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TV Land: Time to Let Go

TV Land Logo, Before and After

As a refresher, from this January’s post on TV Land: “Launched in 1996 and originally part of a Nickelodeon programming block called Nick at Nite, TV Land is a cable television channel aimed (according to owner MTV Networks) at the 40- to 50-year-old with a blend of original programming, classic and contemporary television series acquisitions, and movies.” What has changed in the last five months since I last wrote about the on-air look of TV Land is the development of more original programming, bringing their total to five shows, and they also seem to be gunning for a slightly younger audience. Last week, TV Land introduced a new logo and on-air package designed by sixth-year collaborator Trollback + Company and new mnemonic and theme by CORD Worldwide.

TV Land

Logos introduced in 1996, 2001, and 2009.

For the first time since the launch of the network 16 years ago, TV Land is unveiling a new and re-imagined logo plus re-designed on-air packaging and graphics, it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, president, TV Land. Gone is the logo with a classic TV screen and retro style. Instead, beginning Wednesday, May 9, viewers will see a fresh mark with a nod to the channel’s roots, a change that reflects the evolution of the network itself.
TV Land Press Release

TV Land

The goal for the logo was to lose the retro feeling and make it more modern while maintaining TV Land’s heritage. Creative Director Anna Minkkinen explains the strategy, “The new horizontal logo locks up with type neatly, allowing us to constantly reinforce the brand connection between the network and the shows.”
— Trollbäck + Co Press Release

It fascinates me that TV Land is so attached to the atomic TV shape they have been using for 16 years — it was memorable and relevant with the channel’s launch and early evolution but now it’s just a visage of something that used to make sense. If ever there was a chance to let go, it was now. The shape in the new logo is barely there, now almost unrecognizable if you don’t know what it is or where it came from. Not only is it not gone, it’s there twice! But let’s assume the channel’s viewership and ability to generate well-received scripted series would collapse if the shape wasn’t there: the logo is okay. “TV” sits nicely inside the shape, Gestalt-ingly completing it. Then, “land” has grown rather large creating a somewhat strange small caps wordmark that doesn’t exactly work out, since the thickness of “land” is lighter than “TV” but not by much, and I wonder why it wasn’t just equalized. I don’t think the logo is the successful “re-imagination” the releases tout; it simply looks like one more evolution trying to hold on to something that I don’t think has that much value anymore. Luckily, Trollbäck + Co has once again done what Trollbäck + Co does best: develop a catchy, happily contagious on-air package — I tell you, you could give them the word “potato” typeset in Helvetica and they would find a way to package it as the most exciting thing. The new on-air package brings to life the logo and highlights the new cast of characters with a great color scheme and the fun, whistle-y theme. I liked the last on-air system better, but this one still saves the logo too.

On-air montage. “The shooting style,” explains Trollback + Co, “was also designed to express a fresh, dynamic energy. By using diverse talent shots and juxtaposing punchy imagery, the team was able to set a bold, fun tone against a rich color palette.”

TV Land

TV Land

TV Land



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