This page only shows primary logo variants.
For other related logos and images, see:
1977–1981 1980–1981 (pre-launch) 1981–1994 1994–2010 2010–2021 2021–present
1977–1981 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 Paramount through the MTV Entertainment Group subsidiary of its 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


Sight on Sound - 1977
Designer:  Unknown
Typography:  Revue
Launched:  December 1st, 1977

Warner Cable (under its two-way interactive cable television system QUBE) launched a specialized channel called Sight on Sound on December 1st, 1977, which would later evolve into MTV.

MTV: The Music Channel

1980–1981 (pre-launch)

The Music Channel 1980
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 Logo 1981
Designer:  Manhattan Design
(Patty Rogoff, Frank Olinsky)
Typography:  Helvetica Black (modified)
Kabel Black
Launched:  April 13, 1981 (advertising)
August 1, 1981 (launch)

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 through their joint agency of Fred/Alan). 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.


MTV 1994
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.


MTV (2010)
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).


MTV 2021 Retro
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.


  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