As a fan of horror and science fiction movies (both good and bad), I find myself flipping to the SciFi Channel often. The cable channel has been very successful over the last 16 years of creating a world of its own, where viewers and fans of the genre can come together and experience original programming such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis, and studio-released sci-fi blockbusters and “B” movies as well. As we approach 2010 (“The Year We Make Contact”) SciFi is on the verge of a rebirth as SyFy. I believe the decision to launch a re-brand is a good one, especially since the organization wants to trademark its brand (due to the ubiquitous nature of the phrase “sci-fi,” the current name is not legally protect-able).
Looking at the current identity, one thing I will miss is the distinctive planetary mark. I always thought it was well crafted, so much so that whenever I see a silhouette treatment of Saturn, I instantly think of the SciFi Channel. I do like how the type treatment for SyFy is not too far removed from the original logo, as it suggests more of an evolution of the brand instead of a revolution, and that any fears of too much change are unfounded. I have to disagree with some of the bloggers who say the channel is in the midst of an identity crisis. On the contrary, the new tag line “Imagine Greater” is a strong statement that says exactly where they are going…up.
Based on early press releases, SyFy will keep the color purple as the primary brand color—which is good since I also have associated the color with the channel. I am curious to see if they will expand their accent color palette, since most current promotional spots are rather monotone. As simple and selfish as it sounds, my biggest fear of this re-brand is that SyFy will do away with the weird and quirky TV shorts they play during commercial breaks and in between shows–these shorts are of better production quality than half of the movies that are currently aired.
From a business sense the SyFy re-brand is a great move. Expanding into other areas while protecting oneself legally is never a bad idea in my playbook. I just hope that SciFi Channel doesn’t forget who got them where they are now… those possessing an “inner geek” like me. Of course, TV does give them a very big platform to beat the new identity into the heads of its fans.
By: Chad Wagner, web designer / syfy nerd