CBS Logo

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CBS is an American broadcasting network, founded in 1927. It bases in New York, at the CBS Broadcast Center. Most facilities are located there, anyhow. The company focuses primarily on TV and radio. The first appearance on television by the company was done in 1941.

Meaning and History

CBS Logo history

Before 1974, when the name CBS was adopted, the company used another one – Columbian Broadcasting System. The company got this name according to the name of its investor – Columbia Phonograph Company, which helped the fledging network in the very start.

What is CBS?
CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) is an American media company known for its television network and various entertainment platforms. It produces and distributes popular TV shows, news programs, and sports events, making it a significant player in the media industry. CBS has a rich history and continues to be a prominent source of entertainment for audiences worldwide.

1927 – 1931

CBS Logo 1927

The origin of the Columbia Broadcasting System is conventionally linked to the year 1927. However, in actuality, it was in 1929 that the radio network formally manifested under this designated title. The precursor to this was the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting Company; it underwent a transformative renaming and rejuvenation following its bankruptcy. Thus, the emblem illustrated here pertains not to 1927, but rather to the subsequent epoch when the network underwent revitalization and resumed its broadcasts.

This emblem embodies a quintessential vintage radio microphone, encapsulated within a substantial structure engineered to augment auditory fidelity. This structure is perched on an improvised, symmetrically balanced stand represented by dual horizontal lines. For the sake of maintaining equilibrium, an analogous pair of lines are integrated above. Spanning these parallel lines is a fragmented line, indicative of an ascending linear chart, representing growth and advancement.

The nomenclature “Columbia” is situated over the image, and beneath it resides the delineation “BROADCASTING SYSTEM INC.,” segmented into two distinct rows. Every constituent, inclusive of the letters, are depicted in a stark black hue. The lettering employs a serif font, and the interstitial space between the characters is minimized to such an extent that the “C” and “o” appear fused, evoking a handwritten aesthetic.

This emblem, resplendent with its vintage aura and meticulous composition, is a visual commentary on the redefined identity and the evolutionary journey of the network. It symbolizes the metamorphosis and resilience of the broadcasting entity, encapsulating its historical essence and the transformative phases marking its revival in the broadcasting realm. The nuanced details and the precise alignment of the various elements reflect the foundational ethos and the perpetual linkage of the brand to the broadcasting spectrum, showcasing its rejuvenated existence and sustained prominence in the ever-evolving media industry. The emblematic concordance of traditional and structured elements narrates a tale of legacy, endurance, and adaptative resurgence in the multifaceted world of communication and media.

1931 – 1935

CBS Logo 1931

The proliferation of stations within the network swiftly escalated, prompting its proprietors to contemplate a comprehensive rebranding. Consequently, a revamped CBS emblem was conceived. This iteration continues to feature a circular, retro microphone designated for vocal transmission, albeit displaying solely its superior segment, omitting the stem. The composition is enriched with white concentric circles highlighted with black contours of varied thickness, accompanied by quartet star-like triangles. These geometric entities are enshrined within a black circumferential band, wherein the inscription “THE COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM” is embossed in a bold, sans-serif typeface. The intervening space between the letters has been further constricted, with the adjoining characters now demarcated exclusively by black delineations, with the alphabets rendered in white.

The meticulous incorporation of geometric elements in the logo mirrors the network’s structured approach and its unwavering commitment to maintaining a distinctive identity in the broadcasting landscape. The fusion of retro elements with bold typographical nuances creates a harmonious blend, representing the network’s historical lineage and its contemporary essence. The emblem’s refined aesthetics and stark contrasts symbolize CBS’s progressive vision and its enduring legacy in the evolving realm of broadcasting. This artistic amalgamation serves as a visual articulation of the network’s relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation in delivering unparalleled auditory experiences, reflecting its adaptative spirit and sustained relevance in the multifaceted media domain.

