Last week, Comedy Central announced that they would be launching a new logo in January 2011. Launched in 1989 by Time Warner, Comedy Central was the first cable channel dedicated wholly to comedy-based programming. It’s popularity and presence has grown from small time cable channel to being one of the most recognized cable stations on air. This growth was due to the early success of shows like South Park and The Chappelle Show to present day heavyweights like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Suffice it to say that Comedy Central is all grown up now – a brand refresh seems like a natural next step.\n\nThe new logo is significantly different from the former, going from the colorful and bold illustrative logo with the words Comedy Central brandished atop of buildings/globe to a much more sterile and simple word mark. That is not to say that simple is necessarily a bad thing, it is just a huge contrast for the look of the network. The strength of the new logo lies within the clever typography; a humorous wink of “central” spelled backwards and is upside down. It is well done, but the choice of type in both its all-caps and proportion, looks a little like the Cartoon Network’s.\n\nThat aside, the icon is made up of two C’s, one backwards C surrounded by a smaller C. Already there has been speculation that it looks like the copyright symbol, and I believe that was the actual intention. If you look closely at the brightly colored branded pieces below, the C icon is superscripted in the corner as if they are trying to convey they are “copyrighting” comedy. It’s an interesting solution once the intention is realized maybe suffering from being a little too clever for its own good. The logo by itself is a bit lackluster – within its branding it’s refreshing and comes to life. Overall it is a smart and subtle solution. Appropriate for the digital space that it will occupy for the next decade. Nowadays it is no longer about a static singular logo but more about being able a wrap a brand around constantly evolving content/media. This logo does that successfully.\n\nVideo explaining the new logo and launch: http://www.comedycentral.com/jan2011/\n\nIn this video this flashes across the screen:\n“We should explain…Our logo has changed. No longer do you see the big buildings and globe that quite literally said COMEDY CENTRAL on top of it. Please welcome the new mark. We affectionately call it the COMEDYMARK. It works WAY F*CKING better than that other one we had. Big building y globe, you served us well, but we moved on.”\n\n\nIn closing, a new logo for a beloved brand is always an uphill battle. Unless of course the logo that is being updated is truly awful. In this case it wasn’t. Comedy Central is doing an excellent job launching it. Announcing the logo, showcasing how the brand is going to roll out and defending both the new look and explaining the departure from the old look, is a very smart move.
Posted by Amber Zumstein on