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Explaining TNN new visual identity

by Editor - 13 Jan, 2023 1516
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Said Nazir Afridi

Tribal News Network has recently rebranded itself, and TNN listeners, readers, and viewers might be wondering about this rebranding, so I am trying to pen some lines to address those questions.

First of all, all should take note that branding is an attempt on the part of a company or an organization to create, establish and reinforce its image or identity in the minds of its customers. In other words, the connection between an organization and its audience or customers or the creation of an organization’s identity in its audience's minds is called branding. Branding usually includes a company’s logo. Visual design, mission, or tone of voice.

Now the question arises as to why TNN felt the need to rebrand itself.

Before this rebranding TNN logo and its color scheme signified different meanings; however, the organization has evolved over the period of time, from initially being radio centric with a primary focus on tribal areas, where radio was the primary source of information for locals. TNN's old logo carrying a mountain and radio antenna reflected the same audience and geography.  Fast forward to 2018, and TNN has turned itself into the digital-first outlet and started focusing on creating digital content, and most of the organization focused turned on creating digital content. So this was one of the reasons our old logo was not properly reflecting changing nature of organizational priorities and focus.

Similarly, the khaki or earthen color mountains in the TNN logo represented the Khyber Pass; however, with the passage of time organization’s focus also kept changing as our focus turned towards the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from tribal areas before turning towards the whole of Pakistan. TNN now works all over Pakistan and arranges various types of training courses for journalists.

The other big change that has come is that earlier, we didn't have much focus on women and other diverse groups. Now our focus is on women; we hire mostly women reporters, we train them, and we get them to produce content, so it was important that TNN reflects all these new realities. In its color, in its font, and in its logo, so we changed the logo, and now the logo you see, the circle in it, means community/network. , it also means inclusion and is also a reflection of diversity.

The second major change in our outlook was regarding women and other diverse groups, which were not our focus in the past.  However, presently TNN pays great attention to women and has also employed several female staff and trained them in various forms of journalism, and they produce content. Against the backdrop of these changes, it was necessary to accommodate these shifting realities in the TNN logo, its color scheme, and its font. Therefore, we decided to change the TNN logo.

Now a primer on the new logo and what it signifies: The circle in our logo represents community or network. Besides, it also conveys the themes of inclusivity and diversity.

The new logo also states that the TNN network is expanding; it is constantly breaking new ground and extending into new areas and, at the same time, moving ahead.

Besides, the pyramidal shape reflects three things: first, it is tribal, the other is reliability, or readers and customers can trust us, and at the same time, it conveys the message that TNN has stabilized.

Similarly, the color scheme of our logo, which is in dark blue, also showcases our changing priorities. From the Khaki color, which signified our focus on tribal areas, TNN has now embarked upon the journey of discovering new dimensions of this country, society, and world without parting ways with our core focus area of tribal areas. This color scheme also reflects the news about tribal areas, general topics, and the province.

Now that TNN has embraced changes at so many levels and matured; therefore, we thought it was necessary to change its identity as the old identity was not properly reflecting our current realities.

In addition to this, TNN's new logo will be the same on all platforms. TNN will now have the same identity, tone of voice, and logo on all platforms. Similarly, the logo, font size, color, and organization policy will be the same on all platforms, which was why we introduced these changes.

Some words about the process of rebranding. In designing a new identity for TNN, we solicited our reporters’ suggestions and the input of our male and female audience. Our previous branding or identity only reflected the thinking of TNN confounders; however, this time around, we involved our entire team of reporters, and audience, including women, and after getting everyone onboard and having proper feedback regarding creating a new identity. So this entire process of creating this new TNN identity in itself is inclusive.

Our international partner Thomson Media engaged an international consulting firm to help us rebrand the organization's identity under Valley Voices II, which aimed at increasing women's participation in TNN in particular and media in general in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The German Federal Foreign Office financially supports the project through ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations) as part of the zivik funding programme  

Besides, TNN inclusiveness is not restricted to women alone; we are simultaneously promoting Afghan refugees in the media. We are providing them with citizen journalism training and using them to highlight refugees’ issues. Similarly, TNN is also promoting transgender and Sobia Khan. Sobia Khan, a transgender host of one of TNN’s weekly shows, is an example of our commitment to upholding the rights of marginalized groups. Sobia Khan’s show is one of the most popular TNN programs.

Similarly, TNN is encouraging and promoting religious minorities and other disadvantaged groups who do not have representation in the media. TNN represents disadvantaged groups, and our new identity also reflects this reality.

In a nutshell, I would like to state that our old identity and logo were narrow in focus, and there existed some confusion among the staff and the audience; particularly, TNN staff was confused about our vision and mission all the colleagues interpreted them differently. Similarly, the audience was also confused about the logo and its color scheme. Besides the logo, its color and website continued to change. However, now we are hopeful that this rebranding will put this confusion among the staff and the audience to rest, and both the staff and audience will no longer have any issues understanding TNN.

We are hopeful that with its new visual identity, TNN will strengthen not only its identity at the local and national levels but also internationally.

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The author is the director of the Tribal News Network and its co-founder.