13 December 2007

[logo_design] Channel Surfing: On The 6's

1183. We dive back into the 2-13 world of the VHF dial; we have weather and traffic, on the 6's.


KAUZ, Channel 6, Wichita Falls TX, has a free and fun 6 that has a kind of cool unexpected shadow under the ascender:




Also, the CBS eye is in an interesting and unexpected place. Texoma, for what it's worth, is the name for the community around the Texas-Oklahoma border centering on Wichita Falls and named in the inimitable portmanteauish way those in the south-central part of the US seem to like naming some of their regional area regions.


KBBL TV and radio broadcasts to the town of Springfield. We weren't able to find the logo, but here's what their radio transmission tower looks like:


KCEN, channel 6 Waco TX, does a pretty creative trick with the 6 that makes it look like a Möbius strip being constructied. And, of course, the Lone Star, which by now needs no introduction:


I kept wanting to call this one KMDFM-TV, Channel 6. Whatever you want to call it, it's localed in Beaumont TX:


KIVI, Channel 6, Boise ID, has an interesting design, but I find the tagline "Today's 6" funny–when my mind hears today's 6, it offers the question but what about tomorrow:


Hey, you Palm Springsian! I got some news for you! Listen! C'mere! KMIR! ...



And don't think I won't come over there. I'm built for speed, as you can see. This peacock is slowing me down a bit, though.

And now a little hometown pride, here's my local CBS station, KOIN:



It's pretty effective, and at least they aren't channeling news (that's KGW's side of the street). The Circle-6 might be construed as an attempt at a visual pun on the homophonic prospect of the station's call being commonly pronounced "coin", but surprisingly, they don't exploit that much. Legend says that the call actually stands for Know Oregon's Independent News; the newspaper that originally started KOIN was The Portland News, a long-defunct independent newspaper.

Update, 25 Sep 2008; John Christopher Burns Design, an Atlanta-based consultancy that also did the KGW NorthWest NewsChannel 8 branding, came up with with a brand-refresh for Portland's venerable KOIN: KOIN Local 6:


The new, more sophisticated look includes a type set comprising Frere-Jones "Gotham" and the font Officina, and uses the dark blue stripe on the bottom to brand each individual newscast (KOIN Local 6 Early, KOIN Local 6 at 6:00, etc). We think it nifty; the conversation on Oregon Media Insiders tended toward the raucous caucus.


Moving back into the dryland, we have KOTV, Channel 6, Tulsa OK. The design cleverness here isn't the type, but what they do with it. The "shadow-box" area the 6 fits in is particularly interesting:




It's KPVI, it's in Pocatelllo ID, it uses an open-counter 6, and it's channeling the news (it comes first, you know):



KRIS, Corpus Christi TX, Channel 6: the peacock better watch its P's at Q's, if it knows what's good for it (here's a hint: don't mess with Texas).


Actually, I enjoy this logo–I just wanted to fit the Don't Mess with Texas joke in there somewhere.

There's a lot of interest in the KSBY (San Luis Obispo, CA) logo, but the obvious obliquing of the tagline is a bit distracting:



KVIE, Channel 6, PBS for Sacramento, doesn't feature a 6 in, but does do some neat little design trick with it's logo in the V:




SNN News 6 is a cable channel in Sarasota FL seen on Cable 6. I always find it interesting when cable stations use the channel-number conceit conventionally reserved to broadcast, and despite using the design cliche of polished metal texture, the dark "NEWS" letterforms cause it all to actually work rather well:



WATE, WATE ... I got some news for you, but only if you live in Knoxville TN:



WCNC, Channel 6, Charlotte NC, is another station that doesn't want you to know what its over the air channel is ... and the tagline, while the possessive apostrophe might seem to be in an awkward place, is actually descriptive since Charlotte is hard by the NC/SC state line, so broadcasts to a wide area of both states:



WCSH, Portland ME, does a workmanlinke job with its 6–not exciting, but gets the job done:



WCTV, Channel 6 Tallahassee, also hides it's over-the-air channel number, and uses the historically important Eyewitness News moniker for personality. The treatment looks something like the KEPR/KIMA/KIDK treatment, but the typeface seems different:


WDSU, Channel 6, New Orleans, is not just "on your side", it's "on your side", which means to me it's on my side. In that case, I'm thinking biopsy:



WECT, Channel 5, Wilmington NC, with a lower-thirds-friendly identity:




Channel 6, the FOX station in Milwaukee WI, does a clever and unexpected thing with the boundary between the red and the blue following the line of the X. Also notable is the use of a Helvetica-ish face for the numeral and the supporting word NEWS; it's much more designed than your usual FOX station logo just because they used some other font than what the rest of the FOX stations seem to use. A little design goes a long way when the field is pretty generic.

One thing to know about this is that the station's call is WITI, and this is notable because this is the only time I'll use the words FOX and NEWS and anything sounding like "witty" in intentional proximity to each other:


The way the yellow and orange colors on that bottom stripe divide on the line continued from the upper red-blue part is also a fairly witty thing to do.

WJAC, Jonestown PA, uses a 6 we've see before with a gradient we've seen elsewhere as well. When seen as a station logo, the WJAC call replaces the NEWS in the logo:



WJBF, Augusta GA, uses a close-paren and a font (and approximate word positioning) that we've seen elsewhere. You can't fight fashion, of course:



Though the 6 being filled with a light gray-blue-white gradient is a welcome change–stations like to use a warm gradient in there.

