Ding dong, the splat is dead. Starting this fall, all things Nickelodeon–that’s Nick at Nite, Nicktoons, Nick Jr. (formerly Noggin), and TeenNick (formerly the N)–will switch to lower-case, balloon-type logos, marking the cabler’s biggest makeover in 25 years.
According to Variety:
The decision to streamline the network identities came after [Nickelodeon execs] started putting all of the channels’ logos on the same business card–and decided that it looked like a mess.
“We wanted to clean it up and allow Nick to be the stamp on all of these channels,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nick and MTV Networks’ Kids and Family Group.
That ultimately meant jettisoning the familiar Nickelodeon “splat.”
“In asking ourselves if everything could live under the splat, we decided that the splat was dated,” she said. “It just couldn’t be done in a streamlined way.”
Already, the switch is ruffling fan feathers. “This new ’rounded typeface’ trend is spreading like the plague,” sniffed a commentor on design blog idsgn. On Columbus Impressions, an 11-year-old was in mourning: “I like the splatter because it looks alive. The new logo is too boring and lacks detail.”
“Nickelodeon has essentially given up on shape,” Cronan says. “Squint your eyes, and [the new logo] is basically an orange bar.” Adds Hibma: “I don’t know why they used a capital ‘K’ in the middle of all that lowercase type. Visually, it adds more weight to the round letters of ‘odeon,’ so your eye starts in the middle and reads to the right, then picks up from the beginning.”
A better strategy, they say, would have been to pick a distinct, non-text-based shape–much like the splat–and apply it to every Nickelodeon brand, so younger viewers would instantly recognize what they’re watching. “A new logo is supposed to excite you, inform you, and pique your curiosity,” says Cronan, referencing Jack in the Box’s recent makeover. “Nickelodeon shied away from the chance to do something great.”
In other words: Whoever killed the splat deserves to get slimed.