1935 – 1938

CBS Logo 1935

In 1935, the radio network transitioned to utilizing a logo featuring the acronym “CBS,” supplanting the extensive inscription. The triad of black characters is affixed atop an identical black circle, hence their arcuated disposition. The utilized typeface emanates asymmetry, considering the “B” incorporates a singular diminutive rectangular serif, in contrast to “C” and “S,” which are devoid of any serifs. The craftsmen meticulously accentuated the interior facets of the vintage radio microphone and implemented a serrated finish to the triangular delineations to unequivocally signify their spring-like nature.

This transformation aimed at encapsulating the essence of the radio network in a more concise and streamlined manner, reflective of the innovations in broadcasting technology and the dynamic nature of the radio industry at the time. The intricate details and the juxtaposition of asymmetrical font with meticulous design elements resonated with the ethos of precision and clarity that were paramount in radio transmissions. The redefined logo served as a symbol of enduring resilience and adaptability, emphasizing the network’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of broadcasting evolution, continually reshaping its identity to align with the ever-transforming auditory landscape.

1938 – 1941

CBS Logo 1938

In 1938, with the acquisition of a record company, CBS underwent a transformation, incorporating a logo revision in the process. Designers opted for an avant-garde triangular motif, centering a circle within, in lieu of the former circular microphone. The encasing border surrounding the triangle projects an optical conundrum, disrupting depth discernment and leaving observers questioning which facets are extruding and which remain lateral. Positioned above is a reversed trapezium, housing the block-lettered “CBS” in a stark black hue.

This metamorphosis represented a pivotal shift, symbolizing adaptability and the embrace of abstract symbolism to mirror the company’s diverse expansions and ventures. The intricate and illusionary elements of the redesigned logo reflected a deeper exploration into visual perceptions and artistic expressions, aligning with the company’s progressive approach to multimedia representation and production. The innovative logo not only marked a new chapter in branding but also resonated with the evolving aesthetics and varied endeavors undertaken by CBS, solidifying its presence in the multifaceted world of entertainment and broadcasting. The integration of geometric abstraction and optical intricacies illustrated a refined and nuanced approach to visual identity, resonating with the dynamic and expansive nature of CBS’s enterprise.


CBS Logo 1941

In 1941, creatives revamped the microphone’s visual rendition. While retaining a nostalgic flair, its form transitioned from circular to a vertically extended silhouette. The solitary reminiscence of its circular predecessor is the encompassing black boundary within which the logo nestles. The microphone’s right segment is configured of 24 square points, orderly aligned in 3 columns and 8 tiers. Conversely, the left segment mirrors a contorted rhomboid. A subtle linear accent traverses the upper section, underscoring the bold “CBS” abbreviation, presented in a robust, condensed Helvetica typeface. Anchoring the composition at the base is the microphone stand, articulated through a broad, hook-like curve.

This transformation articulated a nuanced attention to geometric intricacies and visual balance, marrying modernity with nostalgic echoes of the past. The juxtaposition of squared dots and distorted geometric forms within a singular frame invoked a sense of dynamic diversity and intricate precision, mirroring CBS’s multifaceted identity in the broadcasting realm. The delicate upper linear accent and the boldness of the Helvetica inscription conveyed a harmonious blend of subtlety and assertiveness, encapsulating the brand’s evolving ethos and aesthetic resilience in the evolving landscape of multimedia and entertainment. The reinterpretation of visual elements in this logo presented a harmonious amalgamation of past reminiscences and forward-looking artistic expression.

1941 – 1951

CBS Logo-1941

The initial logotype of the company represented the abbreviation of its name, made in the simple typeface, without any other features.

1946 – 1965

CBS Logo 1947

A few years later, the company introduced their second logotype. It was the volumetric inscription ‘CBS’, placed over some wall. There was also the searchlight on the inscription.

1951 – Today

CBS Logo

In 1951 they introduced the longest-enduring logo yet. It has the minimalistic and simple eye, which stares at you, and the background. They are both made in the black and white palette.

Emblem and Symbol

CBS Emblem

CSB has a secondary emblem often used to identify the corporation and its brand. It’s a circle shape with an eye in its middle. The message behind it is simple – eye represents the process of watching whatever CSB has to offer on the telly. Of course, it doesn’t account for radio, but no one really listens to that anymore.