MTV Logo

MTV logoMTV Logo PNG

For most of its history, the MTV logo remained unchanged. It was only in 2009 that minor alterations were introduced.

Meaning and history

MTV Logo history

Before MTV was actually launched, it was called The Music Channel and used another emblem. The insignia could be recognized by the characteristic “M” letter, “holding” a note. It was made by Manhattan Design in spring 1980.

1977 – 1981

MTV Logo 1977
The very first MTV logo was designed in 1977 and featured a completely different inscription than the whole world knows today. It was a black and white badge with the three-leveled “Sight On Sound” wordmark executed in a custom sans-serif typeface with arched lines and elongated bars, coming to both rights and left and merging into a rounded framing, executed in lines of different thicknesses. It was a progressive and stylish badge that stayed in use until the name change in 1981.

1980 – 1981

MTV Logo 1980
In 1980 the additional logo was created, to be used until 1981 as well. That was the first version with the “MTV” naming on it. The badge was still executed in black and white and boasted a bold black “MTV” with the bars overlapping and outlined in white, set above “The Music Channel” inscription in all capitals of a modern sans-serif typeface. The diagonal bar coming out of the “M” to the “T” was stylized as a hand in a white glove holding a black music note. It was a bit cartoonish and naive, resembling Mickey Mouse’s hand.

1981 – 1994

MTV Logo 1981The very first MTV logo was introduced on August 1, 1981. It looked very much like the one that is used now. The visual center of the emblem was the characteristic 3-dimensional letter “M”. Over it, there were characters “TV” given in a creative typeface resembling handwriting. Also, in many cases the “Music Television” caption could be seen below the wordmark.

1994 – 2010

MTV Logo 1994
The redesign of 1994 was all about intensifying and strengthening the iconic logo. All shapes and contours remained untouched, but the massive cubic “M” was now set in solid black color and featured a strict white outline, while the handwritten “TV” kelts its white shade and black outline, which could be noticed only on its right part, where the “V” was coming out of the “M”s contours. As for the bottom line, “Music Television”, it remained untouched, though all elements of the logo got slightly smaller, so the lettering started looking more delicate and modest. This was the most famous and recognizable badge out of all, created for the MTV channel throughout its history.

2010 – 2021

MTV Logo 2010

In 2010 the MTV logo was given a facelift. The modifications were quite subtle, so much of the audience probably have not even noticed them. However, if you take a closer look, you will definitely see that the letter “M” in the 2010 version is wider, so there is much more space inside.

This was made with the purpose of placing different images inside the logo. In this way, the channel can create as many custom logos as it wishes, modifying the emblem according to its visual context. This design trend, which can be described as a part of the “flexible identity” concept, is gaining more and more traction over recent years. This version of the emblem was designed in-house.

2021 – Today

MTV logo
In 2021 MTV decides to implement a very significant change to its visual identity and for the first time the logo got a new color palette. The concept remained unchanged — a flat massive “M” with a bold handwritten “TV” on its right part, but now the body of the main letter is bright yellow, the outline is white, and the shadow — light blue. As for the “TV”, it got a smooth and vivid red shade, representing the passion for music and endless energy of the company. The new palette made all shapes look different and brilliantly opened the mood and purpose of the channel.


Color MTV Logo

In addition to the standard black-and-white color scheme, the wordmark is often given inside a yellow box. The choice of the color palette depends on the visual context.


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