A short sequence played at the very end of a program's Closing Credits
to identify the production company that created the series. Sometimes also called "vanity cards," "taglines", "sign-offs", "closing/production logos" or an "endboard", these brief sequences display the production company's trademark/logo. They can occur at the beginning, which is usually done in movies to the opening beats of the theme music. Rising production costs have increased the number of collaborative efforts between studios in recent years, which has the unfortunate side-effect of multiplying the number of vanity plates that open a film.
If you were wanting to read about literal
vanity plates, see Vanity License Plate
Some companies put a great deal of effort into creating a memorable vanity plate, as this is really the only advertising the production company receives. This has led to famous examples such as the MTM Kitten and the Mutant Enemy Zombie, or infamous examples, such as the Screen Gems "Filmstrip S," also known as "The S from Hell." See more at the NightmareFuel.Vanity Plates
CGI in recent years has made these considerably snazzier. A combination of the increase in quality and number of film vanity plates has increasingly led to viewer confusion over when
they end and the movie proper begins. Peter Griffin
The Closing Logo Group Wiki
has information on these and practically every vanity plate EVER
includes vanity plates in its database.
If a Vanity Plate becomes known the world over, then it's also an Iconic Logo
. See also Logo Joke
for vanity plate variants made for specific movies. Compare Station Ident
Film and television studios
- 20th Century Fox: The 20th Century Fox "logo statue", complete with its moving searchlights, usually with a shortened version of the 20th Century Fox Fanfare.
- AKA Cartoon: Ed, Edd n Eddy and a few others. The company logo, a caricatured Danny Antonucci (company founder) being skewered by a pencil, accompanied by a generic car-crash sound and a saxophone riff. The logo is remarkably different in every season, special (excluding the Cartoon Network Invaded special) and even The Movie of Ed, Edd n Eddy.
- Amblin Entertainment: Steven Spielberg's production company features an animated reproduction of the scene from ET The Extra Terrestrial where E.T. rides in the basket of Elliott's bicycle as they fly across the sky, silhouetted by a full moon.
- ABSOLUTELY: Producer of Tim and Eric shows on [adult swim], namely Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!! It features an amateur video of a man saying "ABSO... LUTELY!", while the word is printed beneath in pink. The man is actually Tim's dad, and he was responding to the request "Sum up this vacation in 2 words".
- Bad Hat Harry: Bryan Singer's company, produces House, among others.
- A brief cartoon of two cartoon men on a beach. One is wearing a hat. The other says, in a slightly helium-affected voice, "That's some bad hat, Harry." The whole thing is a Shout-Out to Jaws.
- Jaws may be unique in having inspired the names of two production companies, Bad Hat Harry and A Bigger Boat (as in "We're gonna need...").
- This was later replaced by the lineup from The Usual Suspects in silhouettes, first seen on X-Men: First Class.
- Bad Robot Productions: LOST, Alias, ...anything J. J. Abrams. An animated logo of a boxy, brightly-colored robot running through tall grass as a chorus of children call out, "bad robot!" (In movies, there is no voiceover.)
- Bankable Productions, Tyra Banks' company, uses a bank vault.
- The BBC: Old videos from the BBC used to have one of these on them at the start and finish of a program. It featured a 3D blue and gold flat map that turned into a spinning globe and back again (based off the BBC1 COW (Computer Originated World) ident). They have had various different ones before and since.
- The Bedford Falls Company: Production company responsible for the late 1980s ABC show Thirtysomething and mid-'90s Teen Drama My So-Called Life. Snow falls on a Victorian house as the line "...and dance by the light of the moon..." from the song "Buffalo Gals" is sung. Shout-Out to the movie It's a Wonderful Life. The film was set in the town of Bedford Falls, NY, and there is a scene where Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed sing "Buffalo Girls" before stopping to throw stones through the windows of the abandoned house they would later renovate and live in.
- Belisarius Productions: Donald P. Bellisario's plate. Starts with a stone with sand on it, which blows off to reveal "BELISARIVS". The screen flashes several times, leaving us with "BELISARIUS PRODUCTIONS". Has been used in its original form for over 25 years without a High Definition upgrade, with the only real changes being that CBS tends to speed it up and drown out its original soundtrack with generic jingles and promotional announcements, and the image stretched out to fit the 16:9 screen.
- Best Brains Incorporated: Not having a standard-issue logo, the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000 chose to invent The Stinger — a five-second clip from the episode itself, run behind the BBI name.
- Big Dog Productions uses a logo with a caricature of Jay Leno.
- One Ho Productions has an arguably creepy Al Hirschfeld caricature of Whoopi Goldberg
- Steven Bochco Productions: The company behind Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Doogie Howser MD, and NYPD Blue. Features a violinist — actually an old photo of Bochco's father, who was a concert violinist, animated via computer — playing rapidly, with appropriately synchronized music. Capitol Critters features a variant with a cartoon mouse playing the violin.
- Braniff: Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "company" credited for South Park. Actually an old commercial for Braniff Airlines that Trey and Matt stuck on the end of early South Park episodes when they realized they didn't have a production company logo to put on the end. It stuck.
- In the uncut, unaired version of Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, there is a variant that has six pantsless guys dancing (the "Braniff Airlines" text works as the censor bar) singing, "Bra-Niff Air-Lines!" off-key.
- The "pah PAH-PAH PAH! Pah pah-pah pah-pah-pah! pah-PAH!" jingle came from "Shpadoinkle Day", a song in Cannibal! The Musical
- Cartoon Network Studios:
- For most shows, a "pencil test" of characters from the preceeding show perform a simple action, in a rectangular box. The top and bottom of the box are the two text lines of the Cartoon Network logo. The sides collapse, sometimes as a result of the characters' actions, and the box closes. For the first two seasons of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee (as well as the Pilot Movie for the aborted Party Wagon), the "Studios" portion of the logo is added to the CN logo via a "scanning" effect which was generally used as generically. A few used snippets of dialog from the episode as the audio. As of 2010, this has been replaced by an entirely different vanity plate with a change in logo but it's very rarely if ever seen on air.
- Also, the former vanity plate used at the beginning of Cartoon Cartoons, which featured a bunch of squiggly lines going around the screen to very cartoony music, culminating with the logo and one of the stars of the show about to air popping out of one of the Os saying "Cartoon Cartoons". A similar but distinct one was used during the Friday night "Cartoon Cartoon Fridays" block.
- The "pencil test" logo was recently revived and redesigned at the end of Regular Show, Adventure Time, Uncle Grandpa, and Clarence.
- Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe: A black ball of fuzz bounces across a rectangle to music, lighting up each part to reveal the Cartoon Network logo, taking an extra jump to get the last part, and smiling as the words "Development Studio Europe" pop up on the bottom.
- Castle Rock Entertainment, which was behind Seinfeld and many movies, featured a logo of a lighthouse in the distance which briefly shone its light at the camera. This was accompanied by a five note melody, which was given a full orchestra remix starting in 1997.
- CBS' ubiquitous Eye has been around since 1951. The network started out with a plainly lettered logo. Network president Frank Stanton asked creative director William Golden to come up with something unique. Golden drew an eye backed by floating clouds. It's actually inspired by Shaker art depicting the eye of God, and the protective "hex" signs of the Pennsylvania Dutch, meant to ward off evil, but some children find the Eye terrifying. It's also a pet subject of Illuminati conspiracy theorists.
- Chuck Lorre Productions: At the end of Dharma and Greg, Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory, Chuck Lorre would put a plate up for two seconds which consisted of a blank background, a heading which read "Chuck Lorre Productions #(no. of vanity plate)" and a great big Wall of Text, accompanied by a burst of angelic choir. Viewers had to tape the show and pause the plate to read Lorre's latest humorous discussion of his beliefs and observations. At first the plate was white text on black, but it was changed to black text on white because it was easier to read. Eventually Lorre came up with a standard placeholder message (which pretty much described itself as a placeholder message) for the times when he was running low on material. All of Lorre's Vanity Plates can be seen on his website.
- Columbia Pictures:
- The famous image of a woman in a tunic standing on a daïs holding a torch. Updated from time to time, but the theme is virtually unchanged since the black-and-white era.
- From 1975 to 1981 they were apparently trying to transition to a stylized torch logo that resembled a sunburst. Unlike Warner Bros., however (see below), they never got as far as dropping their iconic plate entirely, and after Coca-Cola bought Columbia in 1982, the Torch Burst (just like all of the flat, abstract logos of the era) was retired.
- The technology to do this by computer didn't exist in 1976; the Torch Burst logo is all backlit cel animation and rostrum camera tricks (specifically the slit-scanned "light ray sparkles" and the zoom up on the torch). The 1982 logo recycles the sparkles and part of the animation.
- The abstract logo was resurrected in Superbad, but additional text has been added reading "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company", and the background becomes yellow instead of black when the Torch Burst appears.
- CTV The CTV logo consists of a red sphere, a blue cube and a green cone.◊ This (With a C instead of a G) is usually shown after programs shown on CTV, with it's familiar sound which is similiar to a loon. Sometimes when going to a commercial during a show, they'll show the logo along with stars of the show that's on.
- The Curiosity Company: The production company, owned by Matt Groening himself, behind Futurama as well as the Christmas Special Olive the Other Reindeer. Its logo displays the name together with the first image (and accompanying sound) of the short film A Study in Wet, made by Groening's late father, Homer.
- DNA Productions: Animators of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron and The Ant Bully.
- A tropical beach scene (with double-helix palm trees) is shown and then a CGI three eyed chimp pops up waving at the viewer and says "Hi! I'm Paul!"
- The Jimmy Neutron pilot from 1998, "Runaway Rocketboy", as well as very early airings of Olive the Other Reindeer, has a traditionally animated purple cat-like creature instead.
- At least once as a spoof on themselves they had the chimp say the "Hi! I'm Paul!" backwards.
- A couple other gags were having the chimp say "¡Hola! ¡Yo soy Pablo!" and having two chimps ("Hi! We're Paul!").
- A more recent variation shows a vacant beach, with a worried voice-over saying "...Paul?"
- DiC: Producers of children's programming, including the North American dub of Sailor Moon. (DIC is an abbreviation of Diffusion, Information et Communication.)
- Their most famous signoff is popularly known as "The Kid in Bed." Used from 1987-2001, this animated logo starts with a kid and his dog sleeping in a bed and then transitions to a starry sky in which the logo appears with a bright shining star transitioning to the dot in the I.
- For Inspector Gadget, it would show Gadget skating by the logo (sans the dot on the I); he'd stumble, and the gadget mallet would pop out of his hat, slam into the wall behind him as he flailed away, with the impact of the mallet becoming the dot on the I.
- For The Littles, it would show Dinky running by the logo and dotting the I with a button before stumbling off the screen.
- The acronym of the company was pronounced as in French; i.e., "deek". Sure to get a "hunh?" from monolingual English-speakers. It was also a shout out to DiC co-founder Andy Heyward's father, Louis "Deke" Heyward, who himself worked in the television business as vice president in charge of development for Barry & Enright Productions.
- DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation:
- A Tom Sawyer-ish boy on a crescent moon.
- The DreamWorks Animation variant begins with the boy floating up to the moon on colorful balloons, then letting go of the balloons, which fly up and pop to create the letters of the logo. The music that plays is the unofficial theme of DreamWorks Animation, "Fiona's Theme".
- Epitome Pictures: The people behind Degrassi: The Next Generation. Uses a flaming torch to form the "T" in "EpiTome. Recently redesigned.
- Several different signoffs were used. The best-known of these, used between 1961 and 1978, features a horizontally-stretched globe against a starfield, with "A Filmways Television Presentation" paralleling the top and bottom of the globe. A voiceover stating "This has been a Filmways presentation" usually accompanied the logo, spoken by one of the stars of the show that preceded it. The most famous examples came from The Beverly Hillbillies, spoken by Donna Douglas as Elly May, and Green Acres with Eva Gabor saying: "This has been a Filmways presentation, dahling."
- Filmways switched to a haunting bell toll around 1978, with the Filmways logo and several shadow copies appearing from the bottom of the screen. This was most common on early Ruby-Spears cartoons, particularly Plastic Man and Thundarr the Barbarian. Another, more obscure vanity plate showed an intense burst of light forming an attractive blue logo.
- The company behind The Fairly Oddparents, My Life as a Teenage Robot, ChalkZone, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Fanboy and Chum Chum and Adventure Time. For all but the last two shows, bits of metal are hammered onto a blue background, forming a circle of metal, and "A Frederator Incorporated Production" logo flies into the circle. Then, a woman shouts, "FREDERATOR!"
- On Fanboy and Chum Chum and early episodes of Adventure Time, the logo shows a stop-motion robot drilling the words into a green mountain. The "FREDERATOR!!!" yell is then heard.
- Later episodes of Adventure Time had the same robot's head being built out of Legos with the hammering sounds playing in the background. The "FREDERATOR!" yell is heard after the head is complete.
- FUNimation Entertainment:
- The original vanity plate featured the different shapes of the FUNimation logo (a star, a rectangle, and a circle) slowly falling into place, creating the logo. This was only seen in the 1994 release of the first Dragon Ball movie. It was replaced afterwords with a new vanity featuring the different shapes moving on their own (including the rectangle jiggling into place), before the shapes were properly arranged, creating the logo. Both of these vanities used the same music and sound effects, and lasted about 10 seconds each.
- A new vanity (arguably the one fans are most familiar with) was introduced in about 1998, and was only about 3 seconds long. It featured all the different shapes quickly flying into place. It was used on all FUNimation video releases, and after every showing of Dragon Ball Z.
- A new one was used beginning in around 2004. It had a static FUNimation logo sitting in place behind bubbles (also bearing the logo) while a voice from behind whispered "FUNimation" against the sounds of children laughing.
- This one was replaced with a new one in 2006 with a slightly different logo (The words "FUNimation", and the ball and star within a big blue rectangle) flying into place against a black background while a whispering voice said "FUNimation", before a light flashed, and the logo disappeared (some uses cut this part out). Another version of this vanity was used in around 2008, and featured modified graphics.
- Another vanity was introduced in 2009, and featured a white background while the FUNimation logo was quickly drawn (with audible pencil strokes) while paint slowly filled the logo with it's proper colors. A man and a woman's voices are heard saying "FUNimation", while the logo disappeared and another voice (presumably Christopher Sabat) whispered the text "You Should Be Watching". An abbreviated version of this vanity was used for TV broadcasts.
- Lastly, the current vanity was introduced in 2012. It drops the shapes altogether, and features the FUNimation logo against a quickly changing background representing different genres of anime (with a very "modern" flair). It ends with the logo sitting static against a plain white background.
- Georges Méliès: This French pioneer of Early Films registered a trademark for his studio, featuring a simple star logo and the words "Star Film" (yes, in English), back in 1897. In an attempt to protect his films from being illegally copied, he often put the trademark somewhere on the film set in an important scene in the film, so that it would be considerably harder for film pirates to hide where they had stolen it from.
