Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. (commercially styled as Rai and known as Radio Audizioni Italiane until 1954) is Italy's national public broadcasting company founded in 1944. In 1950, RAI became one of the 23 founding broadcasting organizations of the European Broadcasting Union.
1st Logo (1954-1986)
Logo: On a scrolling sky background, a black square (blue in the colored version) consisting of a white stacked "TV" logotype fades in, with the name "r a i - radio televisione italiana" seen below. Various abstract 2D wireframe figures then scroll down and cover the background, as the logo fades in and out with each 10 seconds.
Technique: A mix of cel animation and live-action.
Music/Sounds: The ending of William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. On the closedown ident, its L'Aria de Saturno by Roberto Lupi.
Availability: Extinct. Was seen on startups and closedowns from the channel during its 30 years of use.
2nd Logo (1983-June 15, 2012)
- 1983-1988: On a navy blue background, a 4-pointed star flashes in the upper right part of the screen. After a bit, a globe displaying most of Europe, as well as some of Africa and Asia, fades in with gray land, a shiny metallic blue ocean, and a white glow surrounding it, and then it starts to zoom in as a tricolor rectangle glides in from the bottom of the screen, clearly colored like the Italy flag, as the background slowly lightens up. As the camera pans towards Italy, the rectangles then flip up as they rotate around and stand upright, right before the camera heads into the ocean as circles pulse out from Rome's approximate location on the map. The camera then dips below the "water" to eliminate the globe, but the circles continue for a while longer, and the rectangles spin into a stacked position as green, white, and red from top to bottom. "RAI" in a customized blue font then appears via a "blinds" effect, along with the full name "RADIO TELEVISIONE ITALIANA" in Helvetica and with each word next to the rectangles, and the entire logo shines with white cloud-like particles on the inside.
- 1988-2012: It begins the same way, but when the camera heads towards the ocean, a large silver object pops up and zooms out, leaving a dark blue background as it reveals itself to be the text "RAI", now redesigned with the letters separated and the "A" missing its crossbar. The logo then moves back as a tricolor parallelogram with the Italian flag's colors appears from behind the "R" and flies up to form the "A"'s crossbar. The logo shines as "RADIO TELEVISIONE ITALIANA" fades in a different white font, arranged to the left.
- From 1983-1988, a closedown variant has the color shifting reversed, starting with sky blue before fading to navy blue. The logo also lacks the shininess as the startup variant and is light blue, and the star reappears at this point.
- Starting in 1991, the logo was redesigned to include a crossbar on the "A", and the parallelogram's stripes are now arranged exactly like the Italian flag, with the parallelogram plastering itself on the crossbar.
Technique: Early CGI, but it looks pretty good for the time.
Music/Sounds: A calm, yet dramatic synth fanfare based on the opening notes of Il Canto degli Italiani.
Availability: Extinct. It was used as a startup and closedown ident during the time period.
Legacy: The logo had a surprisingly long timespan, ending 12 years after the logo was replaced twice!
3rd Logo (1983-1985)
Logo: On a black background with a yellowish ground made of squares we see a floating azure flat version of the Rai logo from 1983-2000. We scroll in while a blue sphere, a red square and a green tetrahedron (the original symbols of the 3 Rai generic channels) come in one-by-one and go up the letter "A" of the word "RAI". The camera follows the shapes until the Rai logo is framed on the screen along with the squared ground. We see the 3 shapes fly away from the screen, and then the squared ground rotates away in the black background. The words "RADIO TELEVISIONE ITALIANA" appear one-by-one.
- A short variant exists, only with the panning to the A in RAI fading to the 3/4th of the animation.
- Their own generic channel idents have their own Rai shape floating on a black background with the same Rai shape, but bigger and cut in pieces, and we pan through inside the big Rai shape with the interior being yellow. A gradient TV-like shape flips and we zoom in, and the company's logo flips back.
- A short version has the background brightening up as the wordmark zooms out.
Technique: Early CGI, but it looks pretty good for the time.
Music/Sounds: A calm, yet eerie synth and three synth notes when each word of the name appears. The short versions usually have an abridged version, and the shortest versions just have the 3-note jingle.
Availability: Extinct, used for a short time on several Rai transmissions
4th Logo (1985-1988)
Logo: On a blue/purple background, we see the same three shapes from the previous logo flying towards the right of the screen, releasing trails of their respective color. They pass a glass version of the "RAI" wordmark of the time, which rotates and zooms down, settling near the center of the screen. After it does so, the name "RADIO TELEVISIONE ITALIANA" fades in word-by-word while the three shapes stop next to each of them.
- For the generic station idents, it has channel's corresponding shape flying through a glass labyrinth shaped like the RAI logo as it fills it with their corresponding color. As the camera pans out of the wordmark and the shape shoots out from the top of the "I", the full wordmark is seen on a background of their tertiary color along with several differently-sized versions of their shapes everywhere
- A short variant exists, only being the end part of the logo with the generic shape passing by the logo, shining a spotlight as it does.
Technique: Even better CGI than the previous logo, holds up great for the time.
Music/Sounds: A faster synth piano rendition of the previous logos' theme.
Availability: Extinct. Used on several transmissions from 1985 to 1988.
5th Logo (1988-1993)
Logo: On a smoky orange background with multiple streaks in different colors rotating, we see the three shapes from the previous logos spin around. They fly towards the left side of the screen where we see the redesigned "RAI" wordmark from the 2nd logo, although made of transparent glass and spinning as well. The background becomes blue as the three shapes become horizontal lines, with the sphere becoming white. As this happens, the wordmark goes to the center of the screen and the lines settle on "A", becoming its crossbar. The logo shimmers as a light passes over it.
Variant: After 1991, the lines were made vertical to reflect Italy's flag and adds the crossbar to the "A". The background is also darker and the flag shines once the logo shines as well.
Technique: Good CGI that holds up well.
Music/Sounds: A different rendition of the previous logo's theme.
Availability: Used on several transmissions from 1988 to 1993.
6th Logo (1993-2000)
Logo: On a yellow background, we see various crayon-like stripes in various colors moving through the screen. When the screen is filled by crayon marks, a barrier made of crystal lines comes up from the bottom of the screen and the RAI logo from the time, made of glass and with an Italian flag pattern on the "A"'s crossbar, fades in as it rotates towards us.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: A 7-note version of Rai 1 (synth piano), Rai 2 (electric guitar), and Rai 3 (saxophone) themes.
Availability: Used on several transmissions until 2000.
7th Logo (2000-2010)
Logo: On a blue background we see half of the 2000 Rai butterfly logo. As it unfolds, the text "Rai" (in Ollie Wollie Bold) fades in, and the logo fades away two seconds later.
Technique: Simple computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A short dramatic fanfare.
Availability: Used on programs broadcasted by Rai until 2010.
8th Logo (2010-)
Logo: We just see the new Rai logo (a blue square with the text "Rai" in white) fading in and out.
Technique: The fading.
Availability: Currently in use in some of Rai's programming. This is likely to be seen after the Eurovision logo on each broadcast of the yearly contest in Italy.