05 October 2007

[logo_design] They Don't Make 'em Like that Anymore: Desilu Studios

988. A television company that really needs no introduction–Desilu was late 60s television (Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Star Trek:TOS–need I go on?)

This is the famous "merging circles" logo, hosted at youtube.com at the account of mcy919, to whom we give thanks.

To me, this was 60s logo design at some of its best. The merging circles are symmetrical and gracefully combined, Color TV was still new at the time and any, even subtle, nod to color production amounted to a competitive advantage in the mind of the public. Once merged, the circle becomes the jot over the "i" in a graceful sweep as the script "Desilu" finshes drawing by an unseen hand, and it's all tied together by a meaty yet fleet five-note fanfare.

Mind you, this was years before "Sit, Ubu, Sit. Good dog (bark!)" and the advent of the production company ID card as micro-productions unto themselves.

The Desilu fanfare was punchy and good-sounding enough that Paramount Television, the successor to Desilu, used it for several years after.

While more-than-somewhat ineffable, the feelings I get watching the logo come together more than amply explain why, in certain ways, we keep touching back to the 60s and 70s in television culture. Sure, those decades included mounds of steaming dreck–when it was bad, it was horrid. But when it was good, it was very good–even elegant.

They don't make 'em like that anymore.

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LeLo in NoPo said...

Lovely! I love the different colored dots and how they all end up eventually as one white dot: it reminds me of my 4th grade science project. It was about color (of course) and I made a disk of multiple colors, a string went through the center, and when you spun it fast, it appeared to be white. Thus, white is all colors. The things that stay with you...thanks for sharing this!

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

@ LeLo: Well said. Just for fun, I went back to the video and paused it just before the circles merged (no mean trick when the vid clocks in at 00:03 in total!). While the circles were colorful, it wasn't an RGB sort of thing: the circles at 12 and 6 are pink, at 2 and 8 are yellowish, and the ones at 10 and 4 are kind of an orangey-red.

Your experiment with the disks makes me think of the reasons some of us strive for graphic careers to begin with. Color fascinates us. We want to be able to play with it all day long!

Thanks for the feedback. I value it.