- Gracie Films:
- The "Shush Lady", first seen on The Tracey Ullman Show and later on The Simpsons, The Critic, Phenom and other series. A female theatergoer in silhouette, who silences the rest of the audience before a short music sting (thought by some to be based on Go West's hit "The King of Wishful Thinking", but the logo actually came first) and logo is shown. (This logo does not appear on cinema productions made by Gracie Films - with the exception, appropriately enough, of The Simpsons Movie.) In the Treehouse of Horror eps, the shush is replaced by a scream, and a horror-organ version of the music sting is played. Occasionally someone, such as Abraham Simpson, would be rambling on at length throughout the whole credits sequence, and when the vanity plate came on, the woman would shush at the appointed time, and the rambling voice finally cut off, audibly contrite.
- Other musical variants have included a marching band ("Lisa The Greek"), a mariachi combo followed by a shout of "Ole!" ("Kamp Krusty"), a single, loud gunshot (Who Shot Mr. Burns?, Part One), a series of gunshots followed by the thud of a body hitting the ground ("Marge Simpson In 'Screaming Yellow Honkers'"), and a digeridoo ("Bart Vs. Australia").
- In "Bart Star", Homer (who was the little league football team trainer in this episode) reads the credits like a coach cutting players from the team (well, except for Joe Namath). When the "shush" comes, he goes: "You're cut too, shushy!"
- "The Old Man And The Key" parodied the Filmways logo (cf.) by having Lisa say (a la Ellie May Clampett) "This has been a Gracie Films pray-sen-tay-shun."
- "The Mansion Family" had Homer crying over the end credits due to how rich the people named in the credits are. When the lady shushes him, he responds with "Don't shush me, you rich bastard!" (On UK broadcasts, the last three words have a tendency to be cut - at least on Sky. As of recent airings of the episode on Sky, the entire line is cut.)
- "Brother's Little Helper" had a wimpy sounding army cadet who after the shush responds "Aw, why'd you have to shush? You ruined the whole show!"
- On one of the later Halloween episodes, the dark, somber tone of the organ music is ruined by having a very poor-quality version of the Wilhelm Scream start it up.
- The episode "The Blunder Years" ends with Homer screaming over the logo. His screaming carries onto the 20th Century Fox Television logo.
- The Gracie Films logo was used at the end of the Family Guy episode The Simpsons Guy (the crossover with The Simpsons), with Peter Griffin singing to the tune of the logo, "And now the show is over now."
- David Greenwalt Productions from David Greenwalt of Buffy, Angel, Jake 2.0 and others, uses a literal vanity license plate on a motorhome and a kid saying "Dad, let's go!" as its vanity plate.
- Guntzelman Sullivan Marshall: The producers of Growing Pains and Just the Ten of Us used a logo depicting a man falling off the roof of a house at night and screaming.
- Founded in 1957 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera after MGM's animation studios closed, the creators of many fondly remembered cartoons such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Wacky Races. One of their first closing logos following the purchase of the studio by Taft Broadcasting was 1968's "Zooming HB", a rapidly zooming HB in screen-filling letters, which, in 1974, was replaced with the silent "Rainbow HB", a bunch of lines reading "HANNA-BARBERA" that disappeared and became a big, rainbow-colored HB. In 1979, this was replaced by the famous "Swirling Star" logo designed by Saul Bass, later reworked as the "Swirling Star" in 1986.
- In the early '90s, they dropped the Star altogether (at least in Vanity Plate form) after the studio's purchase by Turner Broadcasting. It was replaced by a script "Hanna-Barbera" (introduced in 1988), which was combined with pictures of H-B characters in rectangles (usually the ones from the preceding show), along with H-B sound effects in the background. They took this a step further in 1994, with CG animated logos with Hanna-Barbera characters in motion. There were two versions, comedy and action, the latter best known for its accidental presence at the end of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'s mid-'90s prints. When Hanna-Barbera was wound down to little more than Cartoon Network's original programming unit in the late '90s, the early '90s static logos were revisited, except with ovals instead of rectangles. There are versions of these where the logo irises out and the Cartoon Network logo zooms up in its place.
- During the production run of The Powerpuff Girls at H-B, the Swirling Star logo was retained. It was replaced by the Cartoon Network pencil test when H-B closed its doors for good and production moved to CN's Burbank studios.
- For the shows made in the 1990 season (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures, Rick Moranis In Gravedale High and Wake, Rattle & Roll), a special ending vanity plate with Fred Flintstone was used to denote the 30th anniversary of The Flintstones.
- Harpo Studios is the company formed by television personality and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, which is her first name spelled backwards. In the first version of the logo, which debuted in 1986, a cartoon version of Oprah wearing a lavender jacket and a yellow shirt pulls in a wagon with the text "HARPO PRODUCTIONS INC." with the "O" in "HARPO" slanted and "PRODUCTIONS INC." appearing below it. She stops and the wagon bumps into her shaking the word "HARPO" and she takes a bow afterwards. The logo was accompanied by an 11-note violin fanfare.
