The Circle’s first series was Channel 4’s most popular new factual entertainment series for young viewers in 2018. Its success with audiences and critics alike ensured the groundbreaking gameshow was recommissioned for a second series in 2019.
Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, The Circle is the first reality show where players communicate via a social network. A popularity game where anyone can be anyone, players can choose to be whomever they think will make them most popular with other players.
Contestants live in separate apartments in a single building and play games and chat with each other through a unique voice-activated social media platform, called The Circle, getting to know each other purely through the profiles they create and the information they divulge on chats. The frequent ratings games allow unpopular players to be ‘blocked’ ultimately the most popular player wins a cash prize.
“We were blown away by the love on social media for our entertaining cast and the nightly drama of the show,” says Studio Lambert creative director, Tim Harcourt. “This year we have some thrilling twists and turns in both our casting and the gameplay. We will also have a weekly live show that offers our audience more chance to engage and make a big impact on the narrative.”
The second series will see The Circle become more mischievous; increasing the gameplay, drama and jeopardy. Viewers will also be given greater control and increased interactivity with the game, leading to unexpected and surprising consequences.
Turquoise was approached by Studio Lambert, once the gameshow had been recommissioned, to look at refreshing the visual identity for Series 2. Central to this refresh was the UI design of the The Circle’s social media platform, ensuring it functioned well for the contestants as well as working successfully when viewed through a TV Screen.
We based the visual identity on the vocal interaction of the contestants with The Circle. Using a circular form, we created a variety of sound-responsive rings that represented the different types of human interactions the show would contain. These rings were used as moving backgrounds for the interface, programme stings and the title sequence. The show’s logo was also refined as was the accompanying off-air visual language.
The UI design was an interesting challenge – creating something that looked and acted like a real social platform but was optimised for use on large format screens within a living environment. This UI design was then used as the basis for creating a number of programme graphics for use in the edit. The result is a dynamic and expressive visual identity that adds a human personality to the show brand.
“The Circle is the best reality show on TV: Channel 4’s catfish series is changing the game as we know it.”