Weekly Re-Brand #8: VH1

Welcome to the Blade Weekly Re-Brand, a place for us to take a quick look at some of the rebranding going on in the world and give a quick impression of what went right and what went wrong.

This week, we turn our creative eyes towards Music Video/Reality Show TV Station VH1, who have ditched their leaf in favour of a plus (+).

The old VH1 logo (left) vs. the new VH1 logo (right).

The old VH1 logo (left) vs. the new VH1 logo (right).

What was wrong with the old VH1?
The old VH1 logo is a highly stylized 3D Cube (perhaps meant to represent an old school television set?) with “VH1″ written in the left side. The “V” has a leaf element in it (it’s anyone’s guess as to why), and the “1″ is backwards (because backwards letters are cool). Also the letters/numbers overlap. And it’s five different neon colours. It certainly emphasized youth.

The new VH1 logo.

The new VH1 logo.

Does the new version fix the problem?
It’s a heck of a lot simpler, that’s for sure. VH1 has settled on one colour (purple) with a slightly darker shade emphasizing the “+”. It’s more likely to be seen on smaller screens, and from across the room. The extraneous elements (cube, leaf) have been jettisoned, and the plus now takes center stage. This is the new VH1; Straightforward and confident.

What new problems have been introduced?
The biggest problem is that plus sign. What does it mean? Fret not, for VH1 has produced a short educational video to explain that to you. In short, the plus symbolizes that VH1 is “the ultimate mashup of high + low + old + new + mainstream + the obscure”. This immediately brings up two issues: First – maybe VH1′s problem all along has been trying to be everything to everyone. Second – if it takes a full minute to explain your logo to your brand community, you might be doing it wrong.

Is it an overall improvement?
Overall, I have to say yes, if only because it functions much better for its main purpose (being visible and legible in the bottom corner of the TV screen). I wouldn’t say they’ve knocked it out of the park, but I’ve seen much worse.

Do you think the new VH1 logo is an improvement?

View Results

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  • Keith

    I see VI + 1. I think of Roman numerals and therefore see 6 + 1. The answer is 7, right?

    • Brian Walker

      Interestingly, I had not noticed the VI + 1, but now that’s all I can see.

  • nobody

    Screams “VI+1″ is just weird, unless they are trying to tell us to sign up for a google +1?

    • Brian Walker

      Good catch. I do think they’re trying to imply a social media connection. They’re using the +, calling themselves @VH1 all over the web, and using hashtags pretty frequently too.