Logopedia
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This page only shows primary logo variants.
For other related logos and images, see:
1926–1931 1931–1942 1942–1943 1943–1953 1946–1952 1952–1966
1926–1931 1931–1942 1942–1943 1943–1953 1946–1952 1952–1966
1953–1959 1956–1975 1959–1975 1976–1979 1979–1986 1985–2011
1953–1959 1956–1975 1959–1975 1976–1979 1979–1986 1985–2011
2009–2011 2011–2013 2013–2018 2018–2022 2022–present
2009–2011 2011–2013 2013–2018 2018–2022 2022–present

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network owned by Comcast through its media subsidiary NBCUniversal (formerly by General Electric). Founded in 1926 as a radio network and in 1939 as a television network, it is the oldest broadcasting network (and radio network before 1993) in the United States. NBC is known for its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

1926–1937

NBC 1926

NBC debuted as a radio network in 1926, with a logo depicting a microphone surrounded by lightning bolts, superimposed over a map of the United States of America. The "NBC" letters appeared in an arc above the graphic.

1931–1942

NBC 1931

In 1931, NBC introduced its second logo: a square with a diagonal NBC text in it, and lightning bolts around the "B". This logo was later adopted in 1944 for use as the original logo for the newly formed NBC television network.

1942–1943

NBC - 1942
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In 1942, NBC introduced its third logo, consisting of a circle featuring a hand holding an NBC microphone, two stars, and a banner saying "BROADCASTING IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST".

This logo was used on NBC's print materials during 1942-43.[1]

1943–1953

NBC - 1943

In 1943, NBC introduced its fourth logo, a microphone surrounded by lightning bolts, which was a modification of the original 1926 logo used by the NBC radio network. Lightning bolts were also part of the logo of corporate parent RCA, as well as that of one-time sister company RKO Pictures. The waves on the left side were meant for the radio network, and the right waves were meant for the television network.

Despite being replaced by the 1946 and 1952 logos, this was used on print advertising as late as 1952.[2]

This logo can be seen on NBC's Meet The Press Washington Bureau offices.

1946–1952

NBC 1946

This logo would usually be shown at the end of a program with a rounded rectangle border around it. Although not the very first instances of them (see more info below), the famous NBC chimes made their television introduction with this logo, with one of the letters of NBC lighting up when the chimes happened in order. This sequence would continue with the next logo.

1952–1966

NBC 1952
Designer:  Unknown
Typography:  Unknown
Launched:  1952

Despite being replaced by the 1953 logo, This logo was still seen on Kinescopes until 1966, The latest known use of this logo was on the two known pilots of It Had to Be You, which were apparently taped on November 7, 1966[3]

1953–1959

NBC logo 1954
Designer:  Unknown
Typography:  Unknown
Launched:  December 1953

In 1953, a stylized xylophone and mallet were introduced, symbolizing the NBC chimes, which were first heard on NBC radio in 1927 as a seven-tone sequence. The current tones – which were first adopted in 1929 as a simplified cue for identification of its radio affiliates because of issues with orchestrating the seven notes properly – are only three notes, G, E' and C'. There is some indication that the xylophone logo was used at 5:32 p.m. Eastern Time on December 17, 1953, to announce the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) approval of the new color standard, which would go into effect 30 days later. This logo debuted in December 1953, during the Tournament of Roses Parade.

1956–1975

NBC Peacock 1956
Designer:  John J. Graham
Herb Lubalin
Typography:  None
Launched:  May 22, 1956

In 1956, John J. Graham and Herb Lubalin of Sudler & Hennessey designed a new symbol for the network: an abstraction of an eleven-feathered peacock indicating richness in color. This brightly hued peacock, which NBC called the "Bird", was adopted due to the increase in color programming. Several modifications were made by NBC before the emblem made its first on-air appearance on May 22. The most famous version of this appeared in 1962, during a telecast of the Western series Laramie, leading it to be dubbed the "Laramie peacock," and would continue to be used until 1975.

1959–1975

NBC Logo 1959
Designer:  John J. Graham
Typography:  Custom-made
Launched:  September 1959

Starting in late 1959, a new animated logo designed by John J. Graham joined the Peacock logo, appearing at the end of every show. Starting with the "N", each letter would grow from the other, forming a stacked typographic logo featuring an "NB" ligature with the "C" forming the base. This would be known as the "NBC Snake". Several versions of this exist; the first is the snake forming in front of a multicolored background while an RCA TK-40 or TK-41 camera passes by with a jazz rendition of the NBC chimes, while the second consists of the snake forming against a color-changing background, going from blue to green to red, on each note of the regular, automated NBC chimes.

1976–1979

NBC logo 1975
Designer:  Lippincott & Margulies
Typography:  Helvetica
Launched:  October 1975 (press unveiling)
January 1, 1976 (first use)

NBC announced an update to its image in October 1975, with the introduction of an abstract "N", a bold, bright and contemporary design consisting of two trapezoids – one red and one blue. It made its on-screen debut on New Year’s Day, 1976. One of the technological innovations of this logo was its use in the first electronically animated ident for an American television network.

