to host the program along with veteran Colin Jost, and they needed a new intro to reflect that addition.

We had heard they might be going black and white with their new show intro, so I wanted to make sure that I at least presented some boards with that in mind. The show's intro and Weekend Update's intro didn't need to coordinate whatsoever, but may as well give it a shot and see what they think. I did some rough black, white and red style frames that utilized 'proof-reading' marks to contrast the NYC imagery and also tied in the 'behind the scenes' process that goes into making Weekend Update. Their jokes are getting re-written up until the last possible second, so I thought it'd be cool to really push that mindset. So, that was the concept. 

Plus, stylistically speaking, I'm drawn to pushing size relationships whenever possible. Massive to small. Stark and bold to organic and fluid. Utilizing a super clean and simple typeface in conjunction with small details that reference digital timecodes, we began to build our world. The 'proof-reading' marks could be massive, filling screen, moving our eye, our action. Giving us a thread throughout.

Luckily, that black, white and red direction was chosen by the directors at SNL and away I went!

I really wanted to get the 'insert' mark in there before Michael Che's name, as he was inserted into this season's lineup, and I'm happy to say that it stayed!

My case studies are usually longer than this, but that's because the projects are usually longer than this. There's more of an evolution, time affects the work, voices chime in, directions are altered.

Not this time, though! And I couldn't be happier.

Here are the designs!

Again thank you Ryan and for coming my way with this awesome project. Check out their stuff, they're coolinz (btw...never used the word 'coolinz' before, but an English gentleman I know said it recently so I thought it was what cool kids say. I'm much too old to say it, I realize, and I regret typing it just now.)





Justin HarderComment