The iconic CBS “Eye” logo turns 60 today.
People tuning in tonight at 8 p.m. to see “Big Bang Theory” will first wade through a short on-air spot showcasing the network’s various Eye logos throughout the years, giving them time to contemplate how many marketing-department hours were spent on each update.
FYI, CBS says the original, animated Eye had a camera iris that opened and shut and the first non-animated Eye logo was floating in clouds. Hey — it was the 50’s.
As CBS tells the story, it all started when then-CBS President Frank Stanton decided the network needed an identity.
The company’s creative director at that time was driving through Pennsylvania Dutch country and was struck by the hex symbols, resembling the human eye, drawn on the sides of Shaker barns to ward off evil spirits and decided CBS could use one of those. Yes, Laurence Tisch and Mel Karmazin both happened to the network but, otherwise, the Eye seems to have done its job.
To put things in perspective, the CBS Eye was introduced the same year as “I Love Lucy” and the network’s first documentary series, “See It Now,” hosted by the legendary Edward R. Murrow. Yes, it’s really, really old.
To celebrate the anniversary online, CBS has replaced the current Eye on its homepage with the original. If you hover over it, you’ll get the Shaker barn-hex story, and will be directed to an old Charles Osgood story about the Eye’s history. CBSNews.com is also running the Osgood piece.
“The CBS Eye is an enduring asset of our company and a major source of pride for all of us,” CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement, cutting the ribbon on today’s celebration.
And here’s a video explaining the history of the Eye: