somebody gots some splainin’ to do

The current Comedy Central logo versus the proposed Comedy Central logo as of January 1, 2011

The unfair thing about printed network logos, like the versions above showing how the Comedy Central logo is expected to change on January 1, 2011, is that motion graphics can give you lots of visually interesting choices that a flat logo can’t.

But in my opinion (and really, isn’t that the only one that matters πŸ˜‰ a logo needs to hold its own when it is flat, on paper because that will be one of its uses.

This new logo for Comedy Central falls flat alright, it’s bad. It’s one of those logos that make you look at it and say “somebody got paid for that?!” and then ask “I wonder how much somebody got paid to design that?!” In either case, it is not a complimentary question.

Upside down C’s, an inverted word? Really?

Maybe this a joke…a really great joke. That’s GOT to be the reason because this can’t be a real logo for a national cable channel.

Go ahead, tell me how wrong I am in my assessment of this design. Where’s the mirth? Where’s the vibrancy? What about this logo is visually arresting or interesting? Help me here.

12 Responses to “somebody gots some splainin’ to do”

  1. I can’t tell you you’re wrong because….you’re not. That is a brutally bad design that may have taken 30 minutes to come up with. I’m with you here. These guys seem to be on the same path at “SyFy.”

  2. George,

    Does it hurt your head like it hurts mine to think somebody probably got paid in the mid five figures AT LEAST for that logo?

    Boggles my mind! πŸ™‚

    Best always,
    – Peter

  3. I’m not sure the motion graphics designers would have a hard time at all bringing this logo to life. Some of these guys can make a lower case “i” dance like a cobra in front of a snake charmer. Additionally, the “CENTRAL” isn’t so much “upside down” as it is pivoted 180-degrees around the “C” What they’ve done here is create an icon; an emoticon, if you will. A minimalist or vectorized logo is very much in keeping with where we’ve been headed in design – particularly typography. It seems that letters have once again taken center stage over mascots (for lack of a better word.) Hurray for text! It is, after all, becoming our number one form of communication and this new logo, at the risk of anthropomorphism, seems to understand that. By doing so, it acknowledges our intelligence. The public wants it straight. It’s part of transparency. We are no longer wooed by fancy iconography and cute cartoons.

    Finally, Comedy Central has become more than just a network of comedy. It has become a network of social commentary as well; ironically, a network to be taken seriously. Funny, bending skyscrapers and cartoonish caption balloons no longer apply.

  4. The double C’s look like an unfinished copyright symbol. Is their idea half-baked? I think so.

  5. I saw some of the video executions Anthony and I agree, they came out fine. And they do seem to be shying away from the niche of comedy ever so slightly. Further, I love your overall point.

    You’re completely wrong of course (j/K).

    Best always,
    – Peter

  6. Hi Rachel,

    To Anthony’s point, the video execution is strong but I maintain the their just wasn’t much creativity in this execution of their logo. It almost looks like you could “insert company/ad agency/insurance agency/video production house name here”

    It should be more unique than it is. They should have called me, I would have talked to them about it. Sheesh πŸ˜‰

    Best always,
    – Peter

  7. Of course I am.

    By the way, once day I’ll tell you the story of how I convinced an entire class of my fellow architecture students (and my professor) that a tiny spatula I picked up at the 99-Cents store belongs in a museum. Maybe Comedy Central should’ve hired me to pitch the new non-logo logo.


  8. THAT would be an awesome story Anthony…can’t wait to hear it cause I know you could do it!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  9. I’ve never liked Comedy Central’s logo, but they’re kind of going from bad to worse. It’s nice to have a quick, easy to recognize symbol like the two c’s, but it looks like it belongs on some paper manufacturer or something dull like that.

  10. I was lucky enough to have had a session recently with the engineer who was also creating audio for the new logo’s animation–don’t knock it ’til you’ve heard it. It’s not going to stay static. I don’t know a thing about logos, but I thought it was pretty sharp once it got moving.

  11. Hi Haneen

    I’ve seen some of the promos with the new logo and they look nice. And as I said in the post which I wrote before I saw the logo in motion, movement does make a difference…it can make the ugliest print logo look presentable.

    I don’t count this icon as the ugliest by any stretch but I do believe there could have been a more creative execution of the primary logo.

    Cool that you got an insiders look at it…and BTW, nobody over there could care less about my logo opinion πŸ™‚

    Thanks VERY much for stopping by.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  12. Mackenzie, I agree…dull is a good description.

    Best always,
    – Peter

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