Every cinephile can easily hum along to the various production company logos that parade in front of a feature film. Many memorable production logos have become famous throughout the years, but not many people know how they came to be.
Production logos often tell a story of their own and of how the company was born. While many companies have modernized their vanity card over time, they still stay faithful to the original idea at play.
Here are 10 secrets behind famous Hollywood film studio logos.
1. Columbia Pictures. They have used the imagery of a woman holding a burning torch as their logo ever since 1924. However, the logo has gone through five major revisions since. The most recent logo, which was created in 1992, was based on a woman who had never modeled before and agreed to do so on her lunch break.
The artist behind the iconic logo, Michael Deas, interviewed a number of models but then turned to one of his coworkers, Jenny Joseph, who also just discovered she was pregnant. Deas painted Jenny in the pose with a makeshift blanket and light bulb in place of a torch. “I never thought it would make it to the silver screen and I never thought it would still be up 20 years later,” Deas told WWL-TV.
2. Paramount Pictures. Their logo has been reworked numerous times over the years, but the distinctively pyramidal Paramount mountain remains the oldest surviving Hollywood film logo. Initially, the logo had 24 stars, which represented the number of stars Paramount had signed at the time.
It’s said that the logo’s mountain is based on a drawing by W. W. Hodkinson, known as “The Man Who Invented Hollywood.” He drew it during a meeting, inspired by childhood memories in Utah. Most people believe that Utah’s Ben Lomond is the major influence behind the iconic mountain.
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