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It’s Mama Logo Time

Lifetime Logo, Before and After

Launched in 1984, Lifetime Television is a channel generally devoted and targeted to women. Its most current positioning is being “committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families.” Long an outlet for bad, made for TV movies, Lifetime has gathered a little bit of steam in the last year or so with shows like Project Runway, Army Wives, and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Cleavage The Client List, which have yielded actual viewership growth. Lifetime last redesigned their logo in 2008, covered here, which replaced a short-lived logo designed in 2006, so it’s evident that they haven’t landed in a place worth staying a long time for. Last week, Lifetime introduced a completely new look led by Tim Nolan, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Lifetime Networks in collaboration with New York, NY-based Leroy + Clarkson.

“This new logo marks the next step with a distinctive new look and attitude. Embracing everything we love about life, Lifetime strives to be as brash as it is honest and always entertaining.”
Press Release


I used to like the old logo, it had a good balance between femininity, authenticity, and roughness. But one of the problems Lifetime has always had with its logos is that they don’t necessarily play nice on TV, being “so” long and not fitting well as bugs or icons on cable providers’ on-screen guides. The new logo, with a prominent icon certainly solves that with a very visible, bold, and graphic presence. The icon is an “l” inside a circle — I’m not sure what kind of “l” or “L” it is, but I’m assured by Leroy + Clarkson that it is. It’s pretty, but I don’t know if it’s instantly recognizable as a monogram. Complementing the icon is a very secondary wordmark set in lowercase — why?! — in a Museo-like — why?! — typeface. I’m not exactly sure what the logo is meant to mean or evoke and I acknowledge it is visually catchy but, in the end, I’m not sure what its point is.


“Nothing is more valuable to women than time. A moment in time can be an experience that becomes memorable and Lifetime creates times for viewers to laugh, cry, or be inspired. These aspirational moments and life experiences will continue to be the essence of the Lifetime brand,” said [Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager of Lifetime Networks].

The new tagline “Your Life. Your Time.” reflects how women value and experience time and reinforces the network’s triple threat programming strategy to provide original scripted series, movies and reality shows offering a variety of genres to meet the different needs and interests of women.
Press Release


Brand language that establishes tone voice and also serves to help the viewer navigate show information, i.e. Thursday is “make it work time” for Project Runway, Tuesday is “mama drama time” for Dance Moms, and Sundays is “love time” for The Client List.

The identity has a more interesting take on language, making it as much a part of the on-air package as the logo and type choice. I say “interesting” because it’s not exactly good, but not bad either. Playing off of the “Your Life. Your Time.” tagline, which seems kind of an obvious choice — it’s as if other channels went with things like “Your Comedy. Your Channel.” or “Your Arts. Your Entertainment.” — the language goes overboard with putting “time” into everything. And at times it actually works. “Fridays are mamma drama time” for Dance Moms has a nice ring to it. But stuff like “Your Monday. Your Chill Time” makes me cringe. Nonetheless, it’s an ambitious approach to building a brand.


On-air package at a glance. Click image for bigger view.




Sample promo packages.

Without a snazzy edited Vimeo it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on with the on-air look, but everything seems pretty straightforward. Lots of that Museo-like typeface (which starts looking better in the bolder weight) and lots of circles doing things. It looks colorful and bouncy. I guess I’ll have to tune in to Lifetime tonight and see what they have going on… But only after I’m done watching Spike.


Sample talent promos.



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