Discovery Channel Logo, Before and After

With Animal Planet, the Science Channel, and TLC all looking like distant cousins of its parent company, and namesake channel, it was only an eager matter of time before the Discovery Channel would upgrade its tired identity. While not publicly available yet, the logo was unveiled at Discovery’s upfront presentation the last Monday of March in Chicago, as The New York Times reports, where they also showed a TV ad boasting its new tagline and theme, “The world is just awesome.”

The campaign is being developed by 72 and Sunny (whose work is as cheerful as its temperature) and the identity was designed by Boston- and L.A.-based Viewpoint Creative. From another news brief:

Discovery turned to Boston-based Viewpoint Creative to develop a revitalized brand mark that would continue to leverage the equity of its signature “globe” icon. By linking the globe into the “D” of Discovery, Viewpoint fused the world and brand. The stylized earth, contemporary color palette and fresh typography all combine to bring the mark more in line with Discovery as the international communications company it is today, the network said.

The mark can also separate out the “D-globe” as a single entity, in order to create a unique and dynamic icon. This icon can be used as a shorthand “identifier” in the future.

(You can see the “D-globe” here). The new logo feels decidedly more contemporary, but I’m guessing that anything would feel so as long as that old typeface was not used. The new typography is, well, interesting. The overall spacing of the word is well resolved, it feels tight and cohesive, but when you start looking at the details, the thing starts to fall apart. The “co” pair definitely starts to look like a double-o, giving the channel a hilarious new name of “Disoovery” — c’mon, say it, “Disoooooovery” — and the “ry” renders a very gangly “r”. Despite these oddities I do think it works as a whole. However, the omission of dot of the “i”, even for the sake of continuity from the old logo, is slightly ridiculous — it’s simply wrong. The globe, which I am assuming was a “Don’t touch this or we will kill you” clause in the design brief is respectably well integrated: It’s almost the same size as the “o”, it’s not too intrusive, and it’s actually a pretty rendering of our humble abode. Perhaps my favorite part of the logo is the generously letterspaced “C H A N N E L” at the bottom. All in all, I do feel this is a successful identity; it’s not as awesome as the world it showcases and advertises, but it will do.

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Reviewed April 7, 200804.07.08 by Armin

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