Q: Now that Animal Planet has changed its logo, I feel less silly asking: Why was the M in the old logo sideways?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Because it was "playful" and because, "like any other wild animal or pet, it lies where it pleases -- on its side."

In short: because of branding.

That description comes from PR firm Dunning Eley Jones, which was charged with a full rebrand for the network back in 2008.

The sideways-M logo replaced the network's original one, which featured an elephant and a globe, and which the channel reportedly found too limiting -- it hoped to be known for more than just safari-type documentaries. And, indeed, its programming has expanded quite a bit in the years since.

Logo changes are always controversial -- some fans will always (vocally) prefer the original version. That said, the sideways-M logo was greeted with particular disapproval. A blog post from photocopy company Kwik-Kopy, for example, was quite hard on the switch, including it on a list of logo redesigns gone wrong.

"The logo falls down literally with the M now placed on its side in a horizontal position, which doesn't make much sense," Kwik-Kopy said. "Could it not fit? Is it meant to represent a fallen tree? … The logo appears to have lost its way."


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