By 2012, the VH1 brand had been largely unchanged for more than a decade. It was a successful run, but they recognized it was time for something fresh. Brand awareness was slipping as viewers had become increasingly more loyal to the shows than to the network.

In our exploration we looked at everything VH1 stood for, ultimately deciding we wanted them to take and embrace everything: the good, the bad and the ugly as their own. The key was finding a way to link the various pieces together, to create a simple connective tissue that could be easily implemented, adapted and instantly understood.

The Process

The Solution

We realized the answer was simple: a symbol that is both visual and verbal: plus. Plus speaks the language of VH1's viewers: short, textable bursts + descriptive search terms. It creates narrative by association and collection, not through curation or judgement. It speaks with hyperbole + overflowing enthusiasm for everything.

“Today's culture is more ecclectic than ever. The Plus allows us to put that mash-up mentality right at the heart of the brand.”
– Amanda Havey, VH1 CD

The Logo

The core strategy of the brand is embedded into the logo itself. In doing so we created a tag-mark: a logo that doesn’t need a tagline to communicate the brand story.

We saw equity in one of VH1’s pillars: nostalgia, and looked at their past to create a logo for their future, and in doing so, literally turned a negative VH-1 into a positive VH+1.

1980s Logo and New Logo

Logo Palette

Logo States

On Air

VH1’s own Plus One
Brand New >

VH1's Smart New Branding Takes a Backseat to the Content
Fast Company >

Cross Platform

Gretel not only defined the strategy and look - we kicked off other teams in implementing the system for web, mobile, print, and launch spots. The simplicity of the tools allow for endless expression.