Arte is a Franco-German free-to-air television channel that shows cultural programming, similar to BBC Four. It is jointly run by the French public TV broadcaster, France Télévisions, and the German public broadcasters, ARD and ZDF. It has had practically the same logo since 1995, with a strip at the bottom of the word ‘arte’ cut off.

Arte is headquartered in Strasbourg, France, and it is predominantly French-controlled, even though both countries have an equal share in running the channel. Arte started out as La Sept (The Seventh) in 1989 in France, and French TV platforms always carry it at channel number 7, despite it not being named after the number (there is no fixed channel number in Germany). Programmes are in French and German; on the channel’s website, some programmes are available with English, Spanish and/or Polish subtitles. (ARTE is a French acronym for Association relative à la télévision européenne.)

The three German-speaking countries—Germany, Austria and Switzerland—have a similar cultural TV channel, 3sat, which is jointly run by those countries’ public broadcasters: ARD and ZDF in Germany, ORF in Austria and SRG SSR (via its German division SRF) in Switzerland.

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La Sept ident Arte logo 1992 Arte Logo 1995 20011
1989–1992 1992–1995 1995–2000 2001–2004
Arte logo Arte podium logos 2008 Arte Logo 2011 Arte Logo 2017
2004–2008 2008–2011 2011–2017 2017–present

La Sept

1986-1989 (prelaunch)



La Sept ident
LA 7 1988

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Arte has its origins in La Sept, a French educational and cultural channel. It was created in 1986 and started broadcasting in 1989, initially only via satellite and cable. It gained a wider audience when its was given a window on FR3 in 1990.

The channel's identity was created by Étienne Robial and Mathias Ledoux. It featured part of a big yellow trapezium with the name "La Sept" written on the side. The identity was accompanied by a muscial theme created by the British composer Michael Nyman.[1]



Arte logo 1992

During the late 1980s, there were talks between German and French governments about creating a Franco-German cultural television channel. Arte was set up during 1990 and 1991. Arte would take over after La Sept in France, while there was no real predecessor in Germany.

Arte was launched on 30 May 1992. In Germany it was only available on pay-TV providers, but thanks to the bankruptcy of French commercial channel La Cinq, Arte was allowed to take over its frequencies and broadcast terrestrially in France.[2]



Arte Logo 1995

On 2 January 1995, Arte adopted a new identity created by the British design agency Lambie-Nairn.


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A new identity was launched on 1 January 2001. At the same time, Arte stopped being an evening-only service, and started broadcasting from 2 p.m.

The new look was commissioned back in February 2000. After five years of artististic abstractions, the new look idents told stories that were closer to everyday life. The new look was created by the international branding agency Razorfish.[3]


Arte logo

Yet another new look, created by Velvet mediendesign, was introduced on 3 January 2004.[4]

"Arte's new design attaches to the principle of openness. The simplicity of lines translates the readability of the schedule, to which special care has been taken to respect the viewers. The stories, the colours, the music marks a real human warmth. In a general way, the screen reorganisation awakens the curiosity of the viewer. This is to surprise and to capture his attention."Text from Arte explaing the new look.


Arte podium logos 2008

Another look for Arte was launched on 6 September 2008. It was created by Luxlotusiner in Munich and Novaprod. In on-screen presentation, the Arte logo would now usually be seen on top of a 'cartridge' with bright gradients.



Arte Logo 2011

On 28 February 2011, Arte launched a new look once again, with Gotham as the corporate typeface.[6]


Arte Logo 2017

In March 2017, Arte rotated its logo by 90° and launched a new graphics package using the stencil font Barna. This graphics package was designed by Lambie-Nairn and The Partners.



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