WKMG, Orlando's channel 6, has an energetic 6 in a red box, and shows the good taste in unapologetically using Eurostile (which sounds sarcastic but it's not; I like Eurostile):



WLNE, Channel 6, Providence RI–name the design trope here:



If you guessed overlapping the network logo to create a connection, you're right. Not that it's a bad thing (remember, like a cliche, a trope is a tool and is neither good nor evil), as it encourages you to read it the way they want to be known: ABC 6.

I just enjoy WLNS's (Lansign, MI) logo:




WOWT Channel 6, Omaha; 6 in a box with bleed, and the peacock providing coverage you can count on:




WPSD, Channel 6, Paducah KY–not exciting, but I like the way the call sign is included within the blue box that contains the 6 (though it is hard to see against a background just about as blue):




I love WPVI Channel 6's (Philly) 6-logo. It reminds me about when every station did a little overdesign on thier number to really distinguish it (I recall a dimly-remembered KOIN 6 logo with the 6 having sharp corners and curved lines so that the counter actually resembled a TV screen–back in the day, oh!). This really makes me smile:




WRGB Channel 6, Albany, likes them some Mandate:




WRTV in Indianapolis elides the W so they can let you know, Indianapolis, that this is "Our TV 6" (community is a Good Thing™). There is a lot of good cleverness in this logo, from the way the background color changes on the letterform edge, to the way the letterforms align, to the way the blue is defined by the right of the 6:




The WRTV modern news logo trades on the design of the 6, which merges with the stylised 6 in a way that respects the open line down the middle of the glyph form:



WTVJ, Miami, wants to be known as NBC 6. The charm of the warm colors and the condensed NBC which looks to be something like Copperplate actually kind of win me over:



WTVR, Richmond VA ... can we say Mandate? Yes, yes we can:




WVVA 6, Bluefield WV, uses a face that looks a little dated:



FOX 6, San Diego, like XRIO 2 in Texas, is a station based in US Territory (San Diego) that's licensed in Mexico (Tijuana in this case). Not much to say about the design–nothing other than standard styles at work:

That's it for the sixes. Were at sixes and sevens here, my friends: for the next installment in a day or two, dust off your spurs, put on your boots, and saddle up ... and I'll meet you at the Circle 7 Ranch.

Herewith, your musical number:


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You mention that you loved WPVI Philly's logo... I do too. I vaguely remember the exaggerated 6 in KOIN's logo, but who can forget the uber-wide 2 over at KATU?

Interesting note regarding WPVI: Action News has dominated Philly news for decades, and they don't often mess with the broadcast other than subtle chyron changes and that sort of thing. I lived outside Philly for a few years in the late 90's, and when I arrived in 1997, the weather was still being done with adhesive numbers and logos...

If you've never seen an Action News broadcast, the open and especially the music will reflect the extent to which they don't want to mess with something that works. Pretty retro. At one point they changed the music to a more orchestral variety, and the first night it aired, the station was simply bombarded with complaints. The new music was immediately pulled.

I guess it proves that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

@ Anonymous:

You mention that you loved WPVI Philly's logo... I do too. I vaguely remember the exaggerated 6 in KOIN's logo, but who can forget the uber-wide 2 over at KATU?

Oh, I do love that 6 ... and I was fond of the old KOIN 6, but I adored (and still do) the squat, pompadoured 2 that KATU used back in the day. It was large and in charge.

Actually, to make a confession, I thought it was kind of dowdy. Then came the Fisher corporate look. Then I realized it was kind of special.

All is forgiven with the current swanlike 2 in the canted square. I love that logo as much as the old 2.

Interesting note regarding WPVI: Action News has dominated Philly news for decades, and they don't often mess with the broadcast other than subtle chyron changes and that sort of thing. I lived outside Philly for a few years in the late 90's, and when I arrived in 1997, the weather was still being done with adhesive numbers and logos

According to WPVI's Wikipedia page, they actually invented the so-called "Action News" format. The entry makes for some interesting reading.

This reminds me of back in the late 70's/early 80's, the emerging fad seemed to be to do your newscast on a newsroom-like set, or in your newsroom if you could, and that was Newsroom 6, where the anchors (including Mike Donahue, who had very disco-licious hair back then) would be up front and the real KOIN working newsroom would be behind them, and there was Dr. John Walls, still using a big squeaky marker to write the stats on the map.

KOIN didn't mess with things for an awful long time either. Pretty lights are fun, but sometimes, the old fashioned works well – and doesn't really seem all that dated.

If you've never seen an Action News broadcast, the open and especially the music will reflect the extent to which they don't want to mess with something that works. Pretty retro. At one point they changed the music to a more orchestral variety, and the first night it aired, the station was simply bombarded with complaints. The new music was immediately pulled

In my reading about Cleveland's channel 5, WEWS, I found that, for a few years between about 1999 and 2003 or so, they abandoned their familiar "Circle 5" logo for a more generic, "NewsChannel-y" look. I understand people hated, hated, hated it. Today, WEWS uses an ever-so-slightly updated version of the Circle 5, leaving the redesign in a sort of "New Coke" limbo.

Mess with success all you want ... but be ready to go back to the old tried and true when your viewers give the thumbs down. Not everybody is a designer, but everyone recognizes design – everyone reacts to it.

Anonymous said...

Hey,
Interesting blog about Channel 6 logos from different parts of the country. However, I was surprised to see nothing mentioned about WSYX-TV in Columbus, OH. You might want to check that station's website out (www.wsyx.com).