National Broadcasting Company
The National Broadcasting Company tried a number of different logos over the years—a stylized N, the N superimposed on the peacock—but nothing had worked effectively to represent this major network. A peacock illustration first appeared on screens in 1956 as a promotional image for color television, rather than as an official logo.
In order to make the peacock both a more functional and ownable symbol, we had to reimagine its form: the bird’s silhouette was streamlined, the number of feathers reduced from eleven to six, and the feather shapes regularized. The bright colors assigned to the feathers are the primary and secondary colors of television. The peacock had been facing left—the wrong way for a reader’s eye—so we flipped it to face right. Finally, the bird’s body becomes, essentially, an upside-down feather, created in the negative space. The shape of the previous pointed N is recalled in the simple letterforms for the new NBC wordmark, which generally appears under the bird. In addition, a cohesive system with complimentary typography was designed to unify the various divisions and programming themes of NBC.
The peacock has since become one of the world’s most highly recognized trademarks, appearing with every station, program brand, and platform—such as MSNBC, CNBC, local stations nationwide, Comcast Corporation, NBC News, and numerous others.