Warner Bros. Logo Design Evolution
February 27, 2014 3:29 PM   Subscribe

"All studios have their main logo that appears at the beginning of a film, but some occasionally use custom logos that reflect the theme of the movie. When I noticed that Warner Bros. does this a lot I wanted to find out how often this happened and what these logos looked like. I couldn’t find a good overview with all logos gathered in one place, so I started to collect them myself, in 2009. Now, five years later, I think I have enough to paint a picture of Warner Bros logo design evolution. "
posted by chavenet (22 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's amazing how the 70-72 logo manages to look like something you would see on the packaging of a bootleg batman figurine.
posted by Ferreous at 3:37 PM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Well, frankly, this is exactly what the Internet is for.

(not sarcasm)

I get why the Saul Bass logo that was originally used from 1972-1984 would be used for Argo in 2012 based on the film's setting. But why Magic Mike? Anybody have any ideas other than "because Soderbergh".
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:38 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is something I've wanted to have an archive of for years but am way too lazy to even pretend to attempt myself. How cool.
posted by phunniemee at 3:44 PM on February 27, 2014


The Ocean's 12 and 13 logos make me think that they really wanted to use the Saul Bass version and got shot down.
posted by ckape at 3:53 PM on February 27, 2014


Anybody have any ideas other than "because Soderbergh".

Well, that, and the Bass logo is just a damned nice logo. One of his best, imho. It matches well with Soderbergh's style.

It's funny...I can't look at the classic WB shield logo without also hearing in my head the loud *blare* of an orchestra clearing its throat as the logo appears on screen.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:53 PM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Very nice. I managed to scroll quickly and cleanly past the '75 YEARS' logo and its horrifying asymmetry without upset.
posted by sleepcrime at 3:53 PM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


...the '75 YEARS' logo and its horrifying asymmetry without upset.

Gods yes. That thing really is unfathomably horrible, isn't it? I'd have horsewhipped my freshman design students if they'd shown me that. Even at that age, they should know better.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:55 PM on February 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


What a great link! It immediately reminded me of how the studio logos for the Harry Potter films got progressively darker: https://imgur.com/gallery/dyYZ7
posted by phatkitten at 4:01 PM on February 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


From the looks of that first variation, the makers of Lethal Weapon 4 share your disgust with the 75 Years logo.
posted by ckape at 4:01 PM on February 27, 2014


Between the classic shield and the Saul Bass, these guys have some of the best logos... I just wish they would just get rid of that insipid piano accelerando.
posted by scrowdid at 4:03 PM on February 27, 2014


Very nice. I managed to scroll quickly and cleanly past the '75 YEARS' logo and its horrifying asymmetry without upset.

Oh god, I never noticed that before. And now I can't unsee it...
posted by littlesq at 4:06 PM on February 27, 2014


(For the record, "because Soderbergh" when I used it above was a compliment to the logo and the director.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:07 PM on February 27, 2014


And, with all of that (which I enjoyed immensely, by the way; I'm happy that WB enjoys playing with its logo), not even a single shot of Bugs Bunny or Porky Pig.
posted by SPrintF at 6:43 PM on February 27, 2014


Oh, if you're feeling curious one rainy day, check on Zotz!, in which Tom Poston wanders out during the opening credits to argue with the Columbia Pictures logo.
posted by SPrintF at 6:52 PM on February 27, 2014


I couldn’t find a good overview with all logos gathered in one place
They have a collection at Logopedia.
posted by unliteral at 7:04 PM on February 27, 2014


check on Zotz!, in which Tom Poston wanders out during the opening credits to argue with the Columbia Pictures logo.

It's actually William Castle.
Zotz? What's Zotz?
posted by zamboni at 7:25 PM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I sort of expected to hear the Animaniacs theme and see Wakko, Yakko, and Dot getting out of the water tower.
posted by immlass at 8:29 PM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I cannot see those 30s WB logos and not think of these now: "Time Marches On!"

My favorite old school logos are from the early days of Universal, the Art Deco one of '30s-40s, especially. Given the paucity of extant films from before 1932 or so, it's very hard to find ones from the Silent era. Gaumont also has a great logo, which they've had for over 100 years in some variation or other. This one is from a color test in 1912. Yeah, 1912.
posted by droplet at 8:47 PM on February 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's actually William Castle.

Sorry. My memory of weird old movies failed me for an moment. Still, it ended with the Columbia logo declaring, "Zotz all!"
posted by SPrintF at 9:12 PM on February 27, 2014


The W7 one is my favourite; so redolent of an obsolete modernism...
posted by acb at 2:10 AM on February 28, 2014


My favorite variation starts with an animated clip of Big Bird at the beginning of Follow That Bird.
He says, of course:
"Sesame Street is brought to you today by the letters 'W' and 'B.'"
posted by LEGO Damashii at 10:35 AM on February 28, 2014


Thorzdad: "Well, that, and the Bass logo is just a damned nice logo. One of his best, imho."

I know it makes me a Philistine, but I have a visceral reaction against all of Bass's work. This is no exception.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:24 PM on March 4, 2014


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