Canal+ (France)

From Audio Visual Identity Database

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Canal+ is a premium television channel in France, currently the owner of StudioCanal. Launched in 1984, it was the fourth French television station after TF1, Antenne 2 and FR3. As of today, it has one of the biggest European television empires, having sister channels in France, Spain, Poland etc. Since 2013, Canal+ is exclusively owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi, who previously had ownership in such companies as Endemol, NBCUniversal, Activision and Ubisoft.

1st Logo (1983-1984)

Logo: We see the "CANALPLUS" logo with a rainbow-colored "C" behind it that at the tail end has a shining star.

Variant: A variant can be seen instead of the still image. We see a woman walking towards a TV. She presses a button on it and a comet flies around her then goes in the TV. After that, many lines are seen like if we were witnessing something from the flying comet. The lines would eventually come together in order to make the "CANALPLUS" logo be seen. Then we see some teasers. After every teaser, the "CANALPLUS" logo appears with the techno theme.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: An instrumental version of Mia Frye's "I'm the One" with the still image, but the sounds corresponding for the actions for the variant.

Availability: Long extinct. It was shown in the days before the channel's launch.

Editor's Note: None.

2nd Logo (1984-1995)

Logo: On a black background, a line draws vertically across the center of the screen. After this, more lines draw horizontally and diagonally. Each line is labelled with a number. The vertical line is "1", the horizontal line is "2", and the two offset diagonal lines are "3" and "4". Twelve lines draw across the screen from the top, labelled "5" through "17" as they are drawn. Lines "15" through "17' are a bit bolder than the others. A circle is drawn between lines "6" and "12". This circle is labelled "18". A larger circle is drawn in between lines "5" and "13". This circle is labelled "19". A final line, labelled "20", crosses through line "3" and creates an axis. The orange outlined letters "CANAL" (along with more lines through each letter to give a 'blueprint' effect), and a plus-sign in a darker shade of orange appear, labelled "21" through "26" for each respective character. A rainbow gradient begins to spin around in the two circles formed earlier. It starts to rotate away from the viewer, and the "CANAL+" letters become dark gray after filling with static.


  • There is a startup/closedown variant with remixed music of the 80's theme, where parts of the lines are still visible at the end and where the ring vanishes.
  • There is a shorter variant in which the line for the ring gets immediately drawn while an opera theme plays. After the vanishing the ring turns blue and a screen appears indicating the date of airing with a guitar theme.
  • There is a 10th anniversary variant of the logo, where all the transitions are normally played, but instead of showing the logo they show the words "10 ans Canal+" with the logo flashing.
  • There is a 10th anniversary closedown variant of the logo, where the transition of the 10th anniversary startup is played in reverse.
  • When the channel launched, a bottle of champagne attached to a rope flies across the screen and breaks, revealing the intro from the first logo. It plays just like the 1st logo until after the comet flies across the TV screen. We see a diagonal line being drawn then the word "CANAL". While the word is changing the color of its letters to black, the line becomes shorter and eventually transforms into a rainbow ring. When the ring is formed, it starts spinning and the "+" symbol (which replaced the "PLUS" word from the first logo) appears next to "CANAL" which forms "CANAL+". The same music from the 1st logo is playing in the background. (The launch variant starts at around 1:04 in the video)
  • A variant exists where the animation starts at the ring rotating into place. In this variant, the white lettering "D.A." slides into place underneath the logo.
  • Russian and Arabic versions exist, with the latter having the animation mirrored in order to be read easily.

FX/SFX: The animation with the lines/circles/letters, which are a creative concept. The animation was good for the time, but it is starting to become dated.

Music/Sounds: Composed by Philippe Eidel, we hear a weird gurgling-type noise with a high note to start with.Three atmospheric synth notes are repeated, and cowbell-like noises (paired with a ding) are heard when lines "5" through "13" are drawn. A gong note is heard on line "14", a soft bell noise on line "15", a pan-crashing noise on line "16", and the same noise from before along with an echoing "bouncy" note on line "17". This sound repeats and becomes lower pitched on the drawing of the first circle ("18"). A solemn synth note is then heard, along with three guitar notes and a reverse cymbal. A cool, danceable '80s theme plays after this.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The Spanish and the Polish version of the channel used different music tracks.
  • On shows co-produced with Canal+, the end theme may play over it, or it's silent.

Availability: Long extinct. This was a bumper to signal the initial transmission of the channel. The short version with "D.A." was seen on Mighty Max when that show last aired on the USA Network in the late 90s; it's possible other Canal+ co-productions of the era may have it as well.

Editor's Note: None.

