GBH IDs

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
AsdfTheRevival, StephenCezar15, BenIsRandom, SomerHimpson,Megadeth99 and others

Captures by
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Editions by
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Video captures courtesy of
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Background

WGBH (an abbreviation of Western Great Blue Hill), known on-air as simply GBH, is a PBS affiliate located in Boston, Massachusetts and owned by the WGBH Educational Foundation. The station launched on May 2, 1955, and introduced an animated on-screen logo in 1971. It is also one of the biggest PBS affiliates, producing much of the national content for the network, and is also one of their 2 flagship stations. In 2020, the station rebranded as GBH; the name is currently used on-air, while the rebrand is expected to roll out on other platforms throughout the 2020s.


WGBH


GBH

Contents

(2020-)  
(2020-)


WGBH

1st ID (1955-1956?)




ID: The ID consists of the following text on the lower center position of the screen:
WGBH-TV
BOSTON
CHANNEL 2

Various lines of various sizes and angles can be seen in the background. Names of cities that received the station can be seen on the left center of the screen.

Technique: Unknown. Probably none.

Music/Sounds: Unknown, but it may have an announcer.

Availability: Extinct. The only known remains of this ID comes from a Logopedia page.

Legacy: This is the first known identity produced by WGBH. It has quite a unique design for its time too.

2nd ID (1956-1971)




ID: The ID consists of an "X" connected to a triangle on the bottom and a vertical line throughout the center. Circles are on both the left and right side of the symbol. Next to the symbol is the number "2" with "WGBH-TV Cambridge/Boston" underneath.

Trivia: The symbol is actually an ancient Aztec symbol for "family." The triangle and vertical line represent a woman, the vertical line and top two portions of the "X" represent a man, and the circles represent children. The symbol is still in use as the logo for "WGBH Alumni."

Technique: Unknown. Probably still like before.

Music/Sounds: Unknown. Probably an announcer like before.

Availability: Same as the previous ID.

3rd ID (1979?-1982?)


ID: On a black background, we see a silver outline of the "2" with a flash of light on its top. To the left of the "2" is "WGBH TV" and to the right of it is "BOSTON".

Technique: The logo fading in.

Music/Sounds: A female announcer says "This is Channel 2, WGBH-TV Boston."

Availability: Extinct.

4th ID (1983?-1989)


Note: The ID can be seen at 0:04.

ID: Over a shot of the Boston skyline at night, a white colored "2" (with the extrusions filled and the "2" being a cutout) zooms back to the center of the screen. To the left of the "2" is the text "WGBH TV" and to the right of the "2" is the word "BOSTON." The "2" flashes similar to the 3rd ID, turning the background black, the "2" white, and the outline orange.

Variant: On Christmas, a Christmas ID would replace it.

Technique: The logo zooming out. The logo flashing. The logo and background changing.

Music/Sounds: A mellow synth theme with a synthesized whoosh as the logo zooms out. There is a "ping" as the logo flashes and a drumbeat afterwards. Throughout the logo, an announcer (William Pierce) says "This is viewer supported television from Boston. WGBH TV."

Availability: Extinct. Appeared before programs on WGBH.

5th ID (1986?-1989?)


ID: We fade into what appears to be space. The background is entirely black with the exception of a dark blue glowing semicircle that represents Earth. The "2" from the previous ID zooms out, but it's in a shade of gold rather than orange. As it stops zooming back, pinkish red, green, and blue comets come in from the top left of the screen and go through the cut-out "2" as they streak off to the right. The words "WGBH TV BOSTON" in spaced-letters appear below in a gray-white generic font. The animation loops a few more times before the ID ends.

Technique: The "2" zooming out. The comets streaking through the ID and to the right of the screen. The text appearing below.

Music/Sounds: An excerpt of "Shadowdance" by "Shadowfax."

Availability: Extinct. Appeared on Return of the Art Maker, which is long gone from TV and never made an official home media release. Also used as a station ID at the time.

6th ID (1989-Early 1990s)


ID: On a black background, the "2" from the previous IDs in gold and in 3D zooms and tilts back until it disappears.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extinct. Was only used as a sign-off ID (and possibly a sign-on ID).

7th ID (1990-Early 1990's?)


ID: On an orange sky background, we see the 2 from the previous IDs, made out of glass, tilt and zoom out, ending in the centre of the screen. The words "WGBH" and "TV" appear at the top of the 2, while "BOSTON" is on the bottom. These words fade in when the 2 is in place. The 2 shines afterwards.