In February 1976, Nebraska ETV, the PBS member network for Nebraska, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against NBC. The new NBC logo was virtually identical to the logo that Nebraska ETV had been using since June 1975, with the only cosmetic difference between the two designs being that the right trapezoid of the NBC logo had blue coloring. An out-of-court settlement was reached in which NBC gave Nebraska ETV over $800,000 worth of new equipment, including a color mobile unit. It also paid Nebraska ETV $55,000 to cover the cost of designing and implementing a new logo. In return, NBC was allowed to keep the "N" logo.

1979–1986

NBC 1979
Designer:  Terry Glazer and
Vasken Kalayjian of
Lippincott & Margulies
Typography:  ITC Serif Gothic Bold
Helvetica Bold
Launched:  May 14, 1979

The Peacock returned as part of NBC's branding on May 14, 1979. The "N" and the Peacock were combined together to create a design called the "Proud N", designed by Terry Glazer and Vasken Kalayjian at Lippincott & Margulies before they departed from that company to start their own firm. On several occasions, the new, simplified Peacock was used on its own, starting with the new "Proud as a Peacock" advertising campaign; however, the "N" and the Peacock were usually combined. However, unlike the original Peacock design, which had featured eleven different colors, this version only used six colors for all eleven feathers.

1985–present

1985–2011

NBC 1986
Designer:  Steff Geissbuhler of
Chermayeff & Geismar
Typography:  NBC Futura (modified version of Futura)
Launched:  1980 (creation)
August 26, 1985 (first use)[4]
May 12, 1986 (public reveal)

In 1980, NBC's parent company commissioned Chermayeff & Geismar to redesign the 1979 logo. The result, designed by Steff Geissbuhler, went unused for several years as NBC was ranked the lowest among the "Big Three" networks in the ratings, and wanted to hold off on rebranding until it retook the number one spot.[5]

Despite selective onscreen use beginning in the fall of 1985[6], the logo had not yet officially been unveiled. However, on May 12, 1986, during the finale of the NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration special, past and present NBC stars stood on stage to introduce a new logo: a simplified peacock icon, ending the arranged "marriage" of the "N" and the peacock. The peacock's head was now flipped to the right, as to suggest it was looking forward to the future rather than back to the past, and the white plume on its head was eliminated. The bottom portion now also resembles a film canister. The peacock's feathers are now shortened to six and include the six primary and secondary colors in the RYB color palette to represent NBC's six divisions: yellow for news, orange for sports, red for entertainment, violet for stations, blue for network, and green for productions. This peacock remains one of the world's most recognized logos.

The network maintains specific guidelines for the logo, including proper colors for reproduction, using either RGB, CMYK or Pantone colors. A new typeface was also introduced: NBC Futura, still used for some affiliates and some of its divisions such as NBC Olympics, as well as its Spanish-language network Universo. The pointed "N" letterform is meant to recall the old "N" symbol.[5]

2009–2011

NBC Gradient Peacock

On September 14, 2009, a gradient was added to the 1985 logo for use in NBC's "More Colorful" campaign, though the 2006 color bug used for HD programming remained. It was later used for NBC News until 2023.

2011–2013

NBC 2011

In 2011, NBC introduced a glossy 3D version of the 1985 logo for use in promotional advertising and idents. However, the 2006 color bug used for HD programming and some elements of the "More Colorful" rebrand remained in use. After its introduction, a few NBC stations incorporated the glossy variant into their station logos, with the owned-and-operated Chicago station WMAQ-TV being the first to do so in February 2012.

2013–2022

2013–2018

NBC 2014 Indent Style
Designer:  Brett Morris
Typography:  Sweet Sans Pro
Launched:  September 30, 2013

On September 30, 2013, NBC slightly revised its peacock. The beak is now slightly larger, the feathers are slightly thinner, and the logo itself is glossier. The wordmark below the peacock symbol was also reinstated, with the font resembling that used by the 2012 relaunch of NBC Sports Network. This modification was added to the on-screen bug on June 10, 2013.

2018–2022

NBC 2018
Designer:  Brett Morris
Capacity (typeface)
Typography:  NBC Tinker
(custom-designed, modified from Sweet Sans Pro)
Launched:  September 17, 2018

On September 17, 2018, the font used on-air by the network was switched over to the custom-made NBC Tinker, which is also reflected in the logo.

The logo continued to be used on the network's website until January 7, 2023.

2022–present

NBC 2023
Designer:  Sibling Rivalry
Loyalkaspar (typeface)
Typography:  NBC Tinker Pro
(custom-designed)
Launched:  November 21, 2022 (promos)
December 1, 2022 (social media)
December 7, 2022 (official)

A new version of the NBC logo, bearing a slight resemblance to the 1985 logo, was revealed in November 2022. The colors are adjusted to match the logo of NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock. The feathers have been moved slightly to make them more balanced, the white trim forming the peacock's body and bordering its feathers has been removed, the beak is slightly larger, making it appear more prominent, and the wordmark is now emboldened. The network's primary typeface is now NBC Tinker Pro, an updated and expanded version of NBC Tinker.

This logo was first shown on November 24, during the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and promos that aired on NBC during the parade's commercial breaks. NBC began displaying it on the network's social media accounts on December 1, and began using its horizontal variant (which places the network nameplate to the right of the peacock) as its on-screen bug on December 20. The logo began to appear on the network's website on January 5, 2023, and later spread to other NBC divisions throughout 2023, as well as corporate parent Comcast beginning in 2024.

References

External links

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