Nickelodeon (or simply Nick) is an American television network owned by ViacomCBS through its Nickelodeon Networks division. Initially tested on December 1, 1977 as part of the QUBE system in Columbus, Ohio, it was launched nationally on April 1, 1979 as the first American cable network aimed at children. Today, the network's programming is primarily aimed at children and adolescents aged 7 to 12, while some of its programming blocks target a broader family audience.
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December 1, 1977
Nickelodeon was first tested on December 1, 1977 as the C-3 channel of Warner Cable's QUBE system in Columbus, Ohio. Its only form of programming at the time was the educational series Pinwheel, and C-3 was often referred to as the "Pinwheel Channel" as a result.
April 1, 1979
Nickelodeon was officially launched as a national cable network on April 1, 1979. Its name was derived from a type of movie theatre which charged 5 cents (nickel cents) for admission. This concept was represented in their first logo, which depicts a man looking into a kinetoscope within the letter "N" of the wordmark.
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In late 1979, Nickelodeon updated their logo, utilizing a typeface similar to ITC Souvenir. The font may be the same as Pinwheel's logo, albeit slightly modified. Their identification logos at the time featured a mime doing things on a black background with an instrumental cover of the song "Put That Little Nickel In" as background music.
Lou Dorfsman Bob Klein
A new logo designed by Lou Dorfsman was introduced in 1981. It consists of the network's name spelled in rainbow letters in the Frankfurter font, with a pinball illustrated by Bob Klein placed behind it. The pinball theme was used in the network's IDs during the period, some of which used early 1980s-era computer graphics.
On October 1, 1984, as a part of a restructuring at the network (which had been dealing with significant financial losses at that time), Nickelodeon unveiled a new branding system centered on a wordmark in the Balloon Extra Bold font on an orange shape of some sort (i.e. an airplane, a bone, a car, a taxi, and a star). It was initially used in tandem with the 1981 "pinball" logo until that logo was phased out completely in early 1985. Designed by Boston advertising firm Corey McPherson Nash (then known as Corey & Co.) under the direction of Fred/Alan's Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman (known for their work with Nick's sister channel MTV), the logo was rarely (if ever) seen isolated from a shape of some kind, and would prove to be the longest-lasting of Nickelodeon's logos, being used in a number of variations over the next 25 years. Around 1993, the "splat" would become the most frequently used variant, representing the slime that was originally a trademark of one of Nick's first television series, the Canadian sketch comedy You Can't Do That on Television (the network would later adopt the slime as a trademark of its game shows and special programming, including the Kids' Choice Awards). Despite being discontinued in 2009, this logo made a brief return for the Nick Box Collection in 2016, and was also revived for VRV's short-lived NickSplat channel in 2018. It was also seen at the entrance of the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida, until it closed in 2016.
In February 2009, Nickelodeon unveiled an entirely new logo for the first time in 25 years. Designed by Eric Zim (with the initial on-air look created by Trollbäck & Company), the logo is based on a custom font resembling Bauhaus (unofficially nicknamed "Litebulb"), and was intended to be part of a broader revamp that included the Nick at Nite and Nick Jr. blocks, as well as the Nicktoons Network, The N and Noggin channels, which were rebranded as Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr., respectively. The new logo made its official on-air debut in the United States on September 28, 2009 (although it was accidentally used two days earlier alongside the old logo), and was rolled out internationally during 2010 accordingly: