“Anthem,” Chicago Tribune

“Anthem,” Chicago Tribune

J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc., White Plains, New York, 2004


The challenge was to create a distinctive graphic sensibility that would brand the Chicago Tribune with its design sense and could be applied to all media (TV, print, outdoor, internet). Instantly recognizable, simple and clean graphically, yet human, warm, and universal in appeal, the design had to employ icons and use Tribune Blue somewhere.
Our solution was to develop a simple character design that is simple, but could be animated with humor and expression. The characters have a Chaplinesque/Keatonesque quality and don’t include any more detail than is absolutely necessary—no facial features, just nose for indicating direction.
We took the basic “Universal Man” character design, and reformulated to make it ownable by the client. We added subtle elements that warmed up the graphic, and made the characters a bit shorter and pudgier.
The result: complete success! The public in the region responded with phone calls, emails, etc. praising its successful entertainment value in all its forms—animation, print, etc. The campaign raised the bar for newspaper advertising and promotion.

Collections: AIGA 365: 26 (2005)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Brand and identity systems design
Format: Animation, Promotion, Video


Design firm
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc.
Creative director
J.J. Sedelmaier
Art directors
Adam Glickman, J.J. Sedelmaier, Dick Tracy
J.J. Sedelmaier
Production director
J.J. Sedelmaier
Production coordinator
J.J. Sedelmaier
Production artists
J.J. Sedelmaier, Dan Madia, Andrea Gonzalez
Dan Madia
Craig Feigen, Geoff McCartney
Craig Feigen, Geoff McCartney
Scandal Music
Sound designer
Dave Gerbosi (CRC Chicago)
Content strategist
Angela Whitby
J.J. Sedelmaier, Becky Ruff
Project manager
Marty Kohr
Tribune Eclipse
Chicago Tribune