Weekly Re-Brand #26: 21st Century Fox

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.

In one of the strangest re-brandings  we’ve looked at, News Corporation is spinning off all their entertainment properties (including FOX, FX, and 20th Century Fox) into a new company to be called 21st Century Fox, and every single sub-brand will retain its existing name and iconography.

The new 21st Century Fox logo.

The new 21st Century Fox logo.

What was wrong with News Corporation?
In 1984, the publishing company News Corporation acquired 20th Century Fox, in what would become the first of many forays into film and television. Since then, the entertainment side of News Corporation has outgrown the publishing side, and it’s time for it to become its own company. Additionally, scandals on the publishing side may be hurting the entertainment side of the business, so this may be the perfect time to make this change.

Does the new version fix the problem?
As mentioned earlier, this is a bit of a strange rebranding. It seems that the 21st Century Fox logo will only be used for business-to-business dealings. Additionally, with all the sub-brands retaining their names and iconography, we’ll likely not see much of this logo in day to day use. This will affect mainly other businesses perceptions of the company, not so much consumers.

All the Fox sub-brands will be keeping their current names and identities.

All the Fox sub-brands will be keeping their current names and identities.

What new problems are introduced?
First off, the name 21st Century Fox is a little odd, considering that the largest of the brands in 20th Century Fox and is keeping that name. One might think that this would be a good time to update that brand (I’ve always been partial to the 30th Century Fox logo used for Futurama). In terms of the logo itself, it’s a little bit less striking the you might expect. All the main elements from the sub-brands are present (uppercase type, spotlights, and distinctive ‘F’), but it misses the mark in a few places. The new typeface (which seems to be a modified version of Bernhard Gothic) is a bit juvenile compared to the typefaces used in the sub-brands. Additionally, this leaves FOX Broadcasting looking like the odd man out, with its distinctive ‘O’ that doesn’t match up with any of the other Fox properties. The spotlights, while very graphic and handled nicely, are oddly reminiscent of The X-Files, another Fox property.

The spotlight treatment is very similar to a treatment often used by The X-Files, another Fox property.

The spotlight treatment in the new logo is very similar to a treatment often used by The X-Files, another Fox property.

Is it an overall improvement?
Spinning off the entertainment properties from New Corporation is probably a very smart move at this point. On the other hand, this change inevitably leads to the idea that the various Fox brands should be updated with a more consistent look.

Do you think spinning the Fox entertainment properties off into 21st Century Fox is an improvement?

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