(Current as of November 4, 2019)

Overview

Please take the time to review these guidelines as they have been impacted by the 2019 PBS Brand Refresh.

These Social Video Branding Guidelines apply to NPS programs only and do not apply to 360 videos, animated graphics, or animated GIFs. 

Ensuring that users immediately recognize PBS and the producer when viewing videos on social platforms is an important part of keeping our collective brands top of mind. Our visual identity needs to be consistent across platforms and programs, yet ensure that users properly attribute the content source, especially in the crowded space of social media. This style guide ensures that all social video content follows proper PBS branding on all platforms.


Note on Media Manager files

Any social video that will be repurposed for distribution through Media Manager needs to be a second, clean version (without the watermark) in order to have a consistent and clean format across all videos on all PBS and station branded platforms.

Technical Social Video Specs

Social MediaFormat SizeNotes
Facebook and Twitter
  • Square cuts (1080x1080px) are strongly preferred (mobile-optimized format)
  • 16x9 aspect ratio (1920x1080px) versions will still be accepted (only if 1080x1080px versions are impossible to create)
  • MP4

The main PBS social accounts reserves the right not to share social videos that are not square cuts. 

Other Facebook video specs

Other Twitter video specs

Instagram
  • Only square cuts (1080x1080px)
  • MP4

Maximum Duration: Per platform restrictions, all Instagram video content must have a TRT (total run time) of 60 seconds or less.

Other Instagram video specs 

Instagram/Facebook Stories
  • Only 9x16 aspect ratio, (1080x1920px)
  • MP4
Maximum Duration: Per platform restrictions, all Instagram Stories video content must have a TRT (total run time) of 15 seconds or less.
Other Story video specs
YouTube
  • Only 16x9 aspect ratio (1920x1080px)
Other YouTube video specs 

Logos - Watermark/Endcard Inclusion

The section below includes guidelines around approved logo inclusion for watermarks and end cards. Video clips must feature either an approved PBS or "PBS | Series" co-branded watermark in the content and PBS/Co-branding in the endcard. 

Only the PBS and series logos outlined below are approved for social video inclusion. Any exceptions to this must be discussed with and approved by PBS before sharing on social platforms.

Watermarks

Overview

All clips, previews or extras (ex. series sell, episodic promos, and short-form video) shared on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, must include an approved PBS watermark throughout the entire duration of the video (excluding the endcard).

All watermarks, both PBS and Co-branded are placed in the top-left corner.  This position has the least amount of in-platform conflict and ensures maximum visibility.

There are two options for including a watermark:

  1. co-branded (for pre-approved, on-going series listed below)
  2. PBS template watermark (for all other programs).


The watermark requirements do not apply to animated GIFs and animated graphics (even if they are a video file).

PBS Watermark Template (All Programs)

Producers not included in the list of approved, on-going series for a co-branded watermark must use the template offered by PBS. The template watermark is available as a .TIFF and .PNG file.

Download PBS Watermark Files

Click to expand

Example of PBS watermark for a square (1080x1080px) social video

(Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

Click to expand

Example of PBS watermark for a 16x9 (1920x1080px) social video

(Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

Not sure if your watermark is displaying correctly? Reference this video to see how the watermark should appear.

Note on Watermark Implementation

TIP: Please check that the watermark is clearly legible throughout the entirety of the clip until the end card.

Watermark files are to size and should remain at 25% opacity. If editing with Adobe Premiere, please use the .png instead of the .tiff files to improve legibility.

Producer Co-branded Watermarks (Approved, Ongoing Series)

Only approved, ongoing series may use a co-branded watermark for social video. co-branded watermarks must be approved and in line with outlined specs by the PBS team in advance of use.Upon approval, PBS team must have a copy of co-branded watermark for any creative produced in-house by PBS creative services team (i.e. Press Tour filler, series sell, etc).

Only the approved on-going series listed below are eligible for co-branded watermark use:

  • American Experience
  • American Masters

  • Antiques Roadshow
  • Frontline

  • Great Performances

  • Independent Lens

  • Masterpiece

  • Nature

  • NOVA
  • NewsHour

  • POV

  • Washington Week

    Click to expand

    Example of co-branded watermark for a square (1080x1080px) social video

    (Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

    Click to expand

    Example of co-branded watermark for a 16x9 (1920x1080px) social video

    (Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

    Not sure if your cobranded watermark is displaying correctly? Reference this video to see how the watermark should appear.

End cards

Overview: End cards are required at the end of any social video. These end card requirements do not apply to animated GIFs and animated graphics.

The appropriate watermark (detailed above) should not appear during the end card. 

Animated end cards are preferred, but still graphics may serve as end cards. However, the following elements are required:

  • Series logo and Show logo1

  • PBS logo2

    • For 1080x1080px videos, PBS logo must be at least 168px tall.

    • For 1920x1080px videos, PBS logo must be at least 197px tall.

  • Tune-in info (only required for series sell and episodic promos from common carriage programs)3

  • PBS Video App icon


1 If the program is part of a presenting series (ex. Independent Lens, Nature, etc), then both the presenting series logo and show/film logo needs to be in the end card.

2 The PBS logo in the end card must be the full PBS logo (with circular shield and logotype). See example end cards below.  

For evergreening purposes, tune-in information for clips (ex. straight-lifts, interviews, montages, behind-the-scenes, short form video, etc) is optional, and is at the producer's discretion whether or not to include.

4 If included, Hashtags should be styled in title casing to to maximize readability. (ex. Use "#ChildInTimePBS", do not use "#childintimepbs") 

5 Any URL should always be styled in all lowercase for consistency across programs. (ex. Use "pbs.org/nature", do not use "PBS.org/nature" or "pbs.org/NATURE") - More guidance on Hashtags and URLs

Pre-Approved PBS Logos for Endcards

Download the PBS logo from the Brands website

The elements listed above are also recommended to appear in the order as listed above. The endcard has a recommended :03 TRT (total run time). 

Below are recommended layouts for social end cards. The positioning of the elements are not required. Only the minimum size of the PBS logo (noted in green area) must be met.

Square (1080x1080px) PBS Social Endcard Layout

Square (1080x1080px) End card Layout

16x9 (1920x1080px) PBS Social Endcard Layout


16x9 (1920x1080px) End card Layout

Download PBS Video App Files


NOTES ON CLOSED CAPTIONS:

  • If there will not be any voiceover (V.O.) while the endcard is on-screen, producers are not required to maintain the closed captioning "safe zone." However, PBS does strongly recommend that the closed captioning "safe zone" is maintained during the video (unless captions are burned into the video).  
  • PBS requires that all social video have captions per FCC regulations (unless captions are burned into the video). The PBS Facebook account reserves the right not to share social video that does not have captions.

For all questions, please reach out to your program manager.