18 December 2007

[logo_design] Channel Surfing: On The 8's

1194. Continuing up the VHF dial we now have news and information, headlines and station logos ... on the 8's. Let's get started.

One of the things we'll be seeing as we run the 8's is that stations with a channel number of eight seem just a little more willing to play sound games with the call sign and the depiction of the number. The number 8, being similar to a minuscule 'g', makes it kind of easy, as the logo for KAET, Phoenix (also pronouncable as "K-Eight" (I was hooked on phonics at an early age)) shows–as well as just being a cool use of color and shadow, and the way the PBS logo is designed into it:

KAIT, Channel 8, Jonesboro Arkansas, also plays the "K-Eight" game, but has a clever inspiration in recapitulating the call sign in the numeric part of the logo. Whenever you talk of this station, you'll be saying "K-Eight":

KCCI, Des Moines IA, goes with a "Classy" obliqued 8, understated teal rectangle, and a familiar majuscule type face and an angle line between it and the city that we've seen before:

KFMB, San Diego, has an 8 that's catching the wave. We enjoy this one:

And our hometown Channel 8, KGW Portland, OR, is responsible for channelling news in this parts. It's not bad, and it succeeds by being buisnesslike, and is apt and strong, but (nothing personal, KGW) this one is my least favorite of the classic major network stations locally (of course, it could be that this whole "NewsChannel" thing, after looking at an armload of logos, is starting to feel a bit played):

KHNL, Honolulu, uses a script 8 that looks hand-drawn in a red and blue box. In the blue box, the Peacock with the KHNL in NBC standard logo face (you can tell by the acute points on the top left and bottom right of the N. It's an interesting approach that works, although the free script 8 doesn't harmonize completely with the rest of the design:

KIFI, Idaho Falls Idaho, is assertive and local with a burly 8 and a bold, sans-serif mien:

KJCT is channel 8 in Grand Junction CO. The news logo is effective if somewhat uninspired, but the 8 is kinda interesting:

KLAS, Las Vegas, has an 8 evocative of a microphone, a clean, minimal look, and a interesting gold tone look that lends–dare we say–a touch of "KLAS" ...

This is KLKN, Channel 8, Lincoln NE ... home of the nightly 8-ball:

It kind of looks like some of the Channel 5's we saw, but this circle actually works better with the 8 than with the 5 (actually, depending how you do the 8, if you want to enclose it in a shape, you can do it in either a recgangle or a circle. 8 is a versatile number.

KNOE, Monroe LA, has V that shelters the 8. This makes for good eyeflow, and I enjoy the way the call is on the crossbar of the T and the blue stripe doesn't back the whole collection up. Downside: it looks like the typeface for one of those late 70's-early 80's afternoon talk shows.

KOLO, Channel 8 Reno, deserves bonus points for having a unique tag line ("News NOW"), having its call in a face inspired by Eurostile, and the graphical treatment of the 8 being harmonious with the box that backs it up:

KOMU, Columbia MO, has a very dynamic exciting 8 view, reminding me of a lens flare. The translucent-gell effects that would be overkill anywhere else, make complete sense here.

KPAX, Channel 8, part of a group of western Montana stations (channel 4, Billings, uses the same design (and background on its web page):

Channel 8, KSBW in the Salinas/Monterrey area of central Cali, has a familiar typographic treatment on the callsign and again that angle-line separating the call from the cities of service. TV logo design sure is incestuious, no?

News Channel 8, KTUL, Tulsa OK, shows how the 8 (a round shape) can fit harmoniously into a right rectangle. Yep, they're on OUR side too, dang it ...

Remember, Guam is actually part of US territory, not a foreign country, and it's obviously west of the Mighty Miss, so a station there has a K call. Sadly, the US doesn't have a G, so they took that one as far as it will go. As far as the design, the gradient on the 8 is an interesting touch, as is the recapitulation of the Peacock as the background in the lighter part of the logo.

If you use FOX empire style, then things start to look the same–boring–really quick. There's a ton of unoriginality and low design, as we've seen, amongst FOX affiliates. but KVUE, Channel 8, NOLA, figures out how to be different without being different by muscling the forms all the way up to the boundaries of the box and putting a warm gradient behind the 8. And if anyone has the right to call themselves a "Weather Authority" and put a cool little "shazam" in the logo, it would be a NOLA station.

Here's another cable channel that borrows from broadcast design, and once again the "News Channel" trope. "NewsChannel 8" is a Washington DC area cable channel and that's all they do, news.  Points for strong design, though not terribly original:

News 8 Austin is also a cable channel, in Austin TX (naturlich). Points here for using a rather refined serif font and the nice touch of the "wavy" background.

WAGM TV, channel 8, Arostook/Presque Isle ME, has an unexpected detail–the red stripe carrying the call goes through the 8's lower counter and behind the glyph form. This is really quite cool and delightful to look at:

WAGM also takes the boring FOX empire style and actually freshens it up for its DT 8.1 identity. Note the different O in the FOX, the use of soft shadow, and the desaturated, almost pastel red backing up the 8 which is also clearly not in the FOX logo type style. Good on them.

