idsgn (a design blog)

Coco’s new ’do

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September 30 2010

Conan logo, before and after

Conan O’Brien unveils the logo for his upcoming show on TBS.

Back in February we reported on the new Tonight Show logo, following Jay Leno’s controversial takeover of the show (briefly) hosted by Conan O’Brien. This November, Conan O’Brien will make his return to television with a new show on TBS called, simply, Conan.

The logo for this new series puts the spotlight on O’Brien’s trademark red hair. A defining feature since his start on television in the nineties (as highlighted on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1996), it has become even more iconic in recent months. Throughout NBC’s highly-publicized Tonight Show controversy, O’Brien won mass public support as he was pushed away from his show. Fans embraced ‘Team Coco’ with t-shirts, artwork, and sold-out tours that seemed to have one visual theme in common: the famous red hair.

Various ‘Team Coco’ campaigns and promotional material

With a new TV series, TBS (rightfully) capitalizes on the ‘Team Coco’ movement—hair and all. Suddenly it seems O’Brien has become everyone’s favorite talk show host, and what could be more appropriate for the show’s logo than everyone’s favorite typeface: Gotham? Sure, you could complain about the odd alignment and coloring (which unintentionally puts focus on ‘—NAN’), or the imperfectly-drawn hairdo (is that a flyaway?), but it seems to work here.

Not everyone feels the same way. “The new Conan logo has been revealed. Sadly it looks like someone took only 5 minutes to draw the hair in Illustrator,” complained Minneapolis-based The Nerdery on Twitter, even going as far as giving the logo a quick makeover of their own:

Conan’s official logo (left) with some suggestions by The Nerdery (right)

Personally, I like the messy hair—it has a degree of uncertainty which seems to fit perfectly with Conan’s personality.

As mentioned on, the new Conan logo was designed by Rob Ashe, Dan Dome, and Eric McGilloway. A hair-less version, as well as a corresponding logo for O’Brien’s production company Conaco have also been spotted in recent weeks:

Conan logo spotted in a TBS promotional video (left) with corresponding Conaco logo (right)

Logo variation for light backgrounds, seen in this desktop wallpaper from

TBS’s obsession with O’Brien’s hair goes beyond the logo. Last month, the network aired four promotional videos all centered around O’Brien’s famous ’do. Clever, but how long until these hair jokes grow tired?

Promotional videos from TBS, how long until these hair jokes grow tired?

Filed under: branding

By Skylar Challand