Design Team to the Stars: FBC Design Featured in Journal #369

Have you ever looked at an advertisement for your favorite TV show and wondered who came up with it? As the in-house creative unit that conceptualizes, designs, and produces all the key art for Fox’s TV schedule, FBC Design can answer all your questions! Over the last fifteen years, the team has earned countless awards while establishing the look of Fox Entertainment. Though their typical workday is full of twists, turns, and last-minute scrambles, this tight-knit and talented team has always been able to produce content that’s daring, bold, and unrelentingly creative. In the words of former design SVP, Thomas Morissey, “Despite the need to combine artistic goals with network objectives, they’ve created a body of work that is, at the very least, inspiring, and at the utmost, spectacular.”

To see this team’s greatness, audiences need not look far. From their “The Exorcist Season 2 – “Demon Within” design (above, left) to their “Lucifer Season 2 Key Art” (above, right), the team produces high-quality, eye-catching content. For their “Exorcist” design, the team wanted to go beyond the traditional idea of demonic possession and created a “shocking image whose darkly disturbing visual aesthetic fully expresses the series’ themes of evil and horror.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, the team set out to make the key art for the second season of Lucifer “hip and fresh” while also staying true to the show’s comic book roots.

The team’s genius doesn’t stop there, however. For designs like “Next Key Art” (above, left) and “Sleepy Hollow Key Art” (above, right), FBC played with both their audiences’ eyes and sense of humor while showing off each show’s main actor. The poster for Next features a simple portrait overlaid with psychedelic and three-dimensional color reflections that would catch anyone’s eye. Meanwhile, Sleepy Hollow is edited to show the main actor carrying his own head with the words “Carry On” floating in the background. Unlike Next, the background is simple, with a white vignette fading into brown, and therefore draws the audience’s eye in a completely different way.

Here’s a sneak peek of Graphis’ Q&A with FBC Design:

What inspired or motivated you into your career?

MOISES CISNEROS – Senior Digital Finisher/Art Director: There have been different times in my life that have gradually steered me into my career. Early on when I was six or seven years old, I was inspired by a pencil drawing one of my older cousins had created in art school. It was a drawing of a man’s face and it caught my attention and made a deep impression on me.  

PAUL VENAAS – Senior Art Director:  Music advertising

Who among your contemporaries today do you most admire? 

PHIL BATES – Art Director: Mark Gill. The greatest boss I ever had, at Miramax Films.

LINDSEY CONWAY – Art Director: I love the work FX creates. Their work always breaks through the clutter in a crowded landscape. They have great concepts which are always well executed and they’re not afraid to push boundaries. 

JASON SCHMIDT – Senior Art Director: Banksy

M.C: There are many, not only designers but I greatly appreciate artists from many disciplines, illustrators, sculptures, 3D artists, concept artists, etc. One individual whose work I have admired for a long time is Syd Mead.

MITCH STRAUSBERG – VP, Creative Director: Neil Kellerhouse, Paula Scher, Banksy, Alexander McQueen, and Kehinde Wiley to name a few.

P.V: Banksy

Who is or was your greatest mentor? 

P.B: George Blume, my first boss (Sr. AD) working in NYC.

L.C: Tom Morrissey gave me a chance when I wanted to make a career change from TV producer to graphic designer. He gave me a shot in his department with a role described explicitly as “not a design job”. Despite this, Tom allowed me to contribute my own work in department presentations, providing constructive criticism as if I was one of the designers. Because of his feedback and encouragement, my work began to reflect those of my peers. As a mentor, Tom fostered a supportive and positive environment for me to become an art director.   

J.S: My father.

M.C: I have two mentors, Tom Morrissey and Mitch Strausberg. They have both seen my development in the department, they both started as Art Directors and have been supportive and encouraging of my career.

M.S: This may sound cliché, but looking back over my career I would have to say that Tom O’Neal, my high school graphic art teacher, was my biggest mentor. He is the person who first introduced me to advertising and graphic design and encouraged me to pursue the field. 

P.V: Raygun/Chris Ashworth & Robert Hales

For more of this Q&A and a full spread of FBC Design’s various television artworks, plus more from our other featured designers, be sure to subscribe and pre-order Journal #369 today!

Author: Graphis

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