Channel Five is one of the more popular and also most-often-rebranded television channels in the UK. The UK logo design was launched in 1997—by the Spice Girls, no less—and proceeded to shed its tacky image with a series of rebrands and UK logo design changes. The channel has now changed its logo design once again, for the third time in the past decade.
Television channels tend to rebrand and change logo designs more often than other businesses, although few as often as Channel Five. This is due to the unique needs of television. The programmes are constantly changing, as are viewer preferences, and it makes sense to modify your brand to represent your products and your audience.
The new logo design, however, has not met with much fanfare. We see the same circle shape, which is commonly used in television, but in a red colour rather than the former youthful orange. It’s hard to understand why a change of colour was needed, especially as the orange gave a youthful and somewhat unique feeling to the channel.
Instead of the word “Five”, the new logo features the full name of the channel. We rather liked the “Five”—it set the channel apart from competitors such as Channel 4 and had an interesting font that was used well in on-air animations promoting the channel. The new font is Helvetica, which is a little over-used both in logo design and in the television industry. The addition of the word “Channel” also seems a little gratuitous; people watching television know that they are viewing a channel.
One of the drawbacks of both logos is that they are similar and style and tone to that of the popular carbonated beverage 7-Up. However, considering the sweet and bubbly nature of both brands, this may be a benefit rather than a disadvantage.
Changing management is one of the top reasons to rebrand a company, and that is certainly the case here. Channel 5 has recently changed ownership, now owned by UK billionaire Richard Desmond. We may see other changes to the channel which will explain the new colour and font. One major consideration of television logos is that they be recognizable and attractive in very small sizes and also have the ability to be the basis of animated advertisements. The old Five logo met these criteria, and new one likely will as well. We have yet to see any of the animations using the new logo, which was introduced on February 14.
Rebranding is a great choice for companies looking to refresh their image, but we have to wonder if this was necessary. Five was a great channel with a recognizable brand identity and distinctive UK logo design. The new identity is not so different, but a bit watered down. We don’t really see any advantages to the new logo, but hopefully future changes to the channel will show that it was indeed necessary.