IFC’s Iffy New Logo

By Mash Bonigala

IFC, or the Independent Film Channel, is a great cable television channel option for lovers of art films and other independent work. Since 1994, the channel has offered an eclectic range of programming, and the brand has since expanded to include a production company, a film distribution company, and even a theater in New York City. The company is large and diverse, but all of their work is centered on bringing high quality alternative programming to Americans.

A growing company needs a brand that fits it, and so we have seen many incarnations of this television logo design. The company began introducing a new brand last year and has just completed the finishing touches of rebranding. However you feel about the new logo design, it is as original as the company that it represents.

There are many things we love about this logo design. First, it is general enough to represent the channel’s wide range of offerings and endeavors. The old logo design featured an “I” stylize to look like the edge of a film strip. However, this is less appropriate for a company with not just films, but popular shows and even a theater. Second, the new logo and brand include a tagline that just may end up to be this year’s best: Always On. Slightly Off. If you look closely, the thickness of both the letters and spacing is a little off, a visual incongruency which the design company created on purpose to represent the slightly off kilter brand. Color is another plus: the new logo design has a clear blue that adds to the brand and creates contrast at the same time.

A last benefit is that the logo is bold. You can’t miss it. The solid black letters are easy to see and tie into the former logo design. Unfortunately, this means that you can’t miss the few, small errors either. There are a few elements that are, well, iffy. The small errors may be placed on purpose, but this does not make them any less jarring. We know they are trying to create a logo design that is as anti-establishment as the channel, but it does nothing for the aesthetic appeal of the logo itself.

Does a lack of professionalism constitute a style? Creating a bad design to get a point across is as effective as creating a really awful movie to contrast with good ones (Blair Witch Project, anyone?) You might make your point, but you might lose some potential viewers as well.

We don’t think the little imperfections will scare people away from the IFC logo design and brand—except perhaps for a few graphic designers, as we’re a sensitive bunch. The logo certainly is effective at portraying the brand, which makes it an automatic winner. However, we wonder if a logo could have been created that shows off the unconventional channel’s personality without just plain bad design. Unfortunately, we may have to wait several years until the IFC’s next rebranding in order to find out.