The American Broadcasting company originally started out as a radio network in 1943, but it is currently one of the largest television networks in the nation. The company is a major division of Walt Disney, so it mostly produces family-friendly programming for parents and kids. To maintain their traditional and reputable identity, ABC has used essentially the same logo since the 1960s. This article will tell you all about the history of the ABC logo.
ABC Logo Design Elements
ABC’s logo has a crisp circular design. The outer rim of the circle has a thin black border that encapsulates the shaded interior. On the inner background for the circle logo, highlights and shading give a slightly shiny and three dimensional look to the logo. It goes from black in the upper left corner to gold in the lower right corner.
Insider of the circle, “ABC” is written in lowercase letters. These letters are mostly white, but slight shading along them makes them stand out more from the colorful logo background. The font for the letters is a customized sans-serif font inspired by Bauhaus. It is characterized by extremely rounded shapes, so the circular A, B, and C mimic the overall shape of the logo.
Changes and Evolution
In the first few decades of the company’s history, ABC tried several designs. They started out with a television screen that had a microphone saying “ABC” in the middle. The company then moved to an eagle surrounding a shield labeled “ABC.” They next went to a lowercase A that said “ABC” inside the circle, then a rectangle that said “ABC.”
After all these attempts, the company finally settled on the circular design still in use today in 1962. The network has tried several versions with three dimensional lines or spherical shading, but the logo’s overall shape has remained consistent.
Color has been the main difference between all the ABC logos. All of ABC’s early logos were simply black and white to match the current television technology. One of the first colored logos appeared in 1962, when the current logo shape was created. In that version, the A was red, the B was blue, and the C was green. ABC then moved to a red and gold on black design, before trying a gold on black and a blue on black logo.
The network was eager to show off all their colored programming, so they even tried out some rainbow colored logos at various points. They eventually settled on a black and gold color scheme that is still in use today. The only major change since then has been moving from a flat black on gold design to the shaded design in use today.
ABC started out with more traditional Roman fonts that used capitalized letters. They eventually transitioned to the lowercase, san-serif, Bauhaus-inspired font that is still in use today. This font is the most consistent aspect of the ABC logo.
ABC’s logo balances the company’s desire to showcase new television innovations while appealing to nostalgic customers. The decision to add a glossy look to the logo was inspired by the desire to create a logo that looked impressive when viewed in HD. Shading and extra color gradients make the logo still look visually engaging on modern televisions.
Despite these updates, the logo is still essentially the same. This continuity helps reassure customers that ABC is still the same company that was responsible for producing so many classic hits in the previous decades. ABC uses their logo to emphasize their reputation as one of the first big television networks.
- ABC logo designer Paul Rand designed many iconic logos, include ones for IBM, Enron, UPS, and Westinghouse.
- ABC is often called the “alphabet network” due to its alphabetical name.
- The company went through many mergers and resales before it settled on a name. It was originally called the NBC Blue network, because it was a department at NBC.
ABC’s circle logo shows up on most of their programming, so it is extremely recognizable to television watchers. The company’s wise decision to stick with a classic design has helped them maintain positive customer relationships over several decades. Its minimalistic style allows the ABC logo to be appropriate for a wide range of television programming.
Recommended Read: NBC Logo Design History and Evolution