Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American broadcast television network which was first tested locally on December 1, 1977, before it nationally launched on April 1, 1979 as the first broadcast network for children. It is owned by ViacomCBS (formerly Warner Communications until 1986) through its Nickelodeon Networks division and is based in New York City. The network's programming is primarily aimed at children and adolescents aged 7-12, while some of its program blocks target a broader family audience.
Before Nickelodeon's official launch in 1979, Warner Cable (under its two-way interactive cable television system, QUBE) launched a specialized channel called C-3 in 1977, which would later evolve into Nickelodeon. It was only broadcast locally in Columbus, Ohio. The C-3 channel aired episodes of Pinwheel on a loop; when Nickelodeon launched in 1979, Pinwheel became its first flagship show.
Nickelodeon was launched on April 1, 1979. The name was derived from a type of movie theater which charged five cents (one nickel) for admission. This theatre concept was represented in its first logo and on-air package, which actually depicts a man looking into a kinetoscope within the letter "N" of the Nickelodeon word mark.
Windsor Bold (modified)
In late 1979, Nickelodeon slightly updated its logo. 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. The font may be the same as Pinwheel's logo and slightly modified.
Lou Dorfsman Bob Klein (silver ball)
A new logo designed by Lou Dorfsman was introduced in 1981. It consists of the network's name spelled in rainbow letters set 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, including one that used early 1980s-era computer graphics. The font for this logo is now used as fonts for Nick Jr. bumpers since 2012.
On October 1, 1984, Nickelodeon began utilizing a new theme with its multitude of logos: orange silhouettes with the network's name written in the Balloon Extra Bold font on them. Eventually, during the early 1990s, the "splat" design would become the most used, representing the slime Nickelodeon has been known for since it began broadcasting the Canadian series You Can't Do That on Television in 1981; Nickelodeon would later adopt the trademark as part of its own programming. Designed by Fred/Alan, Inc., originally with just a star in mind, it has grown to be the most well-known and recognized Nickelodeon logo. The wordmark was rarely, if ever, seen isolated from a shape of some kind. Even though this logo was replaced by the current one in 2009, in 2016 the logo made a brief return for the Nickelodeon Nick Box Collection, the logo can be seen on both the tags and on the print of the box, so far the logo has been seen on every version of the Collection. In 2018, the logo also returned for the NickSplat channel on VRV, until it shut down in 2020. The wordmark was also seen at the entrance to the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, until it closed in 2016.
A new logo and on-air look for Nickelodeon were unveiled in January 2009, and officially began use in the United States on September 28, 2009 (though two days earlier, the logo was accidently used on the channel alongside the previous logo). The design is credited to Eric Zim, and the on-air brand identity was produced at Trollbäck & Company. On the same day as the new logo's introduction, Nickelodeon's digital networks Noggin and The N were merged by channels named after popular Nickelodeon programming blocks (Nick Jr. and TeenNick, respectively). The new Nick Jr. and TeenNick channels, as well as Nicktoons Network (which reverted back to its older name, Nicktoons), had logos based on the style of the main channel's. They would also be in a different color (but leaving "Nick" orange), with most channels being based off the color of the previous logo (e.g. "Jr." being blue like its past logo). The typeface used in this logo is a custom font which resembles Bauhaus (unofficially named Litebulb) and retains its trademark orange color from the splat. This logo was placed third in Part 2 (the best) of the 2010 Brand New Awards. In April 2011, Nickelodeon unveiled new variations of the background that interact with the logo's color.
The new Nickelodeon logo was rolled out internationally during 2010 accordingly: