For many, CNN is the definitive cable news channel. Largely responsible for the entire concept of 24-hours news and the all-news network, the company has an outstanding reputation among most news viewers. Part of what has made the company stand out so much from the pack is its logo, which is as much a part of the brand’s identity as any of its on-air programming. Taking a look at the CNN logo through the years will show not only how general design trends have changed, but how the company has changed alongside those same trends.
CNN Logo Design Elements
The CNN logo is fairly simple in terms of shape. It’s just the letters CNN, connected to one another and written in a stylized font. It’s not the most attention-grabbing type of logo out there, but it works well when seen in the corner of a television screen. In fact, that’s exactly why the design has stood up – rather than being plastered on headlines or in print advertising, it’s a product of the television era and one that can easily be viewed when a consumer is flipping through channels.
The color of the logo is a simple red, one that stands out on the screen. Again, it’s a logo choice that plays well with the medium rather than on paper. It’s the kind of color that allows a user to identify it and the logo at a glance, allowing for better audience recognition. The font is a flowing script, one that’s blocky and easy to read. It blurs the line between being stylized and standard, helping to give the station an identity while still being relatively simple.
Changes and Evolution
The CNN logo hasn’t changed over the years. It’s still the same shape – something that plays well with the company’s reputation as a reliable news source. In fact, one can say that the resistance to changing the logo plays a huge role in how the logo has been received. By keeping things the same over the course of decades, CNN has gained a reputation for being stable, reliable, and as a fixture in the world of the news.
The CNN logo alternates between red and black depending on the source. The red logo is the original color and is still the logo most often used on broadcast. The black logo is typically used in print, where it more effectively blends in with newsprint. The red color choice is a unique move that allows the company the stand out in a sea of other news networks, one that helps to capture the attention of audiences who might not plan on watching the news.
CNN’s unique font is unchanged over the years. Again, this goes back to recognition and stability. By using something that’s unlike anything else on the air, the company can keep a brand identity. The simplicity helps consumers to consistently identify the company when they’re looking at the news, further helping CNN gain credibility as a news source.
As a logo born out of the 1980s, it’s easy to pinpoint where the CNN logo choices were made. It is a logo that’s incredibly similar to most other media giants at the time, with huge debts owed to other three-letter networks like HBO or the Big Three networks. You’ll see similar fonts on everything from that decade’s movie posters to album artwork, with detours into fields as varied as the automotive industry and consumer electronics.
The three-letter logo isn’t unique to CNN, but that doesn’t mean that others haven’t’ attempted to make similar design choices. FOX, for example, probably owes quite a bit to the CNN logo. Likewise, the NBC logo is definitely from the same family. CNN’s short and punchy logo has definitely become a shorthand for how news logos should work.
- CNN is considered to be the original cable news channel
- CNN’s channels are watched in over two hundred countries.
- CNN was the first company to provide 24 hour news.
- CNN aired the only live coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
- CNN was the first news network to cover the events of 9/11.
The CNN logo helped usher in the advent of the punchy station identifier. Three short letters are easy to identify and remember, and they don’t take up much space on a television screen. It is, in short, the ideal logo for people who don’t have time to sit and wait to figure out exactly what they are going to watch. If you’re looking for a design that has stood up to time and played a role in how the industry has developed, CNN is a good place to start.