Sleuth TV Gets a Cloo

By Mash Bonigala

NBCUniversal no longer has a Cloo. The digital cable network was quietly shut down on Wednesday, part of an ongoing streamlining of NBCUniversal’s cable portfolio. The end of Cloo follows NBCU’s previously announced plans to shut down Esquire Network this year. Source

Sleuth is a cable television network that was introduced in 2006 by NBCUniversal. As the name suggests, the network focuses mainly on crime and mystery shows. However, the name is in the process of being changed to Cloo—pronounced Clue—which hopefully will be more appealing to the cable television market. According to insiders at NBC, the switch will officially take place this month. The website at was being finished at the time of this writing.

We are not normally huge fans of misspellings, but this one was done purposely because the word clue can not be copyrighted. This was the same rationale that led to the change from Sci Fi Channel to Syfy.

At first glance, the Cloo logo design seems rather simple, merely the name of the channel written in the round, bubbly lower case letters that are set very closely together. It does not seem unusual at all for a television network, which can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, you will know from the beginning that the logo is appropriate for the medium, but on the other hand, it can be difficult to differentiate when your brand is functionally identical to those of the channels before and after you.

However, the Cloo logo design has a few hidden surprises. If you look closely at the space between the C and the L, a keyhole is formed. In addition, the L combined with the two O’s seems to create an old fashioned key. These hidden shapes will be an integral part of on-air graphics and promotional videos used to promote the new network. Moreover, they subtly suggest that the channel holds hidden mystery: secrets behind locked doors as well as the keys to open them.

The new Cloo logo is certainly an improvement over the one for Sleuth, which was simply the name of the network written in thick white letters across a deep blue background that appears to be the shadow of a door. It is not the worst logo design we have seen (or even the worst we have seen today), but it lacks the significance and hidden potential of the new one.

I will be the first to admit that I am thrilled by logos with hidden pictures and shapes, real hidden ones that I don’t immediately catch. Take, for instance, the FedEx logo design. I saw that logo every day for years before realizing that there was an arrow hidden between the letters. It takes a very clever designer and an open minded client in order to create masterpieces such as this. As a bonus, logos with hidden pictures have the simplicity and easy visual appeal of a plainer logo, but all the marketing and branding potential of a more complicated one.

Television network logo design has very specific needs—the need for the logo to be easily rendered in on-air graphics, for example—but every field has these small but important distinctions. This is why it is so important to work with a logo design professional who can create a meaningful design that meets the needs of your unique line of business.