From Audiovisual Identity Database

1st ID (November 8, 1972-April 30, 1975)


2nd ID (May 1, 1975-1976)

Logo: This logo has three different variants, but the end result is the same.

  • Variant A: Everything happens on a black background. First, we see several Scanimated sets of yellow lines spinning. As they slowly zoom in, they slowly dissolve into an early version of the HBO logo (with the "O" overlapping the "B"), and ""HOME BOX OFFICE FROM TIME/LIFE" appears below it shortly after it's formed. Suddenly, the HBO logo dissolves as it zooms towards the screen, and three red studio lamps rise from the bottom of the screen. The lamps turn on one-by-one, and the lights detach from them before merging into one circle that rotates into a purple projector. The projector keeps rotating as yellow film reels move from the left of the screen to the right, turning the projector into a purple film reel when they come in contact with it. After a while, the film reel rotates into a filmstrip with yellow HBO logos on it. The filmstrip curls down as two red drama masks fly in and start rotating rapidly, before flying away as several musical notes start zooming in while rotating and flashing in different colors. This cuts to a French horn rotating in and flipping upside down, before it stretches and turns into a row of piano keys while a ballerina's legs tiptoe towards them and open to give way for a blue version of the Discobolus statue. When the Discobolus moves off-screen, what looks like a disc flies in and turns into a basketball, which falls into a basketball hoop. The hoop dissolves into a baseball glove, and a baseball falls onto it, after which both objects dissolve into a hockey puck and goal. The puck moves around until the goal dissolves into a hockey stick, which hits the puck and dissolves into a tennis racket, which hits a tennis ball. As soon as the ball flies towards the screen, we cut to a blue/red/yellow light with sparks emanating from it. A yellow "H" from the HBO logo appears from the right and glides towards the left side of the screen. After it stops, the letters "BO" flip up to complete the logo, while "HOME BOX OFFICE FROM TIME/LIFE" flips down below it.
  • Variant B: On a blue background, a group of yellow rings zooms forward, along with a blue HBO logo (in the same pre-1980 format, albeit missing the "cork" inside the O) which launches two copies of its outline in different directions, before the logo itself flies away as well. Then the "HBO" outline fades back in and settles into position in the center of the screen, along with the other pieces; the logo is in white from this point forward. It splits and leaves the screen again while the background dips to black. The logo then flies up from the bottom, dispersing itself one more time atop a tye-dye orange and yellow background, and the text "HOME BOX OFFICE FROM TIME/LIFE" flies up from the bottom before dropping back down in a rollercoaster-like fashion. The background continues to shift to various starburst, tye-dye and other glowing visualizations, usually in a yellow-red-indigo gradient. During this animation, the HBO logo occasionally reappears and splits into the same three parts. Over a final backdrop of helical bezier lines, the entire "HBO" dissection sequence from the beginning happens once more almost verbatim. However, the "HOME BOX OFFICE FROM TIME/LIFE" text stops this time, and the HBO logo zooms in right above it, the resulting layout being quite similar to the previous variant.
  • Variant C: TBA

Trivia: The HBO logo was designed by Betty Brugger.

Technique: Scanimate effects and animations.

Music/Sounds: Depending on the variant:

  • Variant A: A jazz piece consisting of horns, saxophones and other jazz instruments. Possibly a stock piece; it also appeared on a 1978 demo reel for Sullivan & Marks.
  • Variant B: A groovy funk tune. A jazz ensemble is prominently featured at the beginning and end of the bumper, playing in time with the animation of the "HBO" logo itself.
  • Variant C: TBA

Availability: Extinct. They only appeared on a 1975 demo reel by Computer Image Corporation.

3rd ID (1976-1978)


4th ID (1978-1981, May 21, 2013)

ID: On a black background, several neon lines of the colors red, green, and blue wipe in, forming an octagram. We zoom in as two sets of neon lines appear horizontally and morph into a tricolored trail consisting of the colors red, yellow and blue. The trail flashes and the HBO logo in white appears zooming in to the right side of the screen. The trail turns solid and the right side of the trail fades out, leaving the left side of it to the left of "H".

Variant: An HD recreation in 16:9 exists on Behind the Candelabra.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A cheerful 5-note keyboard piece which segues into a horn fanfare. On Behind the Candelabra, the opening theme ("I Feel Love" by Donna Summer) plays.

Availability: Extinct. Seen during commercial breaks on HBO from the time.

5th ID (1991-1994)

Opening: An orange ball bounces onto a colorful patchwork background four times. Each bounce changes its color (to pink, chartreuse, aqua and purple) and the background (ending with the patchwork background), and several multicolored pieces gradually appear. The pieces eventually form an HBO logo that turns yellow with a green border and the ball lands into the "O", still changing colors.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A short calypso theme with a harp and some percussion hits. A male voiceover says "Simply the best choice on TV. HBO."

Availability: Extinct. One of HBO's feature presentation IDs would follow this one, except before a series.

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