Published on November 1st, 2011 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Comedy Network rebrand

After 14 years with the same look, a Comedy Network rebranding has been way overdue. In fact, I’d argue that the original logo should’ve been retooled before the first designer even got paid.

Today’s the big day, Canada. The worst is behind us.

The good news is, the new logo isn’t nauseously “wacky” like the old one tried to be. The very clever promo supporting the launch of it points to their awareness of this: two network representatives reveal the logo to a silent focus group, and they both gleefully applaud after one member proclaims “I’m not laughing”. Brilliant.

I can’t identify the logo font, but it’s a thick sans serif, in lower case like the previous version. Elsewhere it’s been compared to the old CHUM logo, while I feel a hint of the BiteTV logo as well (interesting, since Bite is Canadian cable’s shiny new comedy toy).

Gone is any further illustration, leaving them with simply the word “comedy”. So yes, it’s understated. But maybe too understated? My first sight of it on their website didn’t grab me as much as I hoped it would. Dark blue on white doesn’t exactly pop off the screen (and given some of the already-notorious internal changes made by parent company BellMedia, the color choice must feel slightly Orwellian to the staff).

Screenshot of the revamped Comedy Network website

But judging by the new promos airing today, they’ve given themselves plenty of freedom from a color standpoint. I’ve already seen the logo as yellow on red, grey on red, white on teal, and white on purple. This is supported by a slew of anything-on-white images using their secondary font for individual programs.

It will likely take some time for the full branding to be rolled out. As of this writing, their bug (that little decal at the bottom corner of the screen) is still the old version. You’d think that would’ve been the first thing they changed. (I stand corrected: the first thing should be the downloadable logo on the CTV press site, which again is still the old one.)

But back to the aesthetics. The overall verdict? This is good.

Now if we could just convince them to further improve the fuctionality of their website and stop with the geoblocking of clips they don’t actually offer on their own site…. Maybe in another 14 years?


About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

3 Responses to Comedy Network rebrand

  1. Joe says:

    The typeface is Gill Sans Ultra Bold.

  2. David says:

    I’m wondering if their “Time Well Wasted” slogan has been replaced (it is still mentioned on their Facebook page), as you recall from my comments from your last post on the upcoming rebranding, that was the #1 thing I couldn’t stand about the old brand. I haven’t seen it on air yet, but their “Comedy: Looking Good!” cheesy ad (I’m hoping it’s being cheesy on purpose) ad tells me that “Looking Good!” is their new slogan? In which case, it’s only a very, very slight improvement.

    No logo complaints though (although Comedy Gold now is way overdue for a rebranding, using the old Comedy Network logo in theirs).

  3. Sharilyn Johnson says:

    Thank you for the font id, Joe!

    David, I actually liked the Time Well Wasted tag, not sure if they’re replacing or eliminating it. I assume “Looking Good” is only for the rebranding campaign, because it doesn’t make much sense outside of that context.

    You bring up a good point about Comedy Gold. With its retro programming mandate, it’s more appropriate than ever for them to use the old Comedy Network logo. The flipside being that the first rule of new branding implementation is Destory All The Old Stuff. It may muddy the waters a bit. Granted, Comedy Gold isn’t in as many households, and I don’t think the logo is seen anywhere other than on that station (I’ve never seen print or transit ads). Though I’ll assume this has all been analyzed to death by people a whole lot smarter than us.

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