Disney has been the biggest producer of animated films and shows since time immemorial. Over time, they also bought countless other studios, so that they now own a good chunk of Hollywood. Many things that you’ve watched in a previous year have at least a slightly influenced from this company.
The company has been active since 1923, when it was founded by the aspiring (and one of the first ever) animator Walt Disney. The studio bore his name ever since – nowadays, it’s known as ‘The Walt Disney Company’. Although the company is mostly known for their animations, they’ve also purchased giant film studios such as Lucasfilm and Marvel.
The first logo was likely drafted by Disney himself in 1937. The later versions brought some changes, but the overall style stayed the same throughout the years.
It’s a text that says ‘Walt Disney’ that was drawn as if by hand – which hints at the usual method of creating animations back in the day. The letters are just artistic, fluid and childish as today. Even though later most of the letters were reimagined, some elements stayed. For instance, the dot over ‘I’ looks now just as it was back then.
In 1948, Disney redrew his initial draft. The first thing you notice is that it became massively darker. Sure, the previous version was often pitch-black, if they decided to add more ink, but the usual composition was soft grey.
Design-wise, the letters became wavier. There were now almost no straight lines, and the general layout came much closer to the contemporary design that was introduced in the 70s.
In 1972, this one became the main logo, although the 1948 variant was still in use. The text design that was introduced with this version has pretty much stayed with the brand ever since – the surrounding details changed, and sometimes the color.
But the 1972 version saw this new text design accompanied by a simple plain word ‘Productions’ below in a thin typographic font.
In 1983, they replaced the word below with a notched design that resembles Times New Roman heavily, except it spelled ‘Pictures’ now. This layout basically accompanied the company logo until 2011, with the only exception in the form of an added castle.
In 1985, the iconic Disney castle was added on top of the previous structure. It was a basic cartoonish castle with tons of towers and a gateway. Several horizontal lines pierced it in some places for some reason.
The last touch is a thing arch that circumvents the building – a trail of the star that went across the screen, if you remember the older Disney intro.
Lastly, the text proportions were slightly changed, with the main text lessened a bit, and the ‘Pictures’ part increasing in size.
For 2006, the castle (as well as a comet) became more realistic and, in addition, confined in a vertical rectangle. Aside from the ‘Pictures’ element that was now made fully uppercase, nothing else changed.
In 2011, even fewer changes were made. The words ‘Walt’ and ‘Pictures’ were removed from the logo, with the ‘Disney’ part occupying most of the vacant space.
Disney’s ‘Mickey Mouse logo’ is known since at least the 80s, when the silhouette of his head and ears (basically just three circles) as first used to identify the corporation. Since then, the positioning and focus shifted numerous times. Since 2002, it was lightly cropped and tilted to the side, with some new details in every minor update.
It was mostly used to identify Disney Channel, although it’s not uncommon for it to be featured elsewhere as an icon for the brand as a whole.