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ABC revamps squiggle logo

Posted January 30, 2008 09:07:00
Updated January 30, 2008 13:44:00

The squiggle has been front-and-centre for nearly 50 years.

The squiggle has been front-and-centre for nearly 50 years. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin)

The famous ABC TV squiggle logo is set to be revamped after nearly 50 years.

Director of ABC TV Kim Dalton has confirmed a more formal graphic will be launched as the public broadcaster moves into the digital age.

But he says the squiggle will not be scrapped altogether.

"It will form a part of the logo for ABC TV and it will be where it's always been," he told ABC Radio's AM.

"It will carry the same significance and meaning as it always has."

But Mr Dalton would not be drawn on what the new logo will look like.

"I can't give you a word picture," he said.

"I'm afraid you'll just have to curb your curiosity for another week or so when we roll this out."

ABC TV, meanwhile, will be renamed ABC 1, bringing it into line with the corporation's digital channel, known as ABC 2.

The broadcaster will also introduce a digital-only children's channel, to be known as ABC 3.

Professor Alan Knight from Friends of the ABC says the changes are certain to create waves among the broadcaster's loyal audience.

"If it helps the ABC make better programs and have more Australian content - fantastic," he said.

"It probably won't though.

"Businesses often change their logos and, I guess, the ABC - acting like a business - thinks it's a good idea.

"Personally I'm not that disturbed by it being changed.

"When it started out it was very thin, then it became very fat, then it became silver and then it moved around on the screen a bit," he added.

Tags: arts-and-entertainment, television, broadcasting, abc, television, australia

Comments (45)

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  • Kurt:

    30 Jan 2008 3:25:27pm

    Hmm..... Why erase history?

    The ABC logo is one of the most unique symbols in australian history, and is easily the most recognised logo in australia.

    I dont think the logo should be changed.

    The ABC should of run a competition to find a new logo, rather than doing it with secrecy.

    After all, its OUR abc.... i think.....

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  • Howard:

    30 Jan 2008 2:50:41pm

    I'm shocked. Everyone thought Howard (not me, different one) was out of touch but ABC executives do not understand abot time and ages, nor the unique status and position the ABC has as the national broadcaster. With regret, a decision has been made to remove an icon. As stated, the ABC has had its present logo for over 50 years in which time they have altered its appearance. Yet surely they have not made a habit of changing it completely.
    You change the logo completely, and you dislocate the iconic image of the ABC from its past and from our heritage. Alter its appearance and you show how you adapt with the changing times while maintaining a connection from where and when the ABC has come.
    If the Kim Daltons and others wish to know what they are doing, they are basically wiping away what we can see of our ABC because in some ways that is all that is left. Changing the 'squiggle' logo's appearance is fine. Change the logo completely, and either, or Mr Dalton really should change his head.

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  • les:

    30 Jan 2008 2:49:29pm

    Bump squiggle, bump me - as a viewer.
    Please spend the money instead on delivering Radio National and Radio News by FM to Albury/ Wodonga (that's south westish of Sydney if you are looking for it).
    By the way shouldn't the kids channel be ABCD?

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  • Mike B:

    30 Jan 2008 2:41:47pm

    I must have missed the news report where the ABC funding was increased to provide for such a waste of public money. Why not use the money that will be thrown at this for programming or improving the ABC in a different way?

    To use the reason that technology has changed and therefore so should the logo, well that is just crap. Anyone intimately involved in technology will tell you that if something is working properly then just leave it alone. You play with such at your own peril, and so far I can not see where the current logo is broken, or why it needs "upgrading".

    Use my money for better purposes.

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  • cyber swaggie:

    30 Jan 2008 2:36:55pm

    I remember when everyone had a hissyfit about the show Playschool getting a workover. ..To look at it now you could hardly tell the difference. Chill the lace doilies are changing at aunty's..... Big deal! Let the old girl have her fun.

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  • Hicksy:

    30 Jan 2008 2:00:13pm

    So are the program guides going to start showing programming for ABC 1,2 and 3?

    That would be a step in t he right direction...

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  • Squiggle Fanboi:

    30 Jan 2008 1:39:18pm

    The logo on the SMH web page is hideous. I notice the original squiggle costs 25 pound all those years ