Progress, but not Perfection

By Mash Bonigala

If you keep up with the movie and film industry, you may be aware that the UK movie studio Optimum Releasing is in fact owned by the French StudioCanal. This company has subsidiaries in several European nations, each with its own name and logo design. However, this is changing as we write this. All subsidiaries will now be using the StudioCanal name as well as a new logo design designed to appeal to a variety of European markets.

The old StudioCanal logo design featured the name written in white on a black and grey block background. It is a very plain logo, yet it manages to annoy me intensely due to the selective italicization of the lettering. If you look closely, there are just a few letters italicized, with the rest left alone. This can be useful for accentuating certain parts of a word, such as if your business name has a word within the name, but the last time I checked Ud and An were not meaningful words. It is gratuitous and meaningless, which no element of a logo design should be.

We began to see the new logo design over the summer, although it has not been officially unveiled until now. The new logo design features a modified rectangle with two rounded corners and the name of the company written in blocky white letters. The lettering is placed very close, which I rather like. It fills the shape and leaves no unwanted extra space. The only real drawback is the way the O and the C are connected. Again, this is gratuitous and meaningless.

Every film company has not just a logo design, but a short intro sequence that is placed before films. The old StudioCanal intro (see below) features simply an aerial view of a cloudy sky with birds happily chirping in the background. Again, this is just meaningless. It is pleasant enough, but what does it tell me about the company. The new intro features beams of multi-coloured light flashing through glass panels, onto which the name and new logo are projected at the end. It is a more interesting and attractive intro. It has already been used on the newly released Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a Tomas Alfredson film.

The studio writes that light and glass are both integral parts of the traditional photography and film making processes, and thus were the inspiration behind the new opening sequence. It certainly makes more sense and is more emotionally compelling as well. Interestingly, most of the intro was filmed with actual light and glass, with very little postproduction work.

The new UK logo design is generally better than the old one, but the best thing we can say about it is that it is versatile. There is no ‘wow factor’ here. The new intro is very beautiful, but it does not say anything about the company. Like so many of the logo design changes we have seen this month, we would classify this one as good, but not great.