Identifying a particular station through an on-screen graphic has been common practice around the world.
Many of the world’s famous television stations feature iconic logos that has stood the test of time. In the United States, there is the NBC ‘peacock’ and the CBS ‘eye’ logo, in Japan NHK has the ‘three eggs’ logo, and in the United Kingdom there is the BBC ‘three squares’ logo.
In the case of NBC’s ‘peacock’ and CBS’ ‘eye’, the logos are so easily identifiable that there is no need to add the name of the network within it. But the same cannot be said for the Philippines’ two top television stations; namely ABS-CBN and GMA.
ABS-CBN is forever identified by the three RGB (red, green and blue) circles and a black bar that masquerades as an antenna. The iconic logo, with a few minor changes, has been in place since 1967.
The network began to implement this logo as a digital on-screen graphic around the mid-1990s. With the exception of the 50th anniversary logo in 2003, ABS-CBN has kept this logo in place ever since.
Since 2011, however, ABS-CBN utilizes the full primary logo complete with the network’s name below the logo on its programs. It is hard to see from a distance, but when carefully magnified, the name of the network can be spotted.
Meanwhile, GMA’s ‘rainbow heart’ logo was first used in 2002, replacing the ‘Rainbow Satellite’ logo that had been in place since 1992. Last week, GMA unveiled its 2018 station ID, but the ‘rainbow heart’ logo, for whatever reason, was kept intact with only a few alterations.
Much like ABS-CBN, GMA started using its logo as an on-screen graphic during the mid-1990s. Yet despite their penchant for celebrating anniversaries every June, GMA has not used a special anniversary logo as an on-screen graphic; in fact, during its 50th anniversary in 2000, GMA kept the ‘Rainbow Satellite’ logo despite celebrating such an occasion.
So what if ABS-CBN and GMA only use the respective ‘three circles and a bar’ and the ‘rainbow heart’ instead of the full logo on its on-screen graphics? Will viewers be able to easily identify which network they are watching?
The answer is a definite yes. In many ways, ABS-CBN’s ‘three circles and a bar’ and GMA’s ‘rainbow heart’ are both famous and legendary, and can stand out on its own without the need of a network name.
Still, it will be up to the braintrust of both networks to see if a simpler on-screen graphic can be helpful to the audience and easier to the eyes. For now, though, the focus is on the preparation for the digital age, but once the conversion is complete, perhaps this topic should be revisited soon.