Top Five… movie studio logos
They are the cinematic equivalent of a nightclub bouncer – a few seconds that could get your evening off to a great start. Here are my favourite movie logos, those that send a shiver down my spine before the film even begins.
There is nothing like that rush you get just before a movie is about to begin. That anticipation of the adventure and excitement to come. Often this anticipation is obliterated a few minutes later by lousy acting/clichés/giant talking robots but however crap the movie, no one can take away those beautiful few seconds you had two hours earlier in which all your hopes and dreams were allowed to soar. And for me, and I’m sure a lot of movie-goers, those few seconds can be enhanced by a good film company logo. The best logos somehow manage to get your goosebumps up before the feature has started.
For my money, the best logos are short, simple and visually arresting. It is worth mentioning a few that didn’t make the Top Five. The DreamWorks logo is quite innovative but there is just too much going on, while Pixar’s is cute yet tries too hard. The eerieness of Bad Robot meant it almost sneaked into the list. Be sure to tell us your favourites in the comments section below.
5. Orion Pictures
The now defunct Orion helped bring us The Terminator, Platoon and The Silence Of The Lambs and it also gave us a smashing logo. It cleverly incorporates its titular constellation at the beginning, before a spinning circle morphs into an ‘O’ to get the juices going. Once the entire name appears you would be forgiven for thinking that was it, and then that cool sci-fi line cuts through the letters to provide the icing on the cake. Otherworldly and brilliant.
Forget the bad things you may have read about The Weinsteins – their former company has good branding. The epic swoop across the water leading into the bright lights of New York is bold and immediately attention-grabbing, adding a distinctive East Coast feel that is as alluring as it is memorable.
3. 20th Century Fox
Come on, tell the truth: every time you hear this music you expect Star Wars to come on…
2. The Rank Organisation
Finally! A logo that has a person in it! There were a number of people who banged the gong over the years for the British company, including circus strongman Carl Dane, boxer Billy Wells and wrestler Kenneth Richmond. Its founder, J Arthur Rank, produced classics such as The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus before his name became rhyming slang for male masturbation. Bummer.
And now to the grandaddy of them all – the oldest and best movie logo in the business. It’s just a peak with some stars around it and yet it is so much more. It’s just so, well, beautiful and never fails to make me smile in a darkened cinema. Is the logo’s summit a depiction of Artesonraju in Peru, Ben Lomond in the US or Ben Stack in Scotland? Who cares? It just looks great. The original 24 stars – representing Paramount’s acting roster – has since been cut to 22, but counting them isn’t an option in the split second that the image takes to blow you away in a theatre or at home. The logo has gone through a number of incarnations, and while I love how the stars fly at you at the beginning of Team America: World Police, it really is tough to beat the mountain morph, below, which kicks off one of the greatest movie adventures of all time.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE LOGOS?