Harpo Studios

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Logo captures by
snelfu, Mr.Logo, SovereignJNewell and others


Editions by
Michael Bass, Mr.Logo, Logohub, CooleyBoy10, Operaghost, STIProd, and others


Video captures courtesy of
sailorclose, youngleader610 (Mr.Logo), ENunn and Broken Saw

Background

Harpo Studios (also known as Harpo Productions) is the production company founded by the television personality and entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey. Its name is not to be confused with one of the Marx brothers, but it is "Oprah" spelled backwards.

1st Logo (Late 1988-2003)

Nicknames: "Cartoon Oprah", "Harpo Wagon"

Logo: On a white background, we see a cartoon version of Oprah Winfrey, wearing a lavender jacket over a yellow dress, pulling a wagon that reads "HARPO" (in a green ITC Grouch font), with the "O" slanted, on a wagon, while under "HARPO", on the cart's outer base, reads "PRODUCTIONS, INC." (set in Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ Medium Extended font). The wagon then bumps into her, causing the "HARPO" to shake, then appears normal. The copyright notice appears, and Oprah curtsies. At the end, her right hand points to the O.

Variants:

  • On late 1988 episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the copyright notice fades in at the end of the logo.
  • The copyright notice, in later years, fades in midway throughout the logo's duration.
  • There is a short version of this logo.
  • Sometimes in 1994, the copyright notice has the text "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" underneath it.
  • Starting in mid-late 2000, the copyright notice reads "HARPO, INC."
  • Strangely, there is a version contains a video freeze at the end for about 7 seconds.
  • On BET prints of the 1988 TV miniseries The Women of Brewster Place, "In Association With" fades in at the same time as the copyright notice. Plus, the logo is cut-short.
  • On Brewster Place, there's no copyright notice under the logo.

FX/SFX: Oprah pulling the wagon, and the letters shaking. It's all cel animation. It is unknown who did this logo.

Music/Sounds: A somewhat dramatic 10-note synth string/horn fanfare, then 5 more quick notes, a brief piano "pluck", and a final string note. This was composed by Paul David Wilson at Herschel Commercial, who has composed a lot of jingles and scores for TV commercials.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The logo had a higher pitch when it was first used in 1988. Starting in 1992, the music is in a normal pitch.
  • On some occasions, the Oprah theme plays over it, or it's silent.
  • On one 1989 Channel 4 airing of a S1 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the last 3 notes of the music repeated when the Midlantic Films logo appeared, most likely due to a an editing error. See the first video on the way left for this.

Availability: Ultra rare, despite lasting for 15 years. Seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show episodes from the era. Don't expect this on reruns on classic Oprah Winfrey Show episodes on OWN, as the network edited out this logo, and replaced it with the 3rd logo. It is also found on the 1988 miniseries The Women of Brewster Place and its spinoff Brewster Place. The other variants are nearly extinct. This was surprisingly spotted on a August 18, 2018 OWN re-airing of a 1999 Oprah Winfrey Show episode, with Aretha Franklin. It has been spotted on a few Oprah episodes seen on Oprah's YouTube channel and it is retained on an episode that was included as a special feature on the 35th Anniversary 4K/Blu Ray release of Ghostbusters I & II.

Editor's Note: A remembered logo for its well-done cel animation, music and cuteness, especially those who watched The Oprah Winfrey Show back in the day.

2nd Logo (November 15, 2005, September 18, 2006-2010)

Nickname: "Gold Harpo"

Logo: On a black background, we see "HARPO PRODUCTIONS, INC." in gold, and in the same font as the 1st logo, with the "O" slanted, rotating towards us. There is a reflection of the name on the base, and the name shines with "pings". The reflection disappears at the end.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, "INC." doesn't appear next to "PRODUCTIONS".
  • A version exists that starts with the name shining.

FX/SFX: The shining, and the reflection disappearing.

Music/Sounds: A synth theme with twinkle sounds in the background or the ending theme of the show.

Availability: The earliest known appearance of this logo is on The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection DVD in 2005 (following the Paramount DVD logo). This later appeared in 2006 on The Rachael Ray Show and Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball.

Editor's Note: It's a satisfactory CGI logo of the time period, but nothing spectacular.

3rd Logo (2010-)

Nickname: "Harpo Rings"

Logo: Up against a white background, a ring moves up and copies into 5 rings, like a gyroscope, revealing "HARPOSTUDIOS" set in Interstate font (with "HARPO" being set in a black weight and "STUDIOS" being set in a regular weight) in green. During all of this, there is a white shadow underneath the rings.

Variants:

  • A copyright stamp may appear below.
  • On some local airings of The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2010-2011, the logo appears on the right side of the screen with the text underneath the rings and the copyright info stacked.
  • Sometimes, the logo reads simply "HARPO". This appeared starting in late 2017 on SuperSoul Sunday.

FX/SFX: The rings spinning and spelling the Harpo name.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic fanfare, not unlike the 1st logo.

Music/Sounds Variant: Beginning in 2011 on most shows, the first few notes of the fanfare are cut off.

Availability: Common. It's seen on all Oprah Winfrey specials from 2010 to the present time. It is also seen on later episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as The Rachel Ray Show, The Dr. Oz Show from seasons 2 to 8, SuperSoul Sunday, and the short-lived The Nate Berkus Show. This plasters the 1st logo on OWN reruns of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Editor's Note: Another fine CGI logo, but its omnipresence over classic Oprah Winfrey Show episodes may bother those who prefer the 1st logo.

4th Logo (2019-)

Nickname: "Harpo Rings II"

Logo: On a white background, we see the same rings from before, but this time in gold and silver, rotating as they form. The words "HARPO" and "PRODUCTIONS" then fade in, one by one.

FX/SFX: The rings rotating and the name fading in.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Oprah's Book Club and Oprah Talks.

Editor's Note: None.

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