Friday, September 28, 2018

From 1978: Austin Grandjean's logo for Danish TV news

TV-Avisen is Denmark's oldest TV news programme, broadcast daily on DR1. Forty years ago it was also Dernmark's only news programme. The lack of competition meant TV-Avisen didn't have to consider newfangled things like colour television. The switch to colour wasn't made until October 2, 1978, probably making TV-Avisen one of the last national news programmes the be broadcast in black-and-white in Western Europe.

TV-Avisen used the colour switch as an opportunity to refresh itself, introducing a new intro with a new logo and music at the same time. That intro would apparently remain in use with small changes until 1987.

The logo for this programme wouldn't really be worth mentioning of if it wasn't for the fact that it was designed by Austin Grandjean (1930-2006), an influential Danish typographer and graphic designer. Grandjean was employed by the major Danish publishing house Gyldendal between 1954-1997, but also had the opportunity to design two of the country's leading newspapers, Ekstra-Bladet and Politiken. It makes sense that he designed the "TV newspaper" as well (TV-Avisen is Danish for "TV newspaper").

The logo was included in a neat little book published by the Danish Design Council in the mid-80s. It contains portfolios of distinguished Danish graphic designers, one of them being Grandjean and one of his projects chosen for this book being the TV-Avisen logo. The version of the logo presented above is a scan from that book, with colour information from a video of the intro.

Still from the first use of the new intro.

The new intro music was selected through a competition. The clip below contains one of the failed entrants, followed by the winner.

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