- Hughes Entertainment: A stylized capital H with a five-point star in place of the horizontal connecting stroke, with "HUGHES" in small letters directly underneath. Known among fans as the "Star of Boredom".
- Imagine Entertainment: Production company founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. The company's logo shows a pond with a reflection of the word "IMAGINE" to an orchestrated theme.
- ITC Entertainment went through four iterations featuring modifications of its "stacked diamonds" logo:
- The first iteration zoomed in on a compass rose, flipped it over to reveal a sinusoidal projection map of the world, which then zoomed out and duplicated to form three stacked "diamonds", with the letters I, T, and C, from top to bottom, inside.
- The second version featured spinning "flowers" (or pinwheels), from which the diamond-shaped "petals" would spin off and rearrange themselves until they became the ITC logo, which was revised to add depth. A different theme was used for this version.
- The third version had the ITC logo (in white) zoom in from the center of a spinning object composed of the logo's diamond shapes, one each in red, green, and blue, on a space background. The first version's theme was used. This version is familiar to those of us who grew up with The Muppet Show.
- The final version had the letters ITC, rendered in gold, slide into place on a back background one at a time from behind a revised stacked-diamond logo that spun in place until the C stopped. The music was simplified, reduced to a short synthesized piece ending with a "CLANG!".
- Jackhole Productions: Founded by Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla and Daniel Kellison. Producers of The Man Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Andy Milonakis Show and Crank Yankers, among others.
- The logo originally showed a goofy animated donkey situated in the "O" of the title and yelling "hee haw!" but later version played a few notes from "La Cucaracha" as the donkey jumped down into the crook of the "J" and yelled "Yokozuna!" In a later season of The Man Show, Jimmy and Adam introduced an idea concocted by one of their friends: sitting on the face of a sleeping buddy, giving him the rudest of awakenings. The friend who did that screamed "Yokozuna!" as he made the face-plant, thus coining the name.
- In closing for Jimmy Kimmel Live, the donkey was branded on the butt, causing it to jump into the O before falling with the letter around his neck, then it brays.
- Jim Henson Company: Used to have a laser writing something that flipped up to reveal it was a metallic 2-D Kermit head that filled with color and then shrunk into a buzzing point of light which produced Henson's signature logo. This was replaced by one of Kermit operating a movie camera (with the logo on the side), which zoomed out on a camera platform. Then the platform slammed to a halt and Animal's voice said "Sorry!" Sadly, they can't use these any more because the Muppets are now Disney properties.
- John Charles Walters Company: Founded by former MTM writers, this company's only product of note was the sitcom Taxi. "Walters" didn't actually existnote , but the plate shows the back of a man (portrayed by series producer Eb. Weinberger) leaving his office for the night. His off-screen female secretary cheerfully says "Goodnight, Mr. Walters!" and he just grunts in reply.
- Klasky-Csupo actually had three plates:
- One in use from 1991-1998, which had various objects forming the letters in "KLASKY" and scribbles writing in "CSUPO". It was retired as of The Rugrats Movie for a new vanity plate. Another one made its only appearance on Rugrats Go Wild: a city skyline with a green sky has a rooster who wakes up, screaming "WAKE... UP!!!", before the Sun gets brighter and brings forth the Klasky-Csupo logo (it looks different than it does in the other logos; it's an off-kilter print version which dates to at least 1999).
- The new vanity plate was rather surreal. Ink splattered on the screen, revealing a Nightmare Face saying the company name and having the logo blocks shoot out of its mouth, then that sequence switches off like a TV and we see the Klasky-Csupo logo with an assortment of cartoon sounds in the background. Despite scaring several kids in the 1990s and the early 2000s, it was a Long Runner and was used from 1998 to 2008, but was recently revived on some of K-C's internet shorts.
- Langley Productions: 3 variants exist: the first was the early '80s Barbour/Langley Logo which featured the names in hot pink sliding in from the sides of the screen with an accompanying tune that creeped many of us for years. Fortunately, once Langley took over the graphics changed to where "Langley" would either slide or form in with a much more awesome Blues-Rock riff. Currently, it's a different but still awesome riff with a flash revealing the logo.
- Looney Tunes: Thaaathaathat's all folks!
- Mark VII Limited: Jack Webb's company, made his Police Procedural shows such as Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency! (which was actually a Fire Department Procedural). The logo consisted of a pair of hands holding a hammer and chisel; the hammer strikes the chisel producing roman numeral VII, with logo showing Mark VII Limited. The hands were actually those of Jack Webb himself.
- The company's logo was parodied in The Simpsons in the opening to "Treehouse of Horror XV", with the tentacles of Kang (or possibly Kodos) hammering "XV" on the screen. It was done to reflect the credits sequence for the made-up sitcom Keepin' It Kodos.
- MGM: Studio mascot Leo the Lion became so famous that he eventually got his own animated sitcom, The Lionhearts.
