11 April 2007

[logo_design] KATU, Channel 2

765 For the last word on a busy day, we consider the KATU logo. Dig, if you will, this picture:


I give you the Portland ABC station, KATU, then and now. The then picture you may recognize from two entries back.

I don't recall exactly when the switch was made–it was a couple of years back, more or less. I recall no big announcement; they just started using the new branding. At the time, I thought it apt whilst I did regret losing the old "2", it had become a bit dowdy–not only had KATU been with ABC and on Channel 2 since Pontius was a pilot but the swashy, squished-looking numeral had been KATU's logo for as long as I coutl practically remember.

The new logo, viewed in and of itself, seems to be an apt updating of the staid old "2". But then, one day, whilst just bopping about the intarweb, I came upon the Fisher Broadcasting site and, knowing that KATU is part of a multi-state constellation of broadcast outlets, started looking at her brothers and sisters (I've always felt "2" was a feminine number, but nevermind that now).

I found that not just KATU, but all the television broadcast outlets had adopted the same look. Peep this:

Clockwise from top left: KEPR-19, Tri-Cities, WA; KVAL-13, Eugene; KIMA-29, Yakima, WA; KBCI-2, Boise ID (the network logo does not seem to be mandatory, as can be seen with the KVAL logo (which also happens to be CBS). It's clear from this (not to mention the logos on the KVAL Wikipedia page–KVAL co-owns KCBY-11, Coos Bay OR and KPIC-4, Roseburg OR), to state rather the obvious, that the relogoing of KATU is part of a co√∂rdinated graphic branding strategy to unify the Fisher station with a Fisher "look". Even the websites are similarly designed: Compare KATU's site to KVAL's. If you have the time and inclination you can surf over to Fisher's stations page and view the whole setup.

Unifying the station identities like this accomplish two things; imparts to the consumer that the areas served are served by a regional entity with a local flavor, meaning that any goodwill Fisher has gets leveraged all over the Northwest, and brings the stations' ownership from something hidden to something subtly stated.

Likely this is lost on a great many of the viewers; after all, probably the last thing on a KVAL viewer's mind is that their local TV station is owned by the same group that owns KATU, KOMO, etc. But to Fisher, at least, it will make a difference, and maybe that's all that's important.

And it is a clean, simple, and effective treatment for television, which is always a winner.

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6 comments:

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Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

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Idaho Radio Buff said...

Hi, I stumbled upon your link from Oregon Media Insiders. Of note, KOMO has slightly changed their logo. So, perhaps some 'updating' is coming across all of Fisher. I know we used the same KIDK logo in use now when I was working there in 2001. However, KBCI is now "CBS 2 Eyewitness News" and sports much bolder graphic presentation. *shrug*

I really like what you said though, and if they abandon the common look I'll miss it.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Thanks for the comment...

Subjectively speaking, I'm of two minds about the ID uniformity. To be completely honest, I actually liked the "old" 2 of KATU better. I don't have anything against the current look, but the old look had a great deal of history associated with it. It was familiar and cheerfully reassuring.

Ironically, through the Sixties and a portion of the Seventies, the name of KATU's news broadcasts were Eyewitness News. This is particularly interesting because, if Wikipedia's entry on Eyewitness News is to be believed, the name defines a format that was originated by local stations of the CBS network.

The suggests that KBCI is returning to its roots in a way.

The station's website still has the Fisher overall look to it, though, I notice.

Ben said...

Hi, popping up here again. After using the blue and white since at least 2001, KIDK re-branded similar to KBCI's "CBS 2 Eyewitness News" but is now using the CBS Eye and KIDK 3 "Watching out for you" ughhhh

Also, Fisher must really like forking out for that trademarked (at least I'd assume) 'Eyewitness News' phrase.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

@Ben: thanks for that...I think. That logo's gonna give me bad dreams...

When you said "Watching out for you" and said they used the CBS eye, I thought maybe it was just a little too "friendly". When I saw the rendering on their homepage, though, I flinched!

Gah! Sure they're watching out for me...that big block is coming for my head and they want to catch me full on target...DUCK, HERE COMES THE KIDK LOGO...

LOL...thanks.