The National Broadcasting Company has been one of the main broadcast television networks since 1926. It was one of the first networks to begin creating color television programs, and NBC remains a favorite in modern times due to their innovative programming. People often call NBC the “Peacock Network” due to the signature logo that appears alongside all NBC programming. In this article, you can learn all about the NBC logo history and design.
NBC Logo Design Elements
The modern NBC logo is a stylized peacock image that cleverly uses color and negative space to create the image of a bird. Six teardrop shapes are arranged in a semicircle to mimic the shape of a peacock’s tail. Going from left to right, the colors of the tail are yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, and green. Each of these tail feathers are shaded to look slightly shiny, and they are separated by white lines.
In the middle of the tail is an area of white, blank space, shaped like the body and head of a bird. The bird’s head is turned towards the right, so it slightly covers the purple tail feather. Beneath the peacock image are the letters “NBC.” They are written in a bold black font, without any serifs.
Changes and Evolution
NBC’s logo has gone through many changes in shape over the years, but most of the logo shapes have included a bird. The very first company logo was a microphone that said “NBC,” since NBC started out as a radio network. This was then changed to a stylized picture of a xylophone and mallet meant to reference the company’s signature auditory motto.
In 1956, the company’s first peacock logo was created. They briefly tried removing the peacock and just using a monogram of the company’s initiatives, but NBC went back to the peacock shape for good by 1979. Over time, the peacock was simplified and stylized until it reached the half circle shape still used today in 1986.
NBC’s first few logos were simple red, black, white, and blue designs. When the company switched to a peacock, they decided to use a rainbow design. The original colors were magenta, orange, yellow, green, light blue, and violet. These colors were gradually darkened into the more muted shades that they are currently. The coloring on the logo was also slightly shaded to give it a 3D effect.
NBC has always used all-capital, sans-serif fonts for their logo. The signature fonts used by NBC have become thinner and more elongated with each new logo creation.
NBC’s decision to use a peacock for their logo was mostly inspired by their desire to emphasize the color of NBC programming. When John J. Graham designed the peacock in 1956, other networks only did black and white programs. NBC used their logo to remind customers that NBC programs were bright and colorful.
Though the company tried out other logos, they decided to return to the original peacock logo because marketing experts found that customers liked the nostalgic appeal of the peacock. They decided to reduce the number of feathers from 11 to 6 so that the number of feathers corresponded to the number of divisions at NBC.
- The six colors in the logo represent the main primary and secondary colors of the RYB color palette.
- Following the September 11 attacks, NBC briefly changed their logo colors to the colors of the American flag.
- NBC’s peacock used to look to the left, but the company switched it to the right to show that they were looking ahead to the future.
- Each division of NBC is represented by a different color feather. News is yellow, Sports is orange, Entertainment is red, Stations is purple, Network is blue, and Productions is green.
The historical NBC logo has remained the same for years because the company wants to look reliable and trustworthy. It started out as a way to remind people of their color television programs, but the NBC peacock is now used to represent the company’s proud past. A few slight changes to the shape and color of the peacock have made it into a modern logo that looks stylish while still evoking nostalgic emotions.
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