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This article is about the American television channel. For other uses, see MTV (disambiguation).
This page only shows primary logo variants.
For other related logos and images, see:

Contents

1977–1981 (pre-launch) 1980–1981 (pre-launch) 1981–1994 1994–2010 2010–2021 2021–present
1977–1981 (pre-launch) 1980–1981 (pre-launch) 1981–1994 1994–2010 2010–2021 2021–present

MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television)[1] is an American television network owned by ViacomCBS through the MTV Entertainment Group subsidiary of its Domestic Media Networks division. Launched on August 1, 1981, the channel originally aired music videos and related programming guided by "video jockeys" (VJs), but expanded its programming in the 1990s to include original animation, comedy, drama, and reality television series. In the 2000s, it significantly downplayed its original focus on music in favor of reality programming, although it began to reintroduce old and new music shows to its line-up in 2016.

Sight on Sound

1977–1981 (pre-launch)

Sight on Sound - 1977.svg

Before MTV's official launch, Warner Cable (under its two-way interactive cable television system QUBE) launched a specialized channel called Sight on Sound in 1977, which would later evolve into MTV. A similar experiment was done on QUBE's channel C-3, which would later become MTV's sister network Nickelodeon in 1979.

MTV: The Music Channel

1980–1981 (pre-launch)

The Music Channel 1980.svg
Designer:  Manhattan Design
Typography:  ITC Eras Bold
Launched:  May 5, 1980

Before its official launch, MTV was originally known as MTV: The Music Channel. Its initial logo was created by Manhattan Design and finalized on May 5, 1980, but was later scrapped due to the designers' efforts to incorporate the MTV name into the logo being an "unqualified disaster", according to creative director Fred Seibert.[2]

MTV

1981–1994

MTV Logo 1981.svg
Designer:  Manhattan Design
(Patty Rogoff, Frank Olinsky)
Typography:  Helvetica Black (modified)
Kabel Black
Launched:  August 1, 1981

MTV was officially launched on August 1, 1981, with a logo designed by Manhattan Design's Patty Rogoff and Frank Olinsky under the creative direction of Fred Seibert (who, along with his partner Alan Goodman, would go on to oversee the rebrands of Nickelodeon, Lifetime, VH1, and The Movie Channel). The block letter "M" was sketched by Rogoff, and the scribbled word "TV" was spraypainted by Olinksky. Unlike most television networks at that time, MTV's logo was constantly branded with different colors, patterns and images on a variety of station IDs.

1994–2010

MTV 1994.svg
Designer:  Unknown
Typography:  Helvetica Black (modified)
Launched:  May 31, 1994

In 1994, the logo was slightly redrawn, with the "MUSIC TELEVISION" text changed to Helvetica Black.

2010–2021

MTV (2010).svg
Designer:  Dan Cassaro, Crobin, Isabelle Rancier[3]
Typography:  Helvetica Neue Black
Launched:  February 8, 2010

Since 2008 on the premiere of FNMTV, the network had shown a chopped down version of its logo during most of its on-air programming. This became MTV's main logo on February 8, 2010, when it made its official debut on its website. This logo is essentially a cropped and updated version of the simplified variant, with the "MUSIC TELEVISION" text eliminated, most likely to reflect the network's dramatic decrease in music-related programming (although it started to shift its focus back in 2016).

2021–present

MTV 2021 Retro.svg
Designer:  Loyalkaspar
Typography:  Gravity Grotesk (custom-designed)
Launched:  February 5, 2021

On February 5, 2021, MTV began using a revised logo in tandem with the 2010 version, tweaking the overall design for improved readability in small-scale usage. The main logo for MTV features the classic blue, red and yellow color palette (commonly used against a black background)[4], while a single-color version is used for specific piece of content, which does away with the 3D effect[5] (much akin to the current VMA variant).

This logo is being used on most on-air promos for its current programming, as well as the Paramount+ streaming service and the Entertainment Group and Entertainment Studios divisions. It started being used more prevalently and internationally following MTV's 40th anniversary, and became the primary logo online on September 9, 2021. The logo began being used on air on September 12, 2021, during the Video Music Awards.

References

  1. From 1981 to 2010, it was legally registered as MTV: Music Television.
  2. MTV: Music Television, The Logo
  3. MTV Network Rebrand - Lance Rusoff
  4. Loyalkaspar - MTV Rebrand Case Study
  5. Brand New - New Logo, Identity, and On-Air Look for MTV by loyalkaspar

External links

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