- Michael Sloan Productions: As seen on his various TV projects, the actual logos vary but they all have the same basic layout - a still picture of writer-producer Sloan posing with the star(s) of the show/TV movie (Lee Van Cleef for The Master, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum for The Return Of The Man From UNCLE, etc), with "Michael Sloan Productions" written across the screen in Sloan's handwriting. Even the Canadian-produced episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents weren't immune, with Sloan posing in profile alongside the one of Hitch. Talk about a Vanity Plate...
- Miramax Films:
- A Dramatic Landfall Shot quickly revealing the Manhattan skyline at evening, then dissolving to the Miramax logo. Redesigned in 2009.
- Earlier, it used an "M" zooming out and then to the right revealing the company name, then the black background turning into a large "M".
- Mohawk Productions: The company behind The Oblongs, George Lopez and The Drew Carey Show featured a logo with an ultrasound of a baby who giggles. This is accompanied by a quick drum beat.
series, the Vanity Plate appears before the beginning of the program, not after the end. There are frequently several of them, each from a different production company that collaborated in making the series. It is rare for the actual animation studio to display a Vanity Plate — unlike in North America, the animation studios are separate companies from the production companies that put series together. Instead, the studio will have its logo discreetly included in the ending credits. (Notable exception: Studio Ghibli
, whose Vanity Plate features one of their best-known characters, Totoro
UK television has a whole other side to the vanity plate story...
Until 1 January 1988, the UK's various ITV
companies put vanity plates in front of their shows. These are referred to as "front caps", representing the companies that also broadcast the ITV network, and usually doubled as station ID's locally (known as "idents"). For a very brief period after the front caps were done away with, some companies used animated post-credits vanity plates (referred appropriately to as "end caps") until 1989.
- ABC: Began with the station logo, a triangle with an embossed pattern, zooming on screen, parts of the triangle wiped down from the top of the screen on top of the letters "A", "B" and "C" in either a serif or sans-serif logo, before the station logo resolves from the smaller triangles.
- Anglia: A rotating statue of a silver knight on horseback carrying a flag with "Anglia" engraved on it, accompanied by a refrain from Handel's Water Music. An extra-long version appeared as the station sign-on every morning. After 29 years, it was replaced 1988 by an animated flag with an A made up of different coloured triangles which was briefly used an animated end vanity plate. This "A" was designed by Lambie-Nairn (who also designed the current logo of The BBC), and the original "flag" ident was used until 1999.
- ATV: With "front caps" known as "zooms", these mainly featured the station logo zooming into centre position on screen. As colour dawned for the station in 1969, the "Colour Zoom" sequence changed to a "colour chart" of red, green and blue circles morphing together and the yellow station logo appearing in a burst of colour along with a bombastic jingle.
- Border: For most of the "front cap" era, a still silent logo with two lines joining together as one inside the shape of a TV, an abstract representation of the broadcast region. Known in fan circles as "the chopsticks in a bowl" as it's indistinct what it represents without explanation.
- Central: Started off as in 1982 as a sphere which split open with a ray of light to resolve as a white ball with the left part shadowed in a crescent shape. Replaced with a different "sphere" in 1983 with the crescent part of the sphere in the colours of the rainbow, sometimes referred to as "Moon". The well-loved amongst fans "Cake", an abstract version of "Sphere with segments cut into the sphere, first appeared in promos and idents in the region in 1985, before replacing the sphere as an short-lived animated endcap, in proper vanity plate fashion in 1988.
- Channel: Started off with their first ident, six hexagons appearing one by one on screen, one of with the mask of a leopard. From there, they gained a new more modern logo with the letters "CTV" made up of stripes, zooming in from centre. After that, they used a multitude of different logos but few with any staying power besides their "Channel Island globe" ident.
- Grampian: The first ident was an abstract depiction of a hilly landscape which then reformed into the station's St Andrew's flag logo, all very patriotic. They later went for a sub-ATV morphing of components of the station logo when the station began colour broadcasts. They later used one of the first CGI frontcaps in the ITV network, with balls and diamonds tumbling around the screen before the station logo resolved.
- Granada: Famously silent and reflective of Oop North stoicness throughout the "front cap" era, the first logo featured a sometimes-animated northwards pointing arrow with the slogan "From the North" above the station name. After a brief flirtation with using just the word "Granada" underlined in the late 1960s, the station introduced its classic logo on the cusp of switching to colour in 1969 - the yellow G with a north-pointing arrow. For a long time barring a few 30th anniversary logos their logos were entirely silent affairs until they became slightly less dull with their "stripe" idents in the early 90s but hit their stride in the mid to late 90s with a big and bombastic ident placing their famous G (now apparently rendered as a large transparent perspex block) front and center, based off the stripe logo.
- HTV: The first infamous logo used monochrome cross-hatching effects to form the word "Harlech" which reportedly caused eyestrain among viewers though this only affected higher resolution screens, the more common lower resolution screens didn't exhibit the eyestraining moiré effect. Thankfully, the station's decision to abbreviate the name to HTV to appease non-Welsh viewers led to a less seizureriffic "front cap", where two white diagonal lines wiped on screen and morphed to form the new station logo, dubbed "the aerial" by front cap fans. Became a CGI-fest of tumbling logo components falling into place forming the logo in 1987.
