A Blast from The Past: SyFy channel turns 25 and celebrates with a retro-style rebranding.

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Oh the 1980’s, a time of hot colors, acid washed jeans, and big hair. It is a time that Science Fiction movies really started to to become bigger budget films. Back to The Future, The Empire Strikes Back, Tron, E.T., and Aliens made way to the 90’s blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and The Matrix. Back in 1992 the SyFy channel started with science-fiction movies at the heart of their programming.  The original logo was a planet resembling Saturn with the word SciFi to the right of the form.


SciFi-Logo

Fast forward to 2009 when NBC/Universal announced a complete rebranding changing the name to SyFy channel which could actually be trademarked (unlike SciFi which is more generic and represents is a movie genre category) they kept the purple color but simplified the logo to a typographic logo.


SyFy-Logo

Now 25 years after SyFy started they have decided give the brand a major rehaul that at its core has been a bit controversial in the design community. As most rebrands designers sharpen their knives, light their torches, and head to social media to voice their opinions about the design choices that have been made. This SyFy rebranding is no different. I will say that I have witnessed worse backlash, but like any piece or art, it falls on personal taste. I posted the rebranded logo on a few social media groups that I am a part of and heres some of the feedback:


Looks much better and is fitting with the retro SyFy vibe
— David Lee
I quite like that logo, it’s a bit cluncky, a bit retro…looks great!
— Lee Hart

Not everyone liked the new logo though…

I am horribly against this rebrand. It feels like they’re trying too hard for a nostalgic attack of the giant space octopus design style.
— Robert Castleberry

SyFy-Logo-Rebrand

I really like the design. I love the color, the font doesn’t bother me, and the whole feel reminds me of the 80’s. The animated logo looks great on Instagram as well as their brand extension logos like SyFy Originals, SyFy Wire and dedicated SyFy ComicCon logo which would make any fanboy smile. I will share the sentiment of some people that it also reminds me of a video game style logo.

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People who like Science Fiction movies are the same people who attend Comic Con, play video games, and enjoy Horror flicks. The whole culture has evolved into something that is a bit more mainstream and encompasses a spectrum of genres, so to say this doesn't speak to Horror movies or is overly “video game-style” isn’t as much of an issue because like anything else, brands evolve. If this was 25 years ago maybe this wouldn’t be the best solution, but at a time that NBC/Universal clearly wants to breathe some life into the network, this is just the design to do it. Exciting, bold and distinctive in my opinion this is the best brand redesign of 2017.


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SyFy-Notebook
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The design was created by a branding team at Loyal Kaspar. They are responsible for a few logos (Disney XD logo, U2 logo, and even their own logo) that look rather close to this SyFy logo. I reached out to them to see if we could start a conversation about the development process, but no one responded to my inquiry. If that changes I will create an interview post and will link it below.