RTL (formerly called RTL plus from 1984 to 1992, and RTL Television from 1992 to 2004), is the biggest commercial free-to-air TV station in Germany and the flagship channel of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, the leading commercial broadcaster in Germany. RTL, VOX and RTL II are the network's three biggest entertainment channels, and their main competitors are ProSieben, Sat.1 and kabel eins from the ProSiebenSat.1 Media network.
RTL Television was launched on 2 January 1984 as RTL plus. Upon its launch, the channel had two launch identities with two logos used for an on-screen collaboration.
- Its first launch identity consisted of a lined squircle that contains the letters "R", "T", and "L" from the famous "RTL" wordmark-logo's custome as well as the word "PLUS" appears at the bottom of the "RTL" wordmark, and that the word "PLUS" is using an more-abstract typeface instead of a normal typeface. This logo were in usage for 4 years from 2 January 1984 until 31 December 1987.
- Its second launch identity consisted of a red circle that bears the word "RTL" in its uppercase-style, with the word "plus" in its lowercase-style appears at the bottom of the "RTL" wordmark, as well as an tweaked-up rectangle is at the bottom of the circle and carries the word "TELEVISION" at it. Its second launch identity is short-lived.
1988–1992Sat.1 and positioning itself as a general channel, while also introducing a new logo. A new set of idents which was launched onto the screen, they were produced by On/Off Productions.
The idents were designed to reflect the feel of the channel. Specific references to the content were to be avoided. Therefore the idents feature different abstract objects that move around in different semi-surreal compositions. Although completely computer-generated, the objects are made of natural materials that you should want to touch and feel. However, the word "plus" was removed from the logo sometime between 1988 and 1992.
On-screen, the logo was usually transparent with outlines between letters, but during just a few months in 1988, it was colored and thus without outlines.
RTLplus became RTL Television in December 1992, though in the bumpers and promos it's called just RTL. The new logo and graphics were created by the Los Angeles-based company GRFX/Novocom.
The word ‘Television’ was removed from the logo in 2004; the channel was hereafter referred to as simply RTL. The famous tagline Mein RTL (‘my RTL’) was introduced, as well as the trademark four-note jingle (B E D♯ E) which has remained to the present day.
On 1 September 2017, RTL flattened its logo, with brighter shades of the three colours in its logo and shadows of the three letters. This was done in order to have a friendlier look for the audience.
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