I can still remember when I first watched MTV — I was completely amazed, dazed, confused and elated by MTV. It was in 1984. I watched some random songs that included Michael Jackson’s early tracks on a VHS tape. I lived in New Delhi at that time and I watched this video at someone’s house. At that time VCR (dead technology now) was an expensive piece of technology only the very rich could afford. It was clear that music would never be the same again — it would be sold and consumed differently. I guess, I was right!
Apart from the scintillating moves of Michael Jackson, I was completely amazed by the MTV logo. Its simplicity was what made it powerful and simple. And memorable. Perhaps that is why it has not changed for nearly 30 years. MTV music channel first took shape in 1981. According to this blog:
In 1981 Warner AmEx announced they were going to start a music television channel. Frank Olinsky, along with his team at Manhattan Design, created the MTV logo that still stands today. Together, the Manhattan Design team created a flexible innovative design. Why is this design so flexible? Over the years the ‘M’ in the logo has given MTv the opportunity to dress up or alter the logo without loosing the overall identity.
The MTv logo is a well known logo of today. Many people understand that when they see “the chunky, baby block `M’ and the dripping ‘tv’,” they recognize the logo as Music television. It has lasted more than 25 years almost unchanged. Why is this design so good? By keeping the design simple Olinsky and his team left the ‘M’ open for alteration without altering the identity itself. This flexibility has given MTv the opportunity to put whatever they want in the ‘M’, whether a pattern to match a holiday or a color to represent a genre of music.
Well, that flexibility will be on display on Monday, February 8th when MTV is going to re-furbish and change its logo for the first time since 1981.
Apparently the new design/ facelift will reflect the new MTV, a channel that is now less about music and more about a different kind of a lifestyle. It is about reality shows and trends. It is about a young state of mind. I don’t much care about MTV anymore.
Frankly, the only music I listen to is recommended to me by friends. It is either on Spotify or via iTunes. The music videos I do watch are either on MySpace or on YouTube. For me, in this post Internet age, MTV is completely irrelevant.
The MTV logo, however, is still a symbol of how a simple image can outline a company’s vision. The new logo — just a mere twist is an adaption of MTV’s new focus. The new logo will be a revolving image with imagery living within the iconic design. According to their PR pitch:
It represents a new visually defined MTV, stimulating its past, present and future and embracing it’s diversity. Everything from Jersey Shore, to the VMAs to collaborations with the MoMA. The logo is part of MTV’s re-invention to connect with today’s millennial generation and bring them in as part of the channel.
To the naked eye the difference is very subtle but there is a difference. They are using the logo to focus away from “music.” They have dropped the “music television” tagline.
MTV is having somewhat of a renaissance. Thanks to the hit reality show, Jersey Shore, the audiences have gone up for the Viacom owned network. The network is also adding scripted programming which is going to add to its overall appeal.
So what do you think of the new design? Let me know!