December 28th, 2010
Comedy Central. Branding

Comedy Central have recently undergone a re-brand. And unlike the recent re-brand of Gap this one is not a disaster. What are the main differences between this new Comedy Central logo and the one for Gap? This logo and the new brand are a well considered outcome for a tough client – Comedy Central already has its strong consumer base who are going to be hard to please, so not only does the re-brand have to please the clients who run the channel but it also has to appeal to the audience.

There are some similarities between the Gap re-branding and the new Comedy Central design. They both used San-Serif fonts, with a simple geometric shape. Both are re-brands of much loved companies. But the Comedy Central branding does not look sloppy, it is well considered. The old logo had a lot going on in it, huge buildings, on a small planet, with huge type screaming “COMEDY CENTRAL IS HERE, WE ARE FUNNY, WE ARE OUTRAGEOUS”. The new logo whispers, it is quietly confident. It chooses not to scream, instead it gives us a witty comment. The old logo is more South Park, while the new logo is more Frasier.

There are complaints that the new logo is boring. Far from it in my opinion – the new branding fits in with our lives a lot better. From the video above it gives us an idea how the new brand will fit into our digital and social media lives. Something the old logo would have never been able to do to such an extent as this new brand. It is a fact that the new logo is so simple and well executed that the general public will use it more. People are also saying it looks like the Copyright, and Copyleft icons. Yes it does look like these logos, I am sure a big graphic and branding design agency such as The Lab (the graphic agency who created this logo) also recognised the similarities between the logos. And Comedy Central will be using their new icon in much the same way as the copyright symbol. This in itself is fun and a lot more subtle than using giant buildings and small planets.

The new branding and logo graphics have sparked much debate on several blogs such as Brand New. The following statement from Alicia Johnson, co creative director at the Lab was taken from Fastcodesign — ‘Thelab stands by its design, so don’t expect any sheepish surrenders.’ Johnson says, “It’s really more about making the content king than trying to be the content. The network has genius programming. The mark’s job is not to be the loudest, the wackiest.” Hal Wolverton, co-creative director at thelab, elaborates: “It’s an empty container that can take any form the comedy requires. …Brands are becoming more about how they behave than how they look static. Because static, well, that’s just boring.”

If the Gap re-branding is the much deserved winner of Worst Identity of 2010 then I feel the Comedy Central re-brand should be the winner of the Best Identity 2010.

For more information and people’s comments on the ne re-brandings check out the BrandNew website at:

To read more from Alicia Johnson interview and more views on the re-brand check out the Fastcodesign website here:


Filed under: Birmingham, Brand identity, Branding, Graphic Design, Graphic Design Agency, Logo design
Tags: ,