RTL, originally known as RTL plus from 1984 to 1992 and then as RTL Television from 1992 to 2004 (still often referred to as RTL Television among Germans), is the biggest commercial free-to-air television channel in Germany. It is well-known for its three-coloured rectangular logo and the jingle B E D♯ E.
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 logos as well as the word "PLUS" appears at the bottom of the "RTL" wordmark, and that the word "PLUS" is using a more-abstract typeface instead of a normal typeface. This logo was 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 a tweaked-up rectangle is at the bottom of the circle and carries the word "TELEVISION" at it. Its second launch identity is short-lived.
RTL Plus Television
From 1984 to 1985, RTL Plus started using an alternate logo while it still carries its first launch identity. The alternate logo was a red circle with the "RTL" wordmark at the top and the "plus" wordmark at the bottom, including a red tweaked-up rectangle with the "TELEVISION" wordmark to the upper-right side. This alternate launch identity is short-lived, but RTL Plus kept its use of its first launch identity.
RTL Plus (second era)
In 1985, RTL Plus adopted another alternate version of its logo and the circle with the rectangle was abandoned in favor of a red squircle with the uppercased "RTL" wordmark on the top and the lowercased "plus" wordmark at the bottom. Because of that, this logo was used in tandem with the 1984 logo as well as these two logos remain in use until 1988.
On 1 January 1988, RTL Plus celebrated a brand new start of a brand new year with an exclusive New Year's Day interview. At the same time, due to the beginning of this year the channel was relaunched, taking over several programs from its competitor channel Sat.1 and positioning itself as a general channel, while also introducing a new logo later in the year, around May. 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 on 31 October 1992, though in the bumpers and promos it was known simply as RTL. The new logo and graphics were created by the Los Angeles-based company GRFX/Novocom.
BETTER LOGO NEEDED
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, but some idents used a three-note jingle (C G D).
In July 2015, the channel introduced the slogan Willkommen zuhause (Welcome Home) to complement Mein RTL, and launched its biggest advertising campaign in 20 years. This tagline (as Willkommen zu Hause, with a space between zu and Hause) was earlier used in the early 2000s.
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. The slogan continues to be Willkommen zuhause, though Mein RTL is used in rare cases. Sister channel n-tv, a news channel, rebranded on the same day.
As part of a comprehensive restructuring within Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, RTL received a new brand identity, the central component of the repositioning of the RTL brand being a new multicoloured logo. The rebrand rolled out on September 15, 2021.
Networks Bel RTL (Vision) | Radio Contact (Vision)
Digital radio stations Bel Bel Bel RTL | Bel RTL 80 | Bel RTL Comédie | Bel RTL Party | Déci Bel RTL | Franco Bel RTL | Radio Contact 2000 | Radio Contact Gold | Radio Contact Kids | Radio Contact Lounge | Radio Contact Love | Radio Contact Mix | Radio Contact Spring | Radio Contact Plus | Radio Contact Urban
Video-on-demand RTL à l'infiini
Former Radio Contact Christmas | Radio Contact Summertime