- LWT: Beginning as the words "From London Weekend" zooming into view with a late-'60s Moog jingle, it soon evolved into the "From London Weekend" encased in a spinning circle, dubbed "the pound coin" by later generations. 1971 saw the launch of "the river", where a line made up of blue, white and orange/red stripes formed the joined-up letters "LW" on a black background; amended in 1978 for the letters to read "LWT" with the station name extended to "London Weekend Television". The station front-cap gave into the CGI era in 1986, as the stripes making up the "LWT" letters did a "folding out" effect to form the station logo. A very impressive (for its time) CGI ident was introduced in 1996, which showed three squares (one red, one white, one blue) break into a flurry of cubes, which flew down to a white smoke and formed the LWT logo (which has been amended so that the "L" is red, the "W" is white and the "T" is blue). Their final ident was introduced in 2000 (as a strike against network-mandated idents introduced the previous year), which zoomed over and up to a video wall with the "LWT" on it, along with ITV's "hearts" idents of the era surrounding it. Much of this wall was originally tinted red, and the music was mainly ambient beats with conspicuous beeps, reasonably nice but those in charge needed something more dynamic for a company as loud and proud as LWT with a reversion coming shortly after containing a lot more blue, a lot less red and a much more robust theme.
- Rediffusion: The company's logo, the "adastral", usually spun in its "front caps".
- Scottish: Early front caps featured the lion rampant - a tumbling effect was used for a while which was amended to a zooming effect due to complaints. Colour saw the logo become the stylised letters "STV". 1985 saw the station update its logo to a stylised thistle (nicknamed "Bertie Bassett" due to its resemblance to the mascot of a confectionery company) made up of grey blocks, a blue ball and a purple "top".
- Thames: Nearly the same front cap used from the station's beginning in 1968 until the end of the "front cap" era - a shot of London landmarks appearing from the middle of the screen with the word "THAMES" appearing on the front, all on a blue sky with light clouds backdrop. For well-remembered humorous takes on the logo, see Logo Joke. The background tune "Salute to Thames" is also very well known and also parodied.
- TSW: One of the quirkiest front caps when first seen in 1982, the full sequence saw a TV with a fuzzy signal with sprouting shoot become encased in a blue smily ball, which mutated into a set of six slimy balls, which were actually green hills from another angle, which settled into place as a blue bar and the TSW letters folded out on screen. Best to look at it for yourself to see what we're talking about. Replaced by a much more boring CGI "front cap" in 1985 from which TSW continued to become more sedate.
- TVS: Using a rainbow-coloured version of the station logo, the "flower" or "shell" depending on which person from the region you talk tonote , which either zoomed sedatedly (on weekdays) or span with more vigour (at weekends) to settle beside the letters "TVS". Changed in 1987 to station logos in chrome-effect CGI.
- Tyne Tees: Began as the letters "TTT" morphing from an anchor with a relevant sea-shanty style jingle and "Tyne Tees Television, Channel 8!" ID from early station announcer Adrian Cairns. The station logo changed to a yellow stacked block of letters reading "TTTV" which formed on screen first from various off-screen points, amended later to a computer-style zooming in.
- Ulster: Started out as a The Twilight Zone style mix of dots and lines accompanied by a refrain from "The Mountains of Mourne", a piece of traditional music. Come The Troubles, the modified logo with the oscilloscope pattern on the inside of a TV screen shape was usually transmitted still and in silence. Then in 1980, along came "the lollipop" or "the telly on a stick" - a statue with the station logo made from melted silver retrieved from volatile film stock which revolved to the sound of a plinky-plonk early 1980s synth tune. It was intended as an anniversary ident but stuck, still frontcaps though did exist on the few networked programmes it did make.
- Westward: Made use of the station's adopted symbol, a model of the Golden Hind, which later became a real-life statue which the camera panned away from.
- A golden chevron which appeared to a few bars from a local folk tune, "On Ilkley Moor B'ah Tat". Unanimated for most of the "front cap" era, 1987 saw the "Liquid Gold" front cap, with a 3D chevron emerging from a pool of, well, gold liquid.
- The old version was animated for the show 3-2-1, with the chevron logo bringing an old dustbin to life(!)
ITV (and then Channel Four) also put plates at the end of the shows ("end caps"). Archive reruns of ITV shows do not include the front caps, although they are often included in British DVD releases.
- Old shows replayed on TV get the ITV1, ITV2, etc. cap. Or else the bland anonymous ITV Studios cap rather than the ident of the original maker. It's really not the same.
Video games too
Video games often use the "front caps" version, typically by having the plates for various companies involved in production play while the game is loading. Occasionally they're also around during the end credits, although the credits are more likely to use plain text rather than plates. Some notable examples include:
- The 3DO Company's logo with voice at the start of most of their games were memorable, especially to those playing the earlier Army Men titles.
- Konami had a pretty memorable one complete with iconic "jingle" featured in the attract loop of all their arcade and 16-bit releases before they adopted the more sedate white-on-red banner logo they use today.
