SpongeBob SquarePants is a world-famous animated series from Nickelodeon. Since its debut in 1999, the show has grown into a multi-billion dollar trading franchise. At least that was the case before when each episode attracted over three million viewers. Fred Seibert, head of the entertainment industry, even compared SpongeBob to Disney cartoon characters and called him the modern Bugs Bunny, which was also incredibly popular in the past. The cartoon about the senseless adventures of a sea sponge and his friends has increased the viewership of Nickelodeon because it is designed for children of different ages. In general, the series is aimed at a very wide demographic group because it managed to include jokes that only adults can understand.
Meaning and History
The SpongeBob SquarePants character and cartoon of the same name spawned a multimedia franchise that spans 13 seasons, various video games, music compilations, multiple films, merchandise, and even a Broadway musical. The original storyline was invented by Stephen Hillenburg, an oceanography instructor who created a comic strip about underwater life to introduce students to the inhabitants of tidal basins. But not a single publisher wanted to publish it.
Stephen decided to become a professional animator and graduated from the institute as time went on. Joe Murray liked his graduation film so much that the famous producer invited him to become a director. So Hillenburg got into the Nickelodeon animation studio. A colleague read his old comic strip and said it was a great base for a cartoon. The oceanographer seized on the proposed idea and set about developing the characters. He gave the main character the appearance of a rectangular kitchen sponge. The SpongeBoy name was taken, so the creator had to find a replacement quickly. He kept the first part of the name so that no one would mistake the character for a piece of cheese and added the last name SquarePants.
One of the sources of inspiration for the cartoon was the Polynesian culture, in which images of pineapples are common. Therefore, the main character lives in an exotic fruit, which also corresponds to his optimistic character. At the end of season 3, Hillenburg stepped down as showrunner, which affected the animated series’s style. The fans didn’t like the changes. They even decided that SpongeBob had died in the movie, and now someone else is playing his role. Despite the gradual decline in the project’s popularity, Nickelodeon is in no hurry to close it. After all, this is the longest-running animated series with the highest ratings in all of America.
Its logo is well known to billions of people in the United States and worldwide. It matches the cartoon style of the show and contains its full title. In total, there were three versions of trademarks, the first of which appeared in 1999 and the last in 2018.
1999 – 2008
The early logo for the franchise was 2D. It consisted of “SpongeBob SquarePants” in yellow, set against a blue cloud-like shape with a dark blue outline. If we consider the specifics of the plot, then it was not a cloud but a diffuse drop of water. The first word was at the top. A custom hand-drawn font with jagged, bouncing letters was used for it. The second part of the title has been placed in the blue rectangle at the bottom. It contained randomly mixed uppercase and lowercase characters with jagged edges. The blue “cloud” was not monochromatic: it was crossed by vertical waves of different shades, complemented by a dark blue silhouette of a flower.
2008 – today
After using the 2D logo for a long time, the designers decided to create a 3D version because the style of the animated series itself had changed a long time ago. First of all, they modernized the word “SpongeBob” so that each element looks like a small kitchen sponge with a porous structure. For this, oval “holes” and protruding sides were added, which gave the lettering volume. As for the second line (“SquarePants”), it has become more streamlined. The developers converted all letters to uppercase and changed the old font to a bold sans serif with rounded inner corners.
The multicolored waves are gone – the base is now a single shade of blue, save for the darker contours and shadows that the show’s title casts aside. There are also light elements such as silhouettes of flowers on both sides of the text and white reflections on the border. In 2018, this emblem became secondary.
2018 – today
On the eve of the show’s twentieth anniversary, the developers updated the logo, adding the Nickelodeon trademark – the famous orange lettering in a round sans serif font. At the same time, the rest of the structure has not changed, except that the main shades have become an order of magnitude lighter.
Polynesian motifs can be traced in the emblem’s design, primarily due to the color palette and unusual five-petal colors. The background designer Kenny Pittenger explained that the flowers would act as clouds if the characters weren’t living in the underwater world. And so it’s just an unusual decor, reminiscent of a Hawaiian shirt pattern.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
While everything is clear with the word “nickelodeon” (the nickelodeon TV brand font is used for it), the rest of the inscriptions raise many questions. The first half of the title of the animated series consists of individual glyphs. Fans have developed quirky cartoon typefaces based on it: Blob Spongey Lowercase by Heaven Castro, Spongeboy by SoulfurFTG, Krabby Patty by Seil. The word “SquarePants” is written using a modified version of the Las Vegas Jackpot. The designers changed only the capital “Q,” turning its diagonal stroke into a long horizontal bar.
The color scheme of the SpongeBob SquarePants logo follows the color scheme of the animated series. The letters in the first word are painted in two shades of yellow and generally resemble the protagonist. And the base is as blue as the surrounding space in the underwater world. Only the traditionally orange inscription “nickelodeon” and a dark blue plaque with white text stand out from the overall picture.