Studio and Set Design Basics

By Nikki Wheeler, writer
Sep 22, 2011
Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

Understand studio and set design basics before hiring a professional for your design needs

Studio and set design plays a very important role in television production. The television studio set creates the world in which the show exists and the television personalities work.

The studio and set design needs to find the perfect balance between looking good and being practical, and needs to represent the overall tone and personality of the show. A studio set design needs to perform the following functions:

1. A TV studio set needs to be highly functional, facilitating the movement and functions of the actors or television personalities.

2. A television studio design needs to be aesthetically pleasing and attention-grabbing.

3. A television studio set design needs to work as the background to the focus of the cameras, finding the perfect balance between being flashy and not detracting from the television personalities.

Find the best newsroom set designs

A newsroom set design requires some newsroom-specific elements, such as a large news desk, graphics panels for a colorful background and technology, such as teleprompters, for newscasters to read from.

Get the right tools for a weather room television studio set

Some specific things that a weather room set needs include large plasma screens for shots of regional weather and green screens to display radar map graphics. Many weather rooms also include news desks to report from.

Achieve the right look for talk show studio set designs

The design of a talk show set depends much on the style of the show. Many are very intimate and reminiscent of a living room with large comfortable chairs angled toward one another, some feature a desk for the host and others are an around-the-table discussion.

Create a fun studio set design for a game show

The set design for a game show is much determined by the format of the game, but there are some common themes in a game show. Many game shows feature large plasma screens to feature scores or questions, podiums for game show hosts and podiums for contestants.

Build studio and set design basics for a TV show

Set designs for television sitcoms and dramas vary greatly according to the kind of show, but many simulate the interiors of buildings, whether they are homes, hospitals or offices. Many are quite realistic and function just as a building would with workable staircases, elevators, doors and windows; but most are based on a three-wall set-up with an imaginary fourth wall in which the audience is viewing through.
  • Keep TV studio design costs down by purchasing standard set pieces but customizing them with unique graphics, or buying a used set and rearranging it to be unrecognizable.
  • Pay close attention to details, especially in sitcom and drama sets simulating an actual living or work space.
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