Technique: The 2 zooming out, the text fading in, the 2 shining.

Music/Sounds: An 8-note trumpet theme, with a string holding a "C" note throughout. At the end, we hear a 3 note tinkle from a vibraphone.

Availability: Extinct.

Legacy: A pretty nice ID for the 1990s, but the other "2" IDs could be considered better.

8th ID (1999?-2002?)

ID: On a rendered platform featuring Greek Temple-like columns, monitors of at least six WGBH programs are present, as the camera moves forward until the Boston skyline can be seen in the background. As it does, a blue circle appears with the words "GBH 2" carved in it, with "2" in the same font as the previous IDs. Underneath the circle is "WGBH Boston" also in blue.

Technique: The camera and CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A tribal kind of song with an announcer saying "You're watching the best television on television, Boston's PBS station: GBH 2."

Availability: Extinct.

Legacy: Very nice CGI for the time.

9th ID (January 22, 2001-November 24, 2013?)


ID: A brief flash shows us uncolored pipes. Suddenly, gold beams fly through them, as the camera pans around, following it. The camera then pans and zooms outward, revealing the now-completed WGBH logo in a neon format as it flashes brightly. The logo goes dim as a neon number "2" [the channel number] lights up in a bluish-white color for about 3 seconds and goes out.

Variants:

  • Also seen with affiliate stations in a black typeface on the bottom of the logo.
  • A short version exists beginning where the screen zooms out to show the logo lighting up.
  • Another shorter version cuts off the first two seconds of the logo.

Technique: Very nice CGI for the early 2000s, done by Paul Sanni; a WGBH Creative Services editor, and Elias Mallette; TV director for Creative Services. They also did work for the previous ID.

Music/Sounds: A slightly extended version of the infamous WGBH synth theme. When the WGBH logo flashes, Jim Birdsall, who has done work for CNBC and NBC stations KING and KGW in Seattle and Portland, says "WGBH Boston". Finally, a humming sound is heard when the "2" appears.

Availability: Extinct.

10th ID (October 31, 2013 November 25, 2013-Late 2020?)


ID: On a black background, orange neon lights start to trace out the inner part of the WGBH logo, with the top coming first, followed by the bottom part, the 2 holes on the "B", and finally the part that makes part of the "G". The light then draws out the full outline as another line starts to draw the "shadow" part. When the inner outline is complete, the rest of the ID flickers on and flashes, revealing "WGBH-TV BOSTON" on the bottom. The logo then glows, then shortens out in a similar matter.

Variant An in-credit version exists on "Wallander on Masterpiece" where the logo's flash and burn-out animation is superimposed over the end screen. This was the first appearance of this logo.

Trivia: This ID was created by Paul Sanni (sound and video editing) and Elias Mallette (animation), both of which also did work for the previous ID. You can read more about the making here.

Technique: The tracing of the inner parts, the drawing of the logo, as well as the usual flash. Pretty cool animation.

Music/Sounds: An ominous hum is heard first, followed by a series of snippets of the infamous theme when the neon traces the logo, but the computer blips are now terribly out of tune. The logo then plays the full theme with an announcer saying "You're watching WGBH 2, Boston.", followed with the same humming sound from the previous ID. The in-credit version featured the ending theme with faint electrical sounds.

Availability: Extinct due to the name change to GBH. The in-credit version may still exist on episodes of "Wallander on Masterpiece" should PBS rebroadcast them. Despite it's retirement, the ID itself can be seen on GBH's YouTube channel.

Legacy: Nice blend of the previous ID and the 1977 production logo, It's a shame this logo only appears as a station ID.

GBH

(2020-)

ID: On a purple and white background, we see the text WGBH. Suddenly, the W slides to the left as more text appears, forming the words "We are GBH". We cut to various angles of an abstract shape as the "GBH" portion flips up, forming "We are creative", "We are curious" and "We are changing", the last word changing with each cut. We then cut to the whole shape (revealed to be the letters "GBH" in Sharp Sans, in a similar style to the 1974-2020 logo) with "WGBH-TV BOSTON" below.

Technique: The cutting and the fading.

Music/Sounds: A jazzy tune, with a female announcer saying "We are GBH. We are creative. We are curious. We are changing. Nice to meet you."

Availability: Current. Seen before the start of programming on GBH and its YouTube channel.

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