There’s a new ABC logo headed to your television screen, but there’s an excellent chance you didn’t spot any real difference.
The American Broadcasting Companies recently introduced a refresh of its branding. But if you’re expecting dramatic changes in its new ABC logo, you will probably feel disappointed.
What most average viewers would recognize as the current ABC logo made its debut in 1962. Paul Rand’s classic design featured the letters ABC in a white, round, lowercase typeface over a black circle. They officially call that circle the “globe” or the “dot.”
Simple. Classic. Timeless.
If you search YouTube, you’ll find channels devoted to company logo evolution, and there are several examples of ABC’s.
I offer this one for your viewing pleasure. Note the logo that appears at roughly the 3:50 mark. That logo preceded the current one, premiering in 1957. It also featured the letters ABC in a circle. But that circle was in the center of a larger lowercase A.
Since 1962, ABC, like the other networks, used a variety of backgrounds and graphic environments over the years.
The basic logo, however, remained unchanged.
But in 2007, the logo did change ever so slightly.
That’s the year the globe (or dot) took on a glossy three-dimensional texture. In various iterations since, it kept its 3D sheen.
But as the network said in a note to its affiliates, it’s time to return to the design’s roots.
The new ABC logo, which you can see here, has two primary changes: that 3D look is now the flat black disk from 1962. The typeface is virtually the same, but NewscastStudio points out two differences: the B is a bit shorter and the ends of the C are brought a bit closer together.
The letters are also slightly smaller on the dot.
Other than that, not all that much is different with ABC. That’s why you may not have noticed the new logo, even if you’ve looked right at it.
‘A bold, elegant step forward’
In a branding guide, the network claims it has something every brand dreams of: “an iconic logo.” Their logo has certainly stood the test of time.
But it says the change is “not a new coat of paint.” Instead, it describes the change as “a bold, elegant step forward that honors our legacy while improving cross-platform functionality.”
That seems to me to be a bit of a stretch. But, to be fair, the guide points out that “3D logos aren’t optimal for all digital, social and emerging applications.”
“The logo has been redrawn to increase stability and legibility at smaller scales, ensuring effective brand attribution,” the guide reads.
It’s a convincing argument. But they’ve had that hint of 3D for almost 15 years. By now, everyone recognizes it, 3D or not.
You can compare the two designs side by side at the bottom of this article.