WAKA, Selma-Montgomery AL, has kind of an amateurish look to it (but that might just be the resolution of the graphic I had):

WCHS, Charleston WV, does a neat trick with light that makes it look as though it's a sign, lit from above–it kind of looks like architecture.

WDAZ, Grand Forks, has a kind of gawky looking 8. The logo works alright, but it's not one of my favorites. I'd work with that 8 a bit.

WDSE, the PBS station for the greater Duluth area, gets big bonus points for doing just one interesting thing with the letterforms. Like I keep saying, sometimes a little design goes a long, long way.

Westminster CO also has a cable channel that uses the broadcast rationale. Not a great deal of design here, but with a clean design like this, it doesn't have to have much. When something is designed instead of just stuck up there, it looks like someone did something meaningful. leaving the words "channel eight' in minuscule is the sort of stroke that makes it look like someone thought for at least a moment about what they were doing with it. That, to me, is why this one works.

WFAA, Dallas-Forth Worth, is looking seductive in knocked-out spaces and black PVC ... seriously, it's a certain kind of clever.

News Channel 8, WFLA, Tampa-St Pete, borrowing the look and tagline from at least half-a-dozen other station, complete to coverage you can count on. This is a sad logo. You'd think with a call like WFLA, you could at least have a tag like Florida's Station or a design that riffed on the state somehow. Get thee to a design consultant, now! I, for example, am available. Just saying.

I enjoy WGAL's straight, dead-simple treatment. A little boring, maybe, so I can't really defend this one–it's a subjective judgment. It just hits me the right way.

WGHP Winston Salem, NC. FOX empire style:

WINJ, Channel 8, Columbus OH, is an odd bird, according to its Wikipedia entry. A religious station, with such a low number, might find some way to be more than a low-power station ... anyway, the design the station's logo before going all-church (when it is up and broadcasting) isn't going to win any awards, but it's not all that bad really. I enjoy the play of black, off-white, and red in it, and the word "columbus" in all-miniscule works for me.

WISH TV, Indianapolis, does a good job creating tension in obliquing the 8 and making a bold station call play against a light "TV". If WAKA took this approach (and ditched the gradient) it would look a lot more polished.

WJW, FOX 8, Cleveland. There's a play of light and shadow about the logo, but other than that, who cares?:

WKBT, LaCrosse WI, is at least pleasing in the choice of font for the 8, and with the Eye providing coverage you can count on. Other than that, I get no design sense from it other than the fashionble use of swooshes and gradated backgrounds.

Not just having a cool call sign, WOOD Channel 8 serving Grand Rapids, MI, seems to draw on the sober, structural images that the building material calls forth to come up with a classic look and feel. Classic letterforms (looks kind of like Bodoni), no majuscules, and a 1-color peacock. Nicely done.

WQAD, serving the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, has a modern and shiny 8 and a bit of Old Man River flowing behind. And even though it's a News Channel, the differing sizes of the type make the use of that played-out metaphor bearable:

WRIC, channel 8, Richmond VA, gets the prize for just having a damn cool design. By elongating the counters on the eight we get something that looks like a DNA double-helix, which is memorable, and the spiral character of the shape is just memorable on its own.

Station KUAM, in the Pacific on Guam, has its counterpart in the US Virgin Islands–WSVI, channel 8, St. Croix, USVI. W, because it's east of the Mississip' thalweg, it has a rather cute logo that plays on its tropical mien. The website seems kind of amteurish, tho.

WMTW, Channel 8, Portland Maine, has a dramatic 8 that looks rather like it's flying to the rescue:

WTNH, New Haven CT, takes a businesslike tack:

WVLT, Knoxville TN, has a logo that is kind of the opposite of KSND's logo. The tagline, Volunteer TV, strikes me a funny in an offhand way. Now, I know it's home state pride–Tennessee is the Volunteer State. But Volunteer TV makes me think it's actually staffed by volunteers (that is, unpaid people, rather than Tennessee residents), and makes me wish there was such a thing as KBOO-TV, but I'm digressing.

And finally, channel 8, WWCP, Johnstown PA. If you're going to use FOX empire style, then at least harken back to the days of the silver screen, when FOX still had some diginity:

Addendum,  26 Jan 2010: This example, contributed by Matt Locker (thanks, Matt), depicts the broadcast-y logo of a campus cable station at William Paterson College (now William Paterson University), of Wayne NJ, which was known as Channel 8 – WPHT:

That's some nice, stylized type there. It reminds me a little of the KGW-Channel 8 design in the late 1970s, though it looks a little more like a completely-designed solution, rather than some font out-of-the-box. The letters of the word harmonize completely with the numeral 8. The logo above and to the left, NCTV, stood for National College Televison, which must have been a multi college consortium. And the WPHT call-sign moniker? The PHT stood for three campus dorms, Pioneer, Heritage, and Towers. That's what I call keeping it local! Thanks again, Matt!

And that's it for the journey through the 8's, good peoples. Join us for the next chapter of Channel Surfing when we take it to the nines. And, of course, we go out with a tune:

Tags: , , ,

1 comment:

Logo Design Services said...

Excellent post ! You make some brilliant points very nice realization. keep it up