Columbia Pictures Logo History and All that You Should Know about it!

Columbia Pictures Logo History and All that You Should Know about it!


One of the leading film studios Columbia Pictures or simply put Columbia is a subsidiary of Sony pictures motion group, a Japanese conglomerate. Columbia pictures serve as the main studio for Sony.

Before this the Columbia studio was of their own, it was later purchased by Coca Cola company in 1982 but due to some financial interest, the studio was sold to Sony Pictures.

Columbia studio was founded in 1918 and at that time it was known as CBC film sales corporation it was founded by Harry Cohn, Jack Cohn, and Joe Brandt. They later named it to Columbia picture in 1924, the Columbia pictures started using the picture of Columbia (the female personification of the United States) as their logo and became public after two years.


Columbia’s Role as a Film Production and Distribution Studio

Columbia started as a minor studio in Hollywood, the company released its first feature film hall room boys in 1922. Jack chon and Joe Brandt handled sales management and distribution in New York while Jack Cohn's brother Harry Cohn worked in film production. In 1964 Harry Cohn bought a face for its company on north gallery street and the next forty-eight years, the company remained there.

Though Columbia studio was small compared to its competitors such as Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. The Columbia Pictures got to the top with the arrival of Frank Capra, the young ambitious director he was hired by the Cohn brothers in 1927. He directed numerous films for Columbia studio for the next 12 years some of which were box office hits such films included (It Happened One Night, Lost Horizon, Mr. Smith goes Washington) which further solidify the position of Columbia as a Picture studio not to reckon with. 

Columbia usually borrowed actors from other companies since they could not afford a huge roster of stars. However, they did sign actors from other companies on a long-term contractual basis, such as Jean Arthur, Carry Grant, Rosalind Russel, Glen Ford, and Rita Hayworth. Columbia also produced several short subject films featuring Buster Keithon, Andy Clyde. Columbia was also into movie serials or low-budget B-films such as the Blondie films based on a comic character and the Boston Blackie series starring Chester Morries.

Columbia was the only studio to keep a healthy balance sheet during the great depression in the 1930s. During the great depression, the larger studio such as Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros all lost money and in 1948 an antitrust court decision forced the larger studio to divest themselves from the movie theater chains they owned. In such a situation Columbia which did not own a movie theater was on equal grounds with the bigger studios thus becoming one of the big five.

Columbia Logo and its Visual Evolution

When we hear the word Columbia, excellent quality movies and first-rate cinematography come to our mind. Their work is highly praised around the globe.

But it's not just their work, the evolutionary history of Columbia's logo has gained quite a bit of popularity too. The visuals of the Columbia logo have evolved a lot since its first logo, becoming an interesting fact about their history.

Columbia Pictures Logo 1924 –1925

The first logo of Columbia pictures came into being when the studio changed its name to Columbia in 1924. The logo was oval-shaped with a picture of a roman lady warrior holding a shield in one hand and a spike in the other the name Columbia pictures was written over it.

                                                                                  Columbia Pictures Logo 1924 –1925

Columbia Pictures Logo 1925-1926

In 1925 the logo was redesigned; the shape of the emblem was circular and the roman lady was present with a black background the main wordmark was placed outside of the circumference.

                                                                   Columbia Pictures Logo 1925 - 1926

Columbia Pictures Logo 1926-1932

It was in this year that the lady with the torch debuted on the company's logo this logo was also circular in shape, only the upper part of the lady's body was exposed with the black background and the main wordmark was written with in the circumference.

                                                                      Columbia Pictures Logo 1926 - 1932

Columbia Pictures Logo 1932-1933

This time they had used a red and blue color palette, blue was used in the circumference, the main wordmark Columbia pictures was written in red within the circumference and the lady with the torch was present in the middle with red background.

                                                                    Columbia Pictures Logo 1932 to 1933

Columbia Pictures Logo 1933-1936

In 1933 Columbia logo once again adopted its black and white theme although this time only the color pallet was changed and their visual design remains unchanged.

                                                                     Columbia Pictures Logo 1933-1936

Columbia Pictures Logo 1936-1938

The circular shape of the Columbia logo was changed to a rectangle shape, the lady with the torch was still there but the rays coming out of the torch was more prominent the Columbia picture was written with a difference in color to appear more distinguished.

                                                                      Columbia Pictures Logo 1936 - 1938

Columbia Pictures Logo 1938-1945

In 1938 they once again changed back to the circle shape, this time full-body image of the torch lady was displayed surrounded by two circles, and the Columbia pictures were written between the perimeter of two circles and the lettering was also stern and poised.s

Columbia Pictures Logo 1945-1964

This time used they used their alternative logo from 1936 as its main logo. A Full image of a lady with the torch was featured, there was a ribbon around the lady's body on which the Columbia pictures were inscribed.

                                                                   Columbia Pictures Logo 1945 - 1965

Columbia Pictures Logo 1964-1975

The logo adopted in 1964, compared to their previous record the Columbia logo this time was very simple, in this logo capital C with a torch inside was used which was outlined in black and the background was white. The logo was a square shape with a curved angle.

                                                                            Columbia Pictures Logo 1964 - 1975

Columbia Pictures Logo 1975-1981

This Columbia logo was also quite different, the wordmark was prominent, black colored inscribed in two levels, above was the semi-circle in which only the lit part of the torch was shown.

                                                   Columbia Pictures Logo 1975 - 1981

Columbia Pictures Logo 1981-1989

In 1981 lady with the torch appeared again in front of the rays with a black background, the previous style of the inscription was used again.

                                                                            Columbia Pictures Logo 1981 - 1989

Columbia Pictures Logo 1989-1993

The design of the Columbia logo was the same as previous the previous one only the colors were switched, the lady was contoured black, the rays were also turned black and the background was switched to white.

                                                            Columbia Pictures Logo 1989 - 1983

Columbia Pictures Logo 1993-today

The current Columbia logo was designed in 1993. The wordmark is bold and elegant inscribed in two-level in geometrical sans-serif type. The lady with the torch was placed beside the enlarged wordmark, surrounded by a curved line representing the cloud enclosed in a square frame.

                                                        Columbia Pictures Logo 1993

Final words

The history of the Columbia Picture's company logo is full of creativity that depicts different stages of their struggle. Each logo signifies their change in idea, these changes in their logo tell the story of their growth. The journey from the CBC studios that was called a joke of the Hollywood to Columbia pictures which is now one of the worlds famous studio, Columbia pictures is evolved in every aspect this included their logo too.

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Written by

Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts is a digital marketer. He loves to blog about digital marketing, designing, and business growth. A true lover of Coffee with chocolate cakes!