NBC logo question

Why has NBC’s current bird of 6 feathers lasted much longer (27 years almost) than any other of that network’s logos (the original 50’s 11-feathered bird, the Snake, the Trapezoidal N, and the Proud N with 11-feathered bird)?

Four hours and not a nibble? OK, I’ll give you a WAG.

Forget the trapezoidal N, and its mutant offspring, the Proud N. It was a horrible mistake from the 70’s - the same era that brought you disco. It wasn’t even original, as NBC found out when Nebraska Educational Television sent them a friendly letter that said “Hey, your new logo looks exactly like the one we’ve had for several years!”

The Snake was cool in a 50’s, black and white way. But it really only looks good animated, as it draws its way around the screen, and it’s monochrome. It became dated as early as the 60’s,

The peacock, as you must know, was originally designed to show off NBC’s leadership in color TV. As such it was perfectly symbolic, which is a good thing if you want something iconic. But the 11-feather bird is terribly busy, and really only looks good when it fills the screen.

Now consider the 6-feather bird.

  • Heritage. It harkens back to the original bird

  • Colorful

  • Simple design, which looks as good in the corner as it does full screen.

  • Deeper meaning. In addition to the peacock throwback, the six feathers represented the (at the time) six divisions of NBC.

So the six-feather bird manages to be practical and evocative. And that makes for a design that’s on its way to iconic.

And 27 years isn’t particularly long-lived for a logo. The CBS Eye has been around since the early 1950’s. Apple’s rainbow logo went unchanged for 21 years. IBM’s Beton Bold typeface logo was first introduced in 1947 and has been virtually unchanged since the early 1970’s.

Nobody cares. Why bother changing it? There aren’t three people in America who don’t work for NBC who could tell you what the logo is. It serves no purpose today. What would NBC get from making a change besides jokes calling attention to how irrelevant and failing NBC is? It’s a lose-lose. Better to leave it alone.

I agree with everything kunilou said, but especially the above. Various “bugs” are mostly the only time you ever see the logos anymore. No point in putting a lot of design work into a new one unless it’s a total overhaul.

I guess the short answer is: Because there’s nothing wrong with it.

What decade are you guys writing from? US TV nets have been putting their logos in the corner of the screen for quite a long time now.

As the OP noted, the 6-feather bird was created in the mid-1980s, so that covers the “corner of the screen” era. And indeed, one of the reason’s for the logo’s durability is the fact that it looks good shrunken and put in a corner.