Part of Discovery Communications’ menagerie of TV properties, launched in 1999 as Discovery Science, renamed Science Channel in 2003, this little corner of cable universe, featuring, as you might have guessed, science-y programming is reinventing itself a third time: simply as SCIENCE. All uppercase, please. Facing stiff competition from the more popular Syfy, SCIENCE certainly needed some kind of boost to make it more relevant and while new programming like Ricky Gervais’ An Idiot Abroad or reruns of cult classics like Firefly are helping, this new identity certainly demands attention — specially its new logo, nicknamed Morph. The new identity will be implemented on air starting June 8.
SCIENCE’s new on-air look is inspired by the constant transformation of energy and passion for exploring the unknown. Morph celebrates the potential of the future while displaying a willingness to reshape current reality. Interstitials will feature Morph continually changing its shape, texture and sound in a manner that will consistently surprise and challenge even the most audacious of imaginations.
— Press Release
Back in 2007 we reported on the last redesign of their logo which was lackluster at best, clichéd and lame at not so worst. This new logo is so amped up it can barely contain its own excitement and the animations create a very intense and interesting personality — although the animation work is good, the sound is what really drives these idents. This is not to say that the logo is perfect because it surely is not. In fact, there is something really awful about it and perhaps it’s something that will go away once an association has been made with viewers between the logo and the fact that it belongs to SCIENCE, which is: Why does the Morph logo say “sci” and right underneath it is says “SCIENCE”? In two different, yet similar to the un-discerning couch potato, techie sans serif typefaces? It’s redundant and confusing, am I supposed to call the channel sciSCIENCE? We’ll see if they sort this out eventually because this identity has real promise.
The Morph icon itself is an interesting take on the abstract blob-as-logo and the different textures it can take provide potential for a great flexible identity, not too different from yesterday’s Eurostar — where the 1990s and early 2000s gave us logos that could change colors the 2010s is giving us logos that change skins. The typography elements on their own seem fine, if a little expected. I would have liked to see the “sci” version inside Morph maybe take over the other sans which has the annoying decapitation of “i” tittles.
The change in SCIENCE is not limited to the network’s name and packaging. The ideals of the new network identity are ingrained into all aspects of the brand. SCIENCE is now the official home of the Thought Provocateur — the individual who is constantly asking the not afraid to ask “what if?” and “why not?”.
— Press Release
“Thought Provocateur”? No, thanks. Just call me “the demographic.”