- Capcom's SNES-era plate had its logo fade in with a synth fade-in, then at the end the logo would flash to a single guitar chord. (This was mimicked in Mega Man 6, Capcom's last NES game). And the Resident Evil vanity plate.
- Apogee Software had two commonly-used vanity plates: One featuring a starry background with a starburst at the bottom of the screen (as appears before Secret Agent, Crystal Caves, and Cosmos Cosmic Adventure), and the more iconic orbital view of a planet with their company fanfare playing in the background (as appears before Duke Nukem II, Raptor: Call of the Shadows, and Wacky Wheels).
- Williams Entertainment had one in the SNES version of Doom, playing the first four seconds of the game's rendition of The Imp's Song.
- Clover Studios had a very ordinary vanity plate, a green 4-leaf clover blooming accompanied by a female voice saying, "Clover..." But in Ōkami, one of the standard 'clean up the trashed world' activities you have to do in the game is first dig up black clovers, then bloom them into healthy green ones.
- Platinum Games, a company who is composed of several members who used to work at Clover Studios before it went belly-up, has a very beautiful logo animation. It shows several colorful sparkles inside the logo (all of the sparkles are the same sparkle used on the logo itself) as the camera jumps to various areas of the logo, then it zooms out and the entire logo turns a shiny black. All of this is accompanied by beautiful music. Unfortunately, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance merely uses a static version of the logo, while The Wonderful 101, being published by Nintendo, does not show any logos upon starting up as per Nintendo protocols (Nintendo tends to abstain from showing logos on start-up of their own games ever since the Wii's release).
- Sega had a different version in nearly every Sega Genesis game. Of particular note are the Sega vanity plates from the main Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games. Originally, Sonic 1 was to have a sound test screen featuring an anthropomorphic band and detailed animations; when this was scrapped, the developers decided to fill up the remaining space in the ROM by digitizing the two-note "Se-ga!" jingle from the contemporary Japanese commercials and adding it to the vanity plate. They managed to get the sound to a reasonable quality and threw it in there, and every other main-series Genesis Sonic game had the same jingle in it. It was also present in an earlier version of Sonic 3D Blast/Flickies' Island, but was replaced by the US commercials' "SEGA!" scream in the final product.
Sonic Mega Collection uses the old plate again as a reference. Likewise, so do trailers for the 20th anniversary crossover game Sonic Generations in regards to its history-spanning nature... but the game itself uses the "*whoosh* Sega." plate that is standard for nearly all Sega games as of the late 2000's. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, a love letter to Sega as a whole, uses both the new and old Sega plates together on start-up (to make things less awkward, they are separated by the Sumo Digital plate and the copyright disclaimer screen).
- In Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the '80s, Activision and Harmonix replaced their typical logo plates with pixelated ones like what one might expect to see in an '80s video game. Activision kept this retro logo in Guitar Hero On Tour Decades for DS. RedOctane uses their regular logo, but since it consists primarily of a pixelated fireball to begin with, it still fit the sequence.
- Valve themselves plays ominous music over a still frame of a man's head with the rotary handle of a garden spigot grafted onto it. For the first two Half-Life games, there's a white guy with the valve replacing his eye; games from the Orange Box onwards have a bald black guy with the valve sticking out the back of his head. From DOTA2 onwards, the head now turns and looks sideways, as the music intensifies.
- Homestar Runner fake-video game corporation Videlectrix has its surreal one of a man falling over displayed in the style of the console/computer the presented game is a pastiche of.
- LucasArts usually put their logo in the front and back. Once they got bored with the basic logo, they began doing all sorts of stuff to it, like scaring it away with a tentacle, parachuting it in, blowing it up, etcetera.
- Many flash games have vanity plates nowadays; some of the most recognizable include the Miniclip "BOOM!" logo and the Armor Games "Dueling Swords" logo.
- "EA Games. <whispers> Challenge everything."; "E.A. Sports. It's in the game."
- nVidia has had a few vanity plates over the years, typically showcasing the company logo and their motto of "The way it's meant to be played". There was at least one such vanity plate that was unique to the game that showed it (Unreal Tournament 2004 in this case).
- Wolf Team had several vanity plates over the years:
- Almost all its computer games showed "Wolf Team" scrolling up over a detailed background image, followed by "Since 1987" appearing in smaller letters underneath. (Pre-1987 games had instead "Telenet" followed by "A Wolf Team Presents.") The background images varied from game to game at first (e.g. a Fantasm Jewel in Valis), but most later games had three crossed swords zoom in, with a shield and banner fading in behind them. The musical theme in all cases was two falling chimes played twice.
- On the Sega Genesis, Wolf Team switched to showing a much simpler trademark logo. The old musical theme was abandoned, though at first the "Wolf Team" text still scrolled up as before. Starting in 1991, both the logo and "Wolf Team" text were angularly stylized in red and black over a white background. On the Sega CD, this gradually evolved into a more elaborate sequence, with a voice (rumored to be George Takei's) saying, "Game Creative Staff: Wolf Team."
See also: NightmareFuel.Vanity Plates
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