+ HR = 3 doesn’t even impress professional designers

Near universal rejection of TV3’s new logo by the public is one thing, but if you can’t even get professionals on board with it, you have to wonder where it went wrong.

A leading New Zealand brand designer has panned television channel Three’s rebrand as looking “like a logo for a party pill”.

Jonathan Sagar is executive creative director of brand development agency Voice, and in his 40 years in the design industry has worked with major clients including Vodafone, KPMG, Farmers and O-I Glass.

He thought the new Three logo was not a bad piece of design – but it wasn’t the right look for the TV station’s brand, and ran the risk of alienating some segments of the channel’s viewership.

It would be consistent with alienating the audience in most other ways as well.   

“It’s all too happy, too playful, too funky, too trendy … It looks like a logo for a party pill or something,” he said.

The new look, which replaces the TV3 brand the channel has used for the past 15 years, uses a + symbol for the “T” and an = symbol for the first “E” in the word “three”. A video explaining the brand change explains the symbols are used because “You + Us = Three”.

Explaing is losing.  And “You + Us = Three”… not a single person out of a million would have taken that from the logo.

“It’s not particularly well-executed. The ‘T’ doesn’t look like a ‘T’, the weights of the equals symbol don’t match the “E”, the whole thing looks like it’s crooked.”

He said the new logo might appeal to savvy young people, but for older viewers it could be confusing and alienating.

“You have to learn how to say it. Now that’s okay for Sonos, or Fitbit or something that’s really cool like that, but for a TV station with a wide audience, you’re pushing sh** uphill, basically. My mother watches Three, and she’s going to be going, ‘How do I say that?'”

“Our job as visual communicators is to simplify life and connect to consumers. There’s nothing wrong with disruption, but it has to be appropriate, and personally I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Putting a full stop after NZME was stupid.  Newshub was stupid.  And this is also stupid.

But they won’t hear us.  They will be happy with the ‘attention’ it has gathered.

In the end, a logo doesn’t make people watch TV.  Or not watch TV.   But it does affect what people feel and think about a company.  And that specific logo simply reinforces what the industry have felt about Mediaworks for some time:  they’re a bloody joke.

Many have suggested the rebranding was “trying too hard”, with one Stuff commenter suggesting the rebranding was like “lipstick on a pig.”

A skinny, ailing pig.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.