NBC Logo History

January 22, 2010

In 1942, NBC television got its first official logo, coincide with the start of broadcasting in color, a microphone surrounded by lightning bolts, a modification of an existing logo used by the NBC radio network. Lightning bolts were also part of corporate parent RCA‘s logo, as well as that of one-time sister company RKO Pictures. The left waves were meant for the radio network, and the right waves were meant for the television network. The video version of this logo says, “This is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company”, followed by the NBC chimes

In 1956, John J. Graham created an abstraction of an eleven-feathered peacock to indicate richness in color. This brightly hued peacock was adopted due to the increase in color programming. NBC‘s first color broadcasts showed only a still frame of the colorful peacock. The emblem made its first on-air appearance on May 22, 1956.[1]

On September 7, 1957 on Your Hit Parade the peacock was animated and thereafter appeared at the beginning of every NBC color broadcast until a revamped animation appeared in 1961. Its musical backing was a gong while the peacock began its formup, then an announcer saying “The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC” while the music crescendoed and after that a bombastic nine-note flourish while the peacock’s feathers changed color and finally “filled out”. According to Game Show Network executive David Schwartz, the first announcer who spoke those famous words behind the Peacock graphic logo was Ben Grauer, a familiar voice on NBC since 1930. There is a variant where the peacock changes its feathers and jumps and his feathers change into multi – color words that say “NBC”.

And here are some Variations of the Famous Peacock logo done by several different designers over the course of the years

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