Syfy was originally launched as the Sci-Fi Channel on September 24, 1992. Its original visual identity borrowed heavily from classic films and cliches of the genre. This logo consisted of a planet with a ring, made to look like Saturn, with "SCI-FI CHANNEL" written on it.
Sci-Fi Channel was renamed as Sci Fi in March 1999, dropping the hyphen and the word "CHANNEL" from the name.
A new look for Sci Fi was launched on December 2, 2002 with the launch of the miniseries Taken. The new look was created with help from Lambie-Nairn of London. The network also launched a new image campaign with the tagline "If", which expresses the limitless possibilities of the imagination. Identification bumps depicted surreal situations such as a baby breathing fire, as well as a woman in a stately sitting room kissing a bug-eyed, big-eared animal; it is spelled with the first "I" and the "F" of the channel name. The logo is a modified version of the Saturn mark.
On March 16, 2009, NBCUniversal announced that Sci Fi would be rebranded as Syfy. Network officials also noted that, unlike the generic term "sci fi", which represents the entire genre, the term "Syfy" as a sensational spelling can be protected by trademark and therefore would be easier to market on other goods or services without fear of confusion with other companies' products. This is empathized by the abandonment of the planet motif.
The only significant previous use of the term "Syfy" in relation to science fiction was by the website SyFy Portal, which became Airlock Alpha after selling the brand to NBC Universal (represented by a shell company) in February 2009 for $250,000.
The name change was greeted with initial negativity, with people deliberately mispronouncing "Syfy" as "sifee" or "seefee" to make fun of the name change. The parody news anchor Stephen Colbert made fun of the name change on The Colbert Report by giving the channel a "Tip of the Hat" for "spelling the name the way it's pronounced" and noting that "the tide is turning in my long fought battle against the insidious 'soft C'". The new name took effect on July 7, 2009. Syfy has since added reality shows and edged further from strictly science fiction, fantasy and horror programming.
The new name was rolled out on screen on July 7, 2009. The on-air-look for the channel was developed by the London-based studios Proud Creative and ManvsMachine.
On May 11, 2017, Syfy unveiled a new logo, a new slogan ("It's a Fan Thing"), and new imaging, which it adopted on June 19 in honor of the channel's 25th anniversary. The new branding aims to re-position the channel back towards targeting fans of the fantasy and sci-fi genres; network head Chris McCumber explained that the new logo was meant be a "badge" that could be used across its array of programming.