What Comedy Central can teach about logo and colors?

by Ashvini on March 14, 2012 · 10 comments

in Business

Recently “Comedy central” TV channel launched itself in India. It was a lot of fun to watch a few of my favorite programs which till now could only be seen on internet. A few days back, I spent almost a full day watching various programs that were aired.

Comedy central logo

What strike me are the snippets shown in-between programs where channels show a clip from one of their programs and also listing of show timings. It employs really simple marketing that I have ever seen. The logo of comedy central are two Cs one inside the inverted other and black/white in color( I think). The screen is often divided into two parts with one solid colors in each part. The logo looks great on all backgrounds. So if there is an orange background, it  covers half the screen with some words on it in contrast to the background. If the background becomes dark, the words changed colors to give the best contrast. The backgrounds colors keep on changing in variety. It is an interesting medley of colors. The most remarkable thing is that there is not transparency in colors.

What can such simple usage of colors can teach us?

We use up a lot of time in creating logo and working with transparencies to give them an aura. We then worry about using colors that become the ideal background to logo’s foreground. Next, we twist and tweak the letters in logo as if we are trying to create an art out of them.

Logos with twisted characters and lots of colors have another problem. They are costly to print. The more color you use, the more complicated your design is, the more difficult the printing becomes.  Logos need to be as easy as possible. It is nice if you can design a logo just by hand.

Also logos are just starting point of your business. The way you conduct your business may lead to better recognition of logo and not vice versa.

This is my learning from Comedy Central awesome color play

  1. Create a very simple logo ( without twisted designs)
  2. Use contrasting colors with as much less transparency as possible
  3. Create business service or content that reinforces your logo


About The Author


Sabrina Sabino April 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hey cool! I never really noticed the backwards ‘C’ for Central! :D

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Amazingly simple isn’t it Sabrina :)

Sonia March 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I never thought of it in that way Ash. When I had my logo created, it was done professionally and I was fine with the design. Had I really thought about it, I might have done something different with the lettering in the name when with a different look.

Funny that you create a post about logos when I had been pondering to change and update the look of it anyway. I want something more definitive and closely related to my niche. It doesn’t have to be I know, but I know I want a new look. My current job just did theirs and is going through the process to re-brand everything, but it’s not as painful as I thought it would be. Thanks for the tip Ash!

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca March 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Woo! Great topic, Ashvini! I *LOVE* logos and branding.

I was a graphic designer + artist for a huge chunk of my life and have made hundreds (thousands?) of logos.

When I first started out, I copied the sexy vibe of other logos, and they looked nice, but had no “power”.

As I failed business after business, I studied branding more and more.

For me, a logo is an impactful, simplified expression of the main values + message your brand stands for. It’s an extension of understanding yourself and your values FIRST. Not “hey I want a good logo.” :)

Branding agencies get paid thousands and thousands of dollars to design a single logo, and it is not something just to pull out of your @$$. It’s something to be gentle with, evolve and work through.

It can be done quickly if you know how ;)

Eventually I was satisfied with Ryze’s logo, and it’s making an impact all over the community, and yes, it follows all the awesome tips you shared.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Hi Jason,

Welcome to my blog and thanks for this awesome comment. The logo at your site is cool. Simple and beautiful. When I had my own business, I used a lot of time selecting the design, colors, fonts. Even then I felt that the logo said too much. Maybe it was because of my lack of experience that I asked the designer to create really complex logo. With time I realized that simple logo is the best.

At this site you can see, its an “A” with a single white line. Please let me know what do you feel about it ?.
Its really great to hear from an experienced person :). Glad that you are here.

Bill Dorman March 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Interesting; do you maintain some simplicity for cost sake or do you go the unusual in an effort to stand out?

Logos and branding are quite the art and can be very effective is done right.

Comedy Central does have some good stuff from time to time; just like logos however, sometimes it’s over the top and they are trying too hard to be funny. But when I need a smile or laugh I usually make sure I stop by Comedy Central.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Hi Bill,
Even though I like Comedy Central programs I have also observed that they are showing really old shows here.
Your question is to the point. I am in favour of keeping it simple (without worrying about the cost aspect). I think simple fits in well everywhere and easy to print as well. :)

Adrienne March 21, 2012 at 12:41 am

I agree Ashvini! I think most people want the fancy stuff that will catch people’s eye but if you were to just go back to the basics, you’d find that the simpler the better. Or maybe that’s just me, I prefer simpler. To me they are easier to remember.

Great points you made and glad you got your TV show in your country now. Sounds like you’ve really been enjoying it! Good for you.

Now, have a great week.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

HI Adrienne,

Basics is the best isn’t it ?. I think that we spend too much time on putting up fancy stuff, while what matters in long term is customer satisfaction. :)

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca March 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Adrienne, fancy meeting you here :P

You make a very interesting point about simple v. complex.

I find that most of the people offering the fancy stuff (that we know about anyway), have a simple core and a logo/brand to rely on.

Then they branch out to fancy stuff.

I used to design all the most beautiful elegant stuff, but with no simple, pure brand to stand on, no one knew me.

Now with Ryze, things are as solid as the Earth ;)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: