FX Mrs. America

Logo + Promo Package

Context

Create branding for FX’s original series, Mrs. America—an immersive drama telling the complex history of American feminism and the ERA in the 1970s starring Cate Blanchett.

Strategy

Develop a logo and design system that authentically telegraphs the look and feel of the iconic time period with nuance, drawing inspiration from history and printed matter, not cultural tropes.

Solution

Striking, of-the-era show packaging and promo toolkits helped make Mrs. America one of FX’s most anticipated shows of 2020, slated for Emmy nomination even before its premiere on Hulu.

Services

+ Logo Design + Animation + Graphic Design + Animation Toolkits

Creative Context

How can graphic design capture the zeitgeist and complexity of 1970s feminism in a modern, elevated way?

In 1979, the Equal Rights Amendment was on its way to making equality for women a constitutional right in the United States – until one woman brought it all to a halt. FX’s Mrs. America follows the story of Phyllis Schlafly, played by Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Cate Blanchett, and her successful fight to stop the ratification of the ERA, revealing the cultural and political divides that continue to define the women’s rights movement to this day.

 

Our task was to create an episodic package for the new series that authentically captured the era’s essence, grounding our designs in the iconographic look and feel of the ‘70s while finding the irony and humor in which to engage modern viewers’ curiosity about this fascinating and timely story.

Show Logo

Mrs. America’s show logo is inspired by the decade’s culture, politics, and expressive typography.

In developing a logo that would feel authentic to the show, we drew inspiration from the era’s bold serifs and repeated patterns, as seen on the covers of Philip Roth and Joan Didion novels.

 

Using Caslon Graphique as our base type, we added artful curves and ligatures that helped capture the decade’s iconic look. Meanwhile, a star dotting the “i” acts not only as a subtle nod to the show’s political themes, but also creates a unique opportunity for creative transitioning and clever motion – ultimately revealing itself in a captivating title sequence designed by Yu+Co.

Graphics Package

In order to create a convincingly-of-the-era show package, we needed to retrofit our design process.

By adding a slight camera jitter, film grain, lens dust, and a subtle misalignment of our frames, we were able to create the tactile look of ‘70s footage with contemporary techniques. In motion, we made sure to deviate fully from the smooth animation styles we see today in favor of more organic, easy-going, and simple treatments.

 

As a result, interstitials, lower thirds, background snipes, social assets, ratings cards, and more feel analog, slightly off-kilter, and editorial, drawing audiences into the era in a compelling, authentic way. The package was later transformed by FX’s content studio into a multi-chromatic adaptation used to promote the show far and wide.