NBCUniversal has had some brand confusion since the merger of the two conglomerates in 2004. Their television production arm has been known recently as NBC Universal Television Studio, a long and unwieldy name. However, the brand retained the name Universal Media Studios in the logo and many of the other visuals. This is confusing, to say the least! The name has recently been shortened to Universal Television and the TV Channel logo design modified to match the Universal brand, creating more continuity.
The old logo featured the name of the studio in Universal’s signature font, along with a semi-circle representing the globe that has been a part of the brand for so long. One of the key problems with the logo design is that it just doesn’t execute well. The two different fonts just don’t work well together, and the arc rises too far above the wording. The various parts of the logo seem disconnected.
The new logo resolves these issues, along with the name issue that has plagued the company for so long. It uses a single font, with the word ‘universal’ written in bold lettering to make it the focus of the logo. The arc has been made wider and shorter to look more like a horizon. These may seem like small changes, but they add up to a much more attractive logo that just feels better.
This change in logo design and name may signal a lot of changes for the company. They recently introduced a new leadership team. A press release from the company called this a ‘rebuilding’ of the division, which suggests that it has been having recent problems. Indeed, many television networks are struggling to produce programs that will be popular with the ever-more-discerning audience. In a Jersey Shore world, it can be hard to gain the public’s attention without public indecency.
This logo drives home a point that we have made over and over at this blog: sometimes it takes only minor changes to turn a losing logo design into one that is both more attractive and better suited for its audience. The new logo is serious and austere the way designs from large conglomerates so often are, but it is certainly better than its predecessor. It is relevant in modern times while tying into the company’s past; who could ask for more?
We’ve written a lot about NBCUniversal on this blog because the conglomerate seems to be constantly changing their logos, probably due to growing pains left over from the merger. Another factor is that television is a constantly changing industry, so brands must change with it in order to be successful. If you are trying to find success in a rapidly changing industry with a large and growing market, you may find that rebranding is a continuous effort rather than a once-in-a-while proposition.