Entertainment logos are an essential part of our culture. Over the years they've gone through many changes. Initially, they were simple typographic designs. Now, many have become quite complicated, the result of advances in technology, branding and marketing strategies.
Two classic logos are Disney and MGM. More modern logos have made use of computer graphics. For example, the animated version of the Marvel logo shows a flipping book page that reveals their titles. Animation, here and with other logos can really make the brand come alive.
Here, I've picked my favourite entertainment logos. Some of which are up there with the best logos ever made. If you feel inspired and want to create a great logo, then check out the best logo designer software to help you get started.
The Disney logo has been used since 1956. It is based on a stylised autograph of Walt Disney and is sometimes called the most recognised logo in history. One notable feature of the logo is the 'D', which makes use of the Golden Ratio three times. Though some people have been reading it wrong for years.
CNN came into being on June 1, 1980. Its logo, designed by Anthony Guy Bost, is the only one used by the channel. It’s a great example of minimalism and like many top logos, has a hidden meaning. The white line between the letters, symbolises cable. For me, the design is reminiscent of the Canadian National logo, which is simple like this one and comprises two letters, each flowing into the next.
03. 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox came about as the result of two companies merging in 1935, one run by William Fox and the other by Joseph Schenck and Darryl F. Zanuck.
This logo has always struck me with its power and I love the way it animates on screen. To me, it captures the true American spirit. While the image form is striking, it is even more impactful when paired with animation and sound.
In 2020, 20th Century Fox dropped the Fox and became just 20th Century, but the great logo still stands (just without the Fox).
Pixar is known for clean, smooth animations and this is reflected in its production logo shown at the start of films. If you're a Pixar fan and you've seen any of the animated films, you have surely seen the animation featuring Luxo Jr, the company mascot. In the animation, the lamp bounces around, exhibiting qualities which make it seem lifelike, and Luxo squashes the 'i' in the logo and replaces it. The lamp is instantly recognisable and makes the logo really stand out.
The DreamWorks logo is one of the most recognisable in the entertainment history. Initially, it was simple, with the company name written in white letters in a black box. This was used until 1997, until the studio began creating animated films such as Shrek and Antz.
Between 2004-2006, Dennis Murren, a visual effects supervisor and filmmaker, suggested a painted form of the logo. Artist Robert Hunt created the new design, of a boy sitting on crescent moon while fishing. The boy represents the innocence and limitless power of children. This aligned with the DreamWorks vision.
What makes this logo memorable is its simplicity. Silhouettes are often used for striking images and the DreamWorks logo is a perfect example.
The Universal logo has gone through many changes over the years. It was created in 1912 and was originally a black and white logo. At various points over the years, it was a highly detailed black and white halftone drawing. The actual logo itself is still a simple, stark, black and white image.
As for the movie color logo we see today, that style began between 1954-1963 and it has continually evolved over the years. The animated logo is quite striking, partly because it makes use of a specular glow around the planet, which makes it appear to shimmer. Another major reason it stands out is that there's nothing quite like it.
Paramount, now a part of Viacom, is the oldest studio in Hollywood. This logo shows a stark image of a mountain with 24 stars in a circle around it.
Legend has it that the logo was created by William Wadsworth Hodkinson and the design was inspired by Ben Lomond mountain in Utah. The stars are meant to represent the 24 actors who signed with the studio in 1914.
In 1957, the logo was changed to a minimalist design with fewer detatails. Another change happened in 1987 when a painting was commissioned. The logo received its latest logo in 2002, when shooting starts were added over the mountain peak.
What makes this logo work is its simplicity, much like the DreamWorks logo.
This one isn't an entertainment logo in the same way as the others, but Reuters does arguably provide entertainment for people around the world. The company was founded in London in 1851, by Paul Julius Reuter, who came to the United Kingdom from the German city of Aachen. Reuter opened the agency’s first office to transmit stock news to Paris using a new telegraph cable.
In 1858, Reuters became the main supplier of information to all the major London newspapers. The earliest Reuters logo was reminiscent of a coat of arms and was a vertical oval shape. The type was sans-serif.
The logo went through many changes over the years. The logo you now see dates back to 2008. It was designed by Interbrand. As for what the symbol means, no one seems to know. One idea is that it could be a spiral staircase as seen from above.
This logo made it on to this list primarily because the image is striking and also because the symbolism is not obvious, which creates curiosity.