ARD (Full name: Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the head public broadcasting association in Germany, consisting of 9 (10 if Deutsche Welle is accounted for) public broadcasters. Founded in 1950 as Deutsches Fernshen, it replaced the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft after it shut down in 1945, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, although several of the broadcasters formerly a part of it went on to become part of ARD, and it served West Germany with 6 members originally. In 1954, NWDR split into NWR and NDR, and over the next couple of decades, managed to remain stable. In 1992, after the 2 German halves joined up again, MDR and ORB were launched for the 2 new regions, and after a few mergers in 1998 and 2003, it has remained the same ever since. The main channel is known as "Das Erste".
1st Logo (1970-1984)
Logo: On a light grey background, an oval is seen with a smaller circle inside of it, created by several solid curves that are colored in blue/white shades. In the center is the text "ARD" in a blue Neue Haas Grotesk Bold font, and "DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN" is seen below the oval in the same font, but black.
Variants: When it transitions to one of the nine member broadcasters at the time, the broadcaster's logo or their initials would appear in place of the "ARD" text. The nine possible variants represent: BR, NDR, HR, RB, SFB, SDR, SR, SWF and WDR.
Music/Sounds: Usually nothing or an announcer. On startup, a jingle representing one of the nine member broadcasters may play in between breaks of silence. Before a news program, such as Tagesschau, Tagesthemen and Wochenspiegel, a deep-sounding chime plays and an announcer says, for example, "Hier ist das Erste Deutsche Fernsehen mit der Tagesschau", before it segues into the programme's intro.
Legacy: The Tagesschau/Tagesthemen intro was also introduced around the same time and has stayed ever since, becoming a staple part of the channel.
2nd Logo (1984-1996)
- 1984-1992: On a blue/white gradient background, 9 translucent squares zoom out one by one, each containing a logo of the 9 broadcasters at the time of it's debut in dark blue, and from all angles. When the SFB logo zooms out, they all form up a abstract-looking numeral 1, in which a orange laser shines over them, transforming the entire logo silver. "ARD" then swings onto the logo one-by-one in a silver Futura font. It then zooms back and up a bit to make room for "ERSTES DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN" in a white font with a drop shadow, to fly in from below.
- 1992-1996: On a navy blue/blue gradient background, glass squares with the logos of the broadcasters in a shiny metallic material zoom out and rotate around, while the logos shine off multiple colors. Some of these squares stick to become part of the ARD logo, which fades in via a upwards wipe, while the others just zoom away. Once the logo forms up, the "ARD" letters zoom out and arch into place one by one, looking like they're in a different font, and the logo zooms out. As "ERSTES DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN" fades in below, the broadcaster logos flip in one-by-one clockwise. The logos shine.
Trivia: The logo was designed by Hans Bacher, while the original logo and graphics package was animated by Cranston/Csuri Productions in Columbus, Ohio.
- An alternate animation for the 1984-1992 logo was used for a short time, having the 9 squares instead flip around to form the silver logo and the "ARD" text swinging in as a whole word.
- Sometimes, when it needs to transition to the local broadcaster, an animation plays where the logo flips around to reveal the broadcaster's logo on the other side. The NDR has three versions: a winking Antje (the broadcaster's mascot) on a pale background, a static Antje, and a wordmark.
- Starting in 1986, "ERSTES DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN" just faded in.
- The 1992-1996 logo would have a short version, where it ends just like the 1984 version.
- For the 1992 variant, two alternate animations were introduced in 1995: There's one where the logo is shown as a glass chamber with the logos surrounding it before zooming and rotating into place, gaining it's silver color, while the other has the "1" and "ARD" zooming and tilting into their place on cut outs while the ring of logos can be seen in the glass. Both end the same way with the main logo and ring of broadcaster logos zooming out.
- For Taggesschau, the logo would be seen still, complete with "ERSTES DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN" most of the time, before zooming out and segueing into the intro.
Technique: 2D and 3D animation.
Music/Sounds: A cheerful Moog synthesizer tune, ending with their famous 8-note tune at the end. The last 3 notes are played a bit longer than before. In 1994, the tune was remixed with more modern synth instruments, with the 8-notes played on a trumpet. The Tagesschau/Tagesthemen variant is the same as before.