Once, Twice, Three Times a Logo

by in View All Posts, May 18th, 2009

Everyday in these hallowed halls, I walk past our logo, encompassed in our fabulous new graphics look. The colors and textures of the logo you see that accompany Food Network shows on TV, or on print campaigns (like billboards or on taxi’s) are all created by my department – Creative Services. Toot, toot.

Then one day it hit me like a crème pie filled with hand whipped lemon meringue, what’s up with the logo?! Where has it been over the years, and why did it go there?

You might have Wikipedia, but I have SVP/Marketing, Creative & Brand Strategy, Michael Smith, who gave me the history of our network logo. Here’s the microwaved version.

Food Network, or to be more accurate at the time, TV Food Network, launched at 6:00am, on November 23, 1993. The first show was called Food and Fitness. Was that a tumbleweed that just rolled by? Ha! Well, okay, then maybe you recognize the 6:30a show, How to Boil Water, which ended up becoming one of the network’s early standouts. And if you were up that early in the morning on that day, then you should remember this logo accompanying all of those great flagship shows.

Ah, summer 1997, when a little show called Emeril Live was changing the landscape of television and the definition of star power, the talk at Food Network was also of change. It was felt that the playful, almost cartoonish feel of the original logo no longer correctly reflected the direction that the network was headed in, or the audience that was growing with it. It was decided that the brand needed to ooze a kind of stylish elegance. So the branding company of Pittard Sullivan was brought in to come class up the stamp of the network. And literally overnight, as what is referred to as a light switch (because there is no transition overtime in the on-air look, a date is chosen, and on that day the entire on-air look is changed) it was in with this new…logo:

By the end of 2002, 30 Minute Meals was dominating the airwaves and reflecting the new family structure in society. And that reflection was not only diverse, but versatile. The discussion revolved around making the logo into a disk shape, which would give the brand a versatile, succinct and memorable look, allowing it to expand its reach. The single, or double circle look could be used from everything from Foodnetwork.com, to partnerships. And of course it was also important that the logo had some room to move…spin, tilt, and roll. Keeping it in the family, the Creative Services On-air and Print Design Directors at the time, JC Cancedda and Stos DeVaris, worked together to come up with something all encompassing (pun intended). And January 1st, 2003 (another light switch situation) the logo that you still see (and love) today was introduced to the world.

We love our logo, but I love hearing your thoughts, so which one is your fav?

Happy Monday,
Sommer, Creative Services

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Comments (13)

  1. Cheft says:

    Guess it would have to be the first logo, the one that started, that opened the network. I guess your wondering why, well I have been watching that long, when you had chef’s doing the shows, that was why I watched, to see what was happening in the world of cooking, I already knew how to be a home cook and was looking a way to refine my skills. I wanted to learn how to make my dishes and new dishes look like they were being served in a 5 star restaurant. Now days you have changed and are trying to reach an audience of people who need to learn home style like your momma should have taught you how to cook, not my network any more, do I still watch, yes but now I have to search for the chefs and their shows which seem to be getting fewer and farther between. So that my comments and my logo.

  2. Robin Koury says:

    Personally, I like all three and think each served a necessary purpose during their time. However, I am a fan of today’s logo and the meaning behind it. The new logo is all encompassing – welcoming and casual. Much like many of the shows featured on FN today. As a home cook I find the current logo and shows more approachable and empowering. Sommer, I really appreciate this post…Great work dishing out this information.

  3. Pearl says:

    Great info on the evolution of the logo! It is always interesting to uncover the origins of things, but particularly something as contemporary as Food Network’s logo. Your blogs continue to be entertaining!

  4. Tommie says:

    Very interesting, I would have never thought about the network or show logo having such a wide and varying history. You do learn something new every day.

  5. Liz says:

    I love that the first one is clearly a product of the early 90′s. I’m surprised it’s not wearing a plaid shirt!

    The final, current logo is pretty neato. Was there any color psychology behind the color red? Or did ya’ll just pick it cause it’s pretty?

  6. wd4jdo says:

    Part 1
    I agree with Cheft! My TV was almost never off of TVFN (TV Food Network).

    I remember all the programs like: "Chef Du Jour", "Taste" with David Rosengarten, and The Best of .. with Jill Cordes and Mark Silverstein, "Essence of Emeril", "Ready, Set, Cook" with Robin Young, "Too Hot Tamales" & “Tamales World Tour” both with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, "East Meets West" with Ming Tsai, "How to Boil Water" with Sean Donnellan and Cathy Lowe, et al, & loved them all. I even remember the previews my cable company had of "How To Boil Water" before the company got TVFN. The only thing missing was a program about all the tools & gadgets used for cooking & how to use them.

    Now… Can anyone tell me where to find TVFN, because all I can find is what looks like a cheap copy called "Food Network".
    cont…

  7. wd4jdo says:

    Part 2
    As for the logos, I like the first one, and the one at: http://foodnetworkaddict.blogspot.com/2008/04/tv-

    As for the current shows I watch Rachel Ray, Alton Brown, & Bobby Flay (but only when he's in the kitchen cooking). The only reality show I like is either the Japanese or American version of "Iron Chef".
    End

  8. Cherry says:

    I would give almost anything to go back in time and see the world in the last days before the Internet took off, before "Friends" became jaded, and when the "TV Food Network" was the silliest, most amateur, and most comforting thing to watch in the wee hours of the morning.

    wd4jdo got it right…where did that channel go?

  9. wd4jdo says:

    Hi,

    I think the Food Network needs it's OWN logo. I don't know how many other logos look like tho current one, but just look at:

    "http://www.thealarmclock.com/mt/archives/2006/07/cnet_buys_urban.html" or
    "http://www.tomsguide.com/us/slideshow/cnet-logo,0101-171991-0—-jpg-.html"

    For an example.

    WD4JDO

  10. Disappointed fan says:

    I agree, the network is steering the shows towards sensationalism and reality TV-like direction. I am very disappointed with all the new shows trying to compete for attention. I like the good old 'cooking shows' that tries to teach you some skills or new recipes. It does not offer that anymore.. I can't turn to it when ever I am free to catch a good show, I have to search for ones I like on the web. I am too busy to do this now, would prefer the 'old' programming. The network seems to be airing some competition or other that I have no interest in.

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