3rd Logo (1995-2003)

Logo: First we see a white screen with a black square in the middle. Then after the screen flashes we see a white square in the middle. Then it cuts to a white screen with a black rectangle in the middle, with a red square to the bottom left circling around the screen while bars pop up. Then we cut to a green rectangle flashing that later turns into a square while bars from all places pop up. Then we cut to black rectangle at the top with moving orange squares at the bottom that then move to all places of the screen. Then we cut to screen with a black rectangle at the bottom while at the top a blue square moves from left to right. Then we see flashing yellow squares. Then it cuts to a quickly flashing rectangle from the bottom left while black and gray squares move around the other places of the screen. Then we cut to a flashing screen. Then gray squares in the middle and finally to the company's name that first goes to the top, then the bottom and then the middle.


  • A later start-up variant starts with "CANAL+" covered in red stripes. After it it fills the screen full with orange lines. Later it does the same with green lines, red lines, gray squares, yellow squares and black squares. After it it cuts to the logo that first goes to the top, then the bottom and then the middle.
  • There is a closedown variant where the logo first moves to the bottom, then to the top. Then the black screen fades to white, then a black stripe is put in the middle. After it we see a gray rectangle and then we cut to a yellow screen with a black rectangle in the middle. Then we see another gray rectangle followed by another black one. Then we cut to black and an orange screen and then a gray stripe. Then we see another black rectangle followed by yet another gray rectangle. Then we see a black rectangle, a green rectangle after which we see a green rectangle, then it cuts to a black rectangle and a red rectangle. Then we see a black rectangle with a white square in the middle fading to black. Then it cuts to full black.

FX/SFX: 2D computer animation done with a Quantel Paintbox. It's a quite creative concept.

Music/Sounds: Violin and a choir at the end. Also, flashing, bubbles, chirping birds and drinking.

Availability: Extinct. This ident was used for initial transmissions of Canal+.

Editor's Note: The visuals and music in this logo are quite difficult to stomach, but otherwise this is a nice logo.

4th Logo (2003-2006)

Logo: We see the logo together with moving squares. First from both sides from left to right, then from top to bottom, then from all 4 directions, then it turns black.


  • Sometimes, different colors are used.
  • There is also a longer variant in which you see the same scene repeated with different rectangles. Then it zooms-in and the rectangles start spinning around. Then it cuts to combinations of them moving from left to right. At the end, several rectangles are put upon each other. Then starts again the flashing. Then it cuts back to moving rectangles with a play symbol put in the design and then all the rectangles move normally. Then we cut to the logo.

FX/SFX: The rectangles moving, the logo appearing several times.

Music/Sounds: A theme with trumpet and clocks.

Availability: Extinct. This ident was used for initial transmissions of Canal+.

Editor's Note: None.

5th Logo (2006-2009)

Logo: "CANAL+", written in 3 different colors (blue to the left, red to the right and green to the bottom) get juxtaposed on each other, causing the logo to become white, then rectangles with "CANAL+" written on them (blue to the left, red to the right and green to the top) move from the logo to the borders of the screen. Then it fuses with the rectangles and the background turns white. "Merci Étienne" is sometimes written below the finished logo.

Trivia: This logo partially pays tribute to French graphic designer Étienne Robial, who created over 2000 different idents for Canal+ from 1984 to 2009.

Variant: Different colors may be used.

FX/SFX: The texts moving, several glitchy effects and "Merci Étienne" appearing below the logo.

Music/Sounds: A jazz-like theme.

Availability: Extinct.

Editor's Note: The flashing might catch some off-guard.

6th Logo (2009-2020)

Logo: We see several things with a split between 4 screens. Then the logo forms itself on the split, with "+" combining all 4 corners.

Variants: A lot of variants are used for all Canal+ channels.

FX/SFX: Live-action, the logo forming in the middle. These were designed by Devilfish, who would later design the 2011 StudioCanal logo.

Music/Sounds: A sort of techno beat box theme for all the variants. Usually, the formation of the "+" is marked by one of the beatboxers making a "shhh" or "chhh" noise.

Availability: Current.

Editor's Note: The logos here are rather strange, not to mention that one variant has quick flashing that could effect those prone to epilepsy.

7th Logo (2020-)

Canal+ (2022).png

Logo: On a black background, many glass spheres and lines can be seen, and the camera pans through them. This lasted after many seconds before we see a black square with a cutoff + in it. Then, later we see the Canal+ logo flickering for a bit before it merges together, and all the glass spheres and lines clear out.

Variant: A short version exists, where we zoom out at fast speed and on the plus square, then all the glass spheres and lines fade out instead of clearing screen by screen, and the plus flips to the Canal+ logo.

FX/SFX: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A dreamy, yet ominous, Tchaikovsky-like orchestral tune. Silent for the short version.

Availability: Current. The short version can be seen on YouTube clips of some of their shows, such as Les Guignols.

Editor's Note: TBA.

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