Logo Design Challenge

By Mash Bonigala

The title of this post is a little misleading, although we hope our audience sees the humour. Although Challenge is a relatively minor television network in the UK, it is rebranding with the hope of attracting a wider audience.

A little background on Challenge: the channel features mainly old game show reruns. It was originally owned by Virgin Media Television, but was sold last year to BSkyB. BSkyB closed down many of the channels that they acquired as part of this deal. Most people expected the same fate for Challenge, but it has instead been given a new identity and a new place on the Freeview platform.

The previous identity had an over the top glitzy feeling similar to that seen on game shows like The Price Is Right. However, there were definite issues; it did not really say anything, and the lower case font was probably the wrong choice for a television station. The new logo design is an interesting change. It has a definite eighties feeling, with lettering that is based on old 8-but games. The bright colour is eye-catching and also hails to bygone times.

The new logo design has a few advantages. It is relevant to games—eighties computer games, but games nonetheless. It grabs attention more than the old one, and has more authoritative capital letters. However, there are drawbacks as well.

One of our key issues with the new television show logo design is that it uses an image that makes little sense for the channel: a talk bubble. Really, this motif would make more sense if this were a network specializing in vintage talk shows. Game shows are not known for sparkling conversation, so we have to wonder why this was chosen. Further, the new logo design is an eyesore. It is hard to look at, but unfortunately hard to look away from as well. We understand the concept behind an eighties retro colour palette, but a more attractive colour combination could easily have been chosen.

Even if this were the best logo design on earth, it still has only a slim chance of performing the task of bringing more viewers to a niche channel. We don’t know any hard-core fans of rerun game shows, which leads to the conclusion that this is a rare passion. It is hard to imagine that this logo design will make more people want to tune in to old episodes of Deal or No Deal.

The lesson in this rebranding seems to be that while branding and good design are important, neither will save a product that simply is not in demand. Part of knowing your market is knowing its size. There are certainly products that were not in demand until the company creates the demand—the iPod, for example. This, however, is no iPod. It is hard to imagine that people in the UK will see this logo design and develop a sudden interest in old game shows. That, unfortunately, is the task that this company faces.