It’s Not So Hip to be Square


Is it hip to be square? Many of us remember an old rock song declaring so, but the Science Channel begs to differ. Starting this June, the Discovery channel Science will be adopting a new visual identity to replace their former square logo design.

The old logo design was square, but only in shape. The letters were round with a distinctive New Age feeling, and the lettering inside the square was off center and distinctive. This just feels like a science logo, reminiscent of a museum. However, the channel is changing to a new logo that also has science-y leanings.

The new Science TV Channel logo design comes with a nickname: Morph. It is an appropriate name for this shape, a kind of formless blob in a shiny dark gray. The name has been changed as well, dropping the ‘channel’. The new, single word name is written in lower case letters that are more science fiction than pure science. The first three letters are written on the Morph, suggesting another new nickname for the channel.

The ‘Morph’ nickname is significant because its shape will change constantly, rather like the drop of mercury that it resembles. The desired impression is that the channel is constantly changing and transforming itself just like the image. This is a risky move because it will make the logo more difficult to recognize at a glance, although the premise behind it is bold and appropriate for the brand.

The animations that are part of the marketing campaign are fun and have a definite cool factor, suggesting that Morph just might be effective.  This is important for the Science Channel—erm, Science—as it is going up against stiff competition. The better known Syfy is also more popular, offering similar programming. Science will have to offer more than a great logo design in order to compete, but a great logo design is definitely a good start.

According to the press releases, Science is supposed to be written in all upper case letters, a move that contradicts the logo (as it has all lower case lettering) and seems a little much. We seriously doubt that anyone outside the Discovery Networks (owner of this channel) will adhere to these guidelines due to their downright silliness.

If we could change one thing about this logo design, it would be the font used within Morph. There is no reason Science, SCIENCE, or the Science Channel (whichever you prefer) could not have used the same font used in the wording below the image. This would have created a better sense of continuity and made the font a more complete part of the brand.

All criticisms aside, the new logo is a bold change from the old one. It suggests a lot of changes for the channel, which the science nerds among us will enjoy watching. Many channels are rebranding right now—this channel’s chief competitor Syfy recently rebranded as we reported a while back—and it is important not to be the channel left behind.