Universal is the short name of the famous American film studio Universal Pictures or Universal Studios. Its full legal name is Universal City Studios LLC. She is engaged in the creation and distribution of films of various genres. The future film concern was founded by individuals led by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, and Charles Baumann. It was founded in 1912. Now it is included in the Big Five of the world film market. The company’s filming locations are located in Universal City, California, with offices in New York. Since 1962, it has been owned by the MCA, which was relaunched as NBCUniversal in 2004.
Meaning and history
The new century has brought new discoveries. One of them was related to cinema. The invention of the apparatus for recording pictures in motion shocked the world and sent it in an unprecedented direction. Enterprising people immediately made their way to benefit from cameras and projectors. So, after a long search, the modern Universal studio appeared, headed by Carl Laemmle. At the beginning of the 20th century (in 1909), she produced and distributed her films. For the first time, the organization used actors for advertising, which was an innovation in the field of cinema.
The official registration of the film studio took place in 1912 after the merger of several specialized companies. In the end, Laemmle bought them out, seriously focusing on filmmaking. The firm moved all of its films sets to the Hollywood area, where it took up work. Thus began the great era of cinema. To emphasize its global significance for humanity, the artists used the globe as the key elements of the emblem. It is present on all logos, of which there are a total of twelve.
1912 – 1914
The debut emblem depicts the planet Earth with a wide ring encircling it. Presumably, this is an orbit. The upper half contains the word “Universal Films” in a small serif typeface. The letters are painted black. “U” and “L” are much larger than the rest of the symbols, and “V” is represented in the form of a horseshoe, which is why the adjacent “I” and “R” have side valleys.
1914 – 1919
This is the only logo that doesn’t have a real globe – it’s only sketchy. The contours have an elongated round shape, repeating the outlines of the globe with an inscription in the middle. The banner has the word “Universal,” and at the top and bottom – “Moving” and “Pictures.” The color palette is black and white.
1919 – 1923
Since 1919, each new version of the logo has consisted of a globe and a ribbon encircling it with an inscription. In this version, the globe is black with the words “Universal” and “Films” in white at the top and bottom.
1923 – 1929
The designers have given the logo a more modern look. Firstly, they made it lighter by drawing the contours of the continents on a white background, and secondly, they removed the circular ribbon (orbit). Instead, the artists used free lettering, which is not framed. This is the name of the film studio in massive font. Each letter is surrounded by a thin black line and supplemented with a shadow, making the text perceived as volumetric and convex.
1929 – 1936
After the redesign, the logo became flat and two-dimensional. He received the appearance of a classic rondel, the central part of which is occupied by the globe. A wide white ring with a sans serif lettering runs along the entire circular perimeter. The words “Universal” and “Pictures” are separated by miniature strokes. A solid black line surrounds the edge.
1936 – 1947
The planet is wrapped in a wide black ribbon with the name of the film studio in white. The wordmark is in uppercase and typed in simple sans serif typeface. The letters are bold and the same height. This time the planet is surrounded by a diagonal orbit: its right side is higher than the left. The globe depicts two continents – South America and North America. The continents are painted black.
1947 – 1963
The logo has received a professional design: the globe has become detailed, and the inscription is italicized. Modest ones have replaced the original symbols: they are hand-drawn in calligraphic handwriting, where each letter is drawn neatly and does not exceed the size of its neighbors. At the same time, the developers left the bottom and side shadows on them so that the name of the movie company still looks three-dimensional. Another change is related to the arrangement of words since they took not one but two lines against the background of the globe.
For some period, the emblem had not ribbon-like but a two-line inscription. The upper word was made much larger than the lower one to emphasize the versatility of the film company, its planetary scale. Another significant meaning of this option is that the phrase “Universal International” has been replaced by “Universal Pictures.” The designers left the font the same.
1963 – 1990
This is a laconic and stylish sign. It shows a schematic 2D globe. Five meridians and one parallel are drawn on a flat circle. They are made with thin black lines. The globe is in a depression formed on a black square. There are no inscriptions.
1990 – 1996
The number of parallels and meridians has increased. The continents have received clear contours. The name of the film studio has been shortened to one word – “Universal.” It overlaps the globe and goes beyond it to the right and left. It has small serifs in the form of needle-like protrusions. Added the phrase “AN MCA COMPANY” at the bottom.
1996 – 2012
The developers have removed all unnecessary details, retaining only the schematic outline of a circle, on which the images of two continents – North and South America are drawn in black. The lettering also became minimalist: the word “Universal” remained while everything else was removed.
2012 – today
The modern version of the logo is based on the previous version. The fixes are minimal:
- The map has been enlarged.
- Europe has been added.
- Serifs have been removed.
- The inscription is curved.
If you look closely at the name, you will immediately see that this is the same typeface as the previous logo, but only chopped.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The identity of the film concern Universal is directly related to the name. In English, this word has several basic meanings: “universal” and “universe.” Both are conveyed in the logo. This is an independent world of creative fantasies and dreams, without which humanity cannot exist on planet Earth.
To signify the independence of their MCU, the management chose a custom Universal Serif font for the emblem. Its author is designer Khiam Mincey. The latter uses the same typeface but sans serifs. The color of the logos depends on the place of their application and purpose. For example, in movie splash screens, the emblems are mostly navy blue with gold lettering. And in their usual form, they are black and white.