“In the eleventh hour, it occurred to someone that they needed a logo,” said Toni Dwyer of Communication Trends, Inc, and the ad firm that worked with CNN before it got off the ground in 1980. “We had about 24 or 48 hours to turn around and present a logo.”
The logo was designed by the late Anthony Guy Bost, who had also been a professor at the University of Auburn. Dwyer distinctly remembered presenting the designs to the powers that be. “There were several forms of the logo they weren’t exactly wild about, there was one we thought would play the best, we tried to keep it simple,” said Dwyer. “It was designed with money in mind, so we tried to keep it one color.”
Terry McGuirk, currently the chairman of the Atlanta Braves, was first to see the logo. “They gave us 4 or 5 different looks, and one sort of stood out, a cable running through the letters C-N-N,” said McGuirk, who in 1980 was vice president of Turner Broadcasting and very involved in the startup of CNN.
CNN founder Ted Turner liked the logo, and the choice was made. It finally came time to talk money. “For the price of the logo, we wanted something like $5,000,” said Dwyer of Communication Trends. “They (CNN) all threw a fit, and the final bill for the logo was $2,800 or $2,400.”
Given the very close similarity to Robert Trogman’s Yagi Double, released around 1968, it seems likely that the font was used for the CNN mark — or was at least the inspiration.
I never knew it used a typeface; I thought it was custom type.
The logotype is custom indeed. It could be based on Yagi Double, though, cf. this sample.
Or the designer used yagi double and “fused” the ends of the letters together
Contributed by Matthew Buchanan
Contributed by Frode Helland