“It Could be Funnier if it Were Truer”
(Quoting parts of the introduction from 2014): Originally launched in 1991 as Court TV and focusing on seemingly endless live coverage of court trials, truTV as it was renamed in 2008 is an American cable channel owned by Turner Broadcasting System that, at the time, turned its focus to reality-based and investigation-based programming while keeping a morning block of trials. In 2014 it started switching to humor- and reality-based programming and now it’s officially a full-on comedy channel with original shows in the works by comedians like Chris Gethard, Andrea Savage, and Amy Sedaris. At least they didn’t pivot to something like The Channel for People who have Pet Squirrels that Love Supernatural Crime Reality TV. The new identity and on-air graphics have been designed by Brooklyn, NY-based And/Or.
While the truTV logo was unchanged, it is now paired with a new tagline, “Funny because it’s tru,” an element that became the cornerstone of the brand DNA according to Miller.
And/Or provided text
The previous identity change, which marked a shift in content, was more elaborate in the amount of elements and visual cues thrown at the viewer to give the channel a sense of fun and variety, starting with a logo that could be any of a series of happy colors and a bunch of icons and doodads. All was good and effective but it’s also nice that this version takes things down a notch.
The logo is the same with the minor change that “tru” appears in one color and “TV” in another. Not exactly groundbreaking but, sure, it’s fine. Also, spoiler, the logo can change to any of a range of happy colors but they have tried to stick to a key color of lime green that’s as good a peppy color to hang your hat on as any other. What’s nice about it is that it works very well with black and white, working particularly well as a drop-shadow.
The applications and ads are standard and not the most engaging. In the mock-up with the three ads, it’s hard to tell they belong to the same channel… it’s generous that they want each show’s key art to be the hero but in doing so they are giving up far too much channel association.
And/Or stripped down the brand itself to one color and two typefaces and built everything – from the promo structures to the logo and tagline placement – to be adaptable to individual shows. The new identity also had to support the core elements of successful comedy such as timing, anticipation and punchline. “These ideas informed everything from animation behavior to the naming conventions of the brand elements,” said Miller.
The new, edit-friendly brand system allows the truTV creative team to add a self-aware punchline or commentary to promos, posters, and marketing materials – or not. It’s all about having options. “This project was an amazing challenge, we knew we had to strike the perfect balance of comedy and brand consistency without being heavy handed and out-joking the talent, who are obviously the real comedians,” said Miller. “The adaptability of the system will go a long way for the truTV team.”
And/Or provided text
As with most channel redesigns, the more interesting stuff is in the on-air graphics and this one delivers with a subtle range of motion behaviors in the logo, tagline, and typography. The trailing drop shadow thing being the most interesting and engaging. The modularity of the system — in both grid layout and ability to edit things together — seems convincing enough but, like the print ads, it feels like it lacks a strong statement that you are on TruTV and nowhere else. Overall, this is mostly a lateral move or a version 2.0 of 2014’s change and, compared to other channel rebrands, doesn’t manage to excite as much.