37 thoughts on “The Story Behind… The Universal Pictures logo

  1. Wow, they’ve come a long way haven’t they? This isn’t one of my fave studio logos but still it’s cool to learn more about it. Thanks Nostra.

  2. Universal seems to have been the only studio who hasn’t gone all weird and trippy during the 60s/70s. They kept it classic.

    Their new 2012 logo looks very… shiny. I kinda really love the 1946 era of the logo. Very classic. Love the typeface.

  3. I’m a big fan of their new logo for the 100th anniversary. I also really like the 1927-1936 logo. I’m not sure I’ve seen too many films with it, but its cool nevertheless.

  4. The logo or the introduction of Universal Pictures, 1997 remains the same because there are rumors that arrived or spread the new intro of Universal Pictures for the 100 years it was assumed that Universal opens new logo and it was a rumor.

  5. Pingback: Universal Pictures and Focus Features celebrate anniversaries in 2012 « The Hollywood 15 Headlines

  6. I liked a number of movie logo transitions into the movie itself, and I pay particular attention to this..
    The opening scene in …1] Waterworld; 2] The Burbs; 3] Knowing

  7. I love what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

  8. In the late 50s-early 60s, the ‘planet appearing out of nowhere’ version showed the name of Universal’s top executive, Edward Muhl, down in the lower left-hand corner. His name came into focus along with the main Universal lettering. Muhl had been at Universal for decades. Besides Jack Warner, he’s the only only one I know who got the honor of regular recognition on a studio logo.

    My favorite Universal-International logo treatment: ‘Spartacus’, with Alex North’s scoring.

    Like Cedric Gibbons at MGM (who designed the Oscar™ statuette), Alexander Golitzen was Universal’s premier art director. John Fulton helped invent process (‘rear projection’) special effect photography, and later settled in at Paramount.

    The fanfare in the 30s-40s was pretty dandy. Not sure who wrote it. The ‘triumphal’ fanfare of today (by John Williams?) is outstanding.

  9. My favorite, without doubt, is the 1936-46 art deco chrome globe with the rotating crystal stars! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this (I heard they used a rotoscope to film it) had been filmed in color, with “A UNIVERSAL PICTURE” in yellow neon with orange shadow reflecting on the chrome ball. The triumphant Universal fanfare used here is second only to my favorite, the Fox fanfare (with the CinemaScope addition).

  10. The 1990-97 Universal logo theme was composed by James Horner. Jerry Goldsmith composed the theme used from 1997 to today. It was re-orchestrated for the 2012 hundredth anniversary logo.

  11. I can imagine how the rotating globe and text for the 1936-1946 logo could have been done. How they made the star projections spin in place around them at the same time is more difficult to imagine, unless they were added in using matte photography.

  12. What’s the typeface or font used for the 1963-1990 logo? It’s very iconic and should be used in the future.

  13. Just stumbled on this website. I believe the 1936-46 logo may have been built by Alexander Golitzen but am pretty sure it was designed by then head of Universal Art Department John Harkrider.

  14. Hitchcock’s thriller “The Birds”, which was released by Universal in 1963, has a logo that I’ve only seen on that one film. It’s a static, monochromatic shot of earth, with the words “A Universal Release” superimposed over it.

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