“And now for Something Sorta Different”
Launched in 2007, Jim — a non-uppercase acronym for Jotain ihan muuta, which means “Something completely different” in English (and by that, I mean it literally translates into “Something completely different” not that it means something completely different like “Donkey peanut butter” — is a TV channel in Finland that is part of Nelonen Media and one of over a dozen sister channels. Jim’s programming is mostly imported reality TV like Hell’s Kitchen and Ice Road Truckers along with some other Finnish fare. The channel recently introduced a new logo and on-air look designed by Amsterdam-based CapeRock.
At the core of the new identity is an expressive and playful mark that embodies the feel-good of Jim. The brandmark has friendly curves which are used to create an organic brand language that fits the optimistic vibe of Jim. The mark becomes a window to the Finnish everyday – making the identity relevant and adaptable. Imagery can be updated every season – to be relevant throughout the year.
The old logo had an FF Dax/FF Cocon blend aesthetic that is like my kryptonite. That combination of straight lines and curves was just trying too hard and the tittles came way too close together, making it look more like an umlaut. The new logo is a lovely bit of digital script — meaning, it’s a hand-scripted piece of lettering but has been crisply and purposely digitized, rather than kept more rugged in its finish — that makes “Jim” look more like a person than a robot. I really like how the “J” curves one way, the “i” another, and then the “m” balances it all out. Supposedly there is a smile in there and, yes, I see it, but I think I would rather choose to not see it and just enjoy the lettering work. As a logo for a TV channel… for some reason it doesn’t feel like one, but maybe that’s a good thing.
The identity and on-air graphics pair the nice logo with some kind of wider FF Dax-like font that, for me, kills the mood hard. There is something very techie about it that goes against the feel-good vibe of the logo. Also, the whole “Luckily” verbal branding makes no sense. I mean, it makes sense, as I can understand the sentences, but it makes no connection to the programming, nor is it surprising or funny, it just kind of sits there, flat.
The logo-as-window effect is used nicely in this instance by blowing up the logo huge, so you only see some parts of its curves and it creates some interesting layouts along with the more minimal typographic arrangements but the on-air graphics are missing some energy or further interest. It’s almost like slightly animated print layouts on a screen. Overall, a great logo that sets a strong tone but without much around it to support it or, you know, make it feel like something completely different.