Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television network owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and the flagship property of HBO's namesake parent subsidiary, Home Box Office, Inc. Launched on November 8, 1972, it is the oldest and longest continuously operating subscription television service.
1st Logo (November 1, 1983-May 31, 1998)
Logo: It's basically in-credit text in a custom font that reads "THIS HAS BEEN AN HBO PRESENTATION", with a copyright notice below (though not all shows at the time had this).
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show or none. On The Hitchhiker, a whimsical droning note (sourced from the opening theme of the program) is used.
Availability: Seen on older HBO programs before switching to the standard logo such as The Hitchhiker, The Larry Sanders Show, Happily Ever After, and pre-season 7 episodes of Tales from the Crypt.
2nd Logo (1983?-1990s?)
Logo: On a black background, we see five glowing blue lines wiping in from the left through the center, and a large gold HBO logo fades in over the center of the lines, as two glowing red lines flash in above and below the logo (with the former line having the word "An" in its middle, and the latter having the word "Presentation"). The HBO logo then "sparkles" a bit.
- An early version of the logo had the logo slightly smaller and the colors of the lines and the text swapped (with the center lines in red and the top and bottom lines in blue).
- Sometimes, a copyright date is seen below.
FX/SFX: Early '80s animation.
Music/Sounds: A bombastic 8-note tune, the end theme, or none.
Availability: Scarce. It's used on non-movie events, like specials, concerts, and programs like HBO Coming Attractions or Video Jukebox (a half-hour expansion of the short music video vignettes aired between programs).
3rd Logo (April 19, 1996-)
Logo: We briefly start on a black screen, before the screen animates like a TV screen turning on, and it fills with static. A shadowed outline of the HBO logo appears, along with "ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING" below it. The static fades into a black background, leaving the logo, which is still filled with static.
- This logo was idealized by Bruce Richmond, which later became executive vice president of production at HBO. Bruce wanted to represent the fact that when people tuned in to HBO, they were stepping into something special.
- The graphics were created using a Quantel Paintbox, and it took three days to fully render the final product (the same probably also applies to the closing variant). The animation was also made prior to any sort of music or sound effects, so the music was written based on the visuals.
- This logo was parodied on MADtv in the beginning of a sketch called "Bae Sung Sopranos", a parody of the channel's hit TV series, The Sopranos.
- It was also parodied on the forwarder channel to the Nintendo Wii homebrew application, WiiMC.
- A simple closing variant shows the fully-formed logo with the byline "A Time Warner Entertainment Company" below, before the background fades into static and the logo turns off like a TV set. This was used from 1996-2005.
- A bylineless version of the aforementioned variant exists.
- The screen has the text "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF HOME BOX OFFICE" with "HOME BOX OFFICE" in a larger font and "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF" in a smaller font above. This was used from 1998-2018.
- The HBO logo filled with static is seen and when the screen is filled with static again, it transitions out horizontally, and a flash makes the static disappear and turns the logo into the text "A PRESENTATION OF HOME BOX OFFICE" in the Gilroy font. This is currently in use since 2018.
- From 2005-2018, a variant with the word "ENTERTAINMENT" replacing the text "ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING" was used in tandem with the standard logo.
- Starting in 2018, the logo is enhanced and now simply says "HBO".
FX/SFX: The TV turning on, and the fade effects.
Music/Sounds: A wiping noise and a static sound, followed by a choir and a low synth tone. The closing variant has the choir played backwards, followed by a clicking sound. These were both composed by Bruce Richmond.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the 1997 special Stomp Out Loud, the static is replaced by the sound of a creaky gate, and the choir is replaced by a car alarm going off. The closing variation has the sounds reversed.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The music of this logo is officially known internally as the "Static Angel".
Availability: Very common.
- It appears on many post-1996 programs on HBO such as Game of Thrones, True Detective, Veep, Girls, Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and any HBO original special, among others.
- It also appeared on other HBO shows when they originally aired them, such as Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under.
- The logo made its debut on the Season 7 premiere of Tales From the Crypt.
- This is also seen on pre-1998 HBO Family programs, before they had their own special logo made. Can also be seen on reruns of the 2009 revival of The Electric Company and the 46th season of Sesame Street.
- The new HBO logo variants debuted on Succession.
- The 2018 variant appears on the HD remasters of Sex and the City on HBO Max.