The new name of the proposed WarnerMedia-Discovery combined company was unveiled Tuesday as “Warner Bros. Discovery” — along with the visual representation of an “initial wordmark” that immediately drew derisive remarks from wags on social media.
Some observers criticized the new logo as either amateurish, dated-looking or both, with a design aesthetic more than a few noted was reminiscent of the 3D text effects available in Microsoft Word’s WordArt utility. Several cited the “Graphic design is my passion” meme, an implicit slam of the new logo.
“I’m just glad to see Hollywood embracing an austere vibe and obviously spending $0 dollars coming up with a name for the combination of Warner Bros. and Discovery while using a free clipart CD with Windows 95 to design the logo,” one Twitter commenter wrote.
“I feel like the new Warner Bros. Discovery logo is trying to go for cult status with this one,” another snarked. One quipped, “I had something like this as my screensaver in 1998. It rotated or twisted and moved around the screen.”
It’s worth noting that the image released Tuesday is not the final logo: Discovery says it is the “initial wordmark” for the new media conglomerate. The Discovery and AT&T agreement, under which WarnerMedia will be spun off and merged with Discovery, is projected to close in mid-2022.
Corporate rebranding efforts are often easy takedown targets. Such proverbial fish in a barrel, for example, have included Tribune Publishing Co.’s decision to redub itself Tronc, which elicited a wave of jokes a few years ago. (Eventually the company abandoned the Tronc name.) Verizon’s name for the merged AOL-Yahoo group — Oath — also was ultimately abandoned; the telco last month announced it was spinning off the digital media division.
The new logo for the proposed Warner Bros. Discovery includes the famous line “The stuff that dreams are made of” from the “Maltese Falcon,” spoken by Humphrey Bogart. The tagline, according to Discovery, is “an additional homage to the rich legacy of Warner Bros. and the focus of what the proposed company will be about.”
Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who is set to lead the new Warner Bros. Discovery combined entity, announced the new name Tuesday morning during a town hall with WarnerMedia employees that lasted about 45 minutes.
“Warner Bros. Discovery will aspire to be the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world — that is what the company will be about,” Zaslav said in a statement.
During the town hall, Zaslav told the WarnerMedia team, “We’re not coming in here thinking that we know all the answers. There is a ton we don’t know. And there’s certainly a whole bunch that you guys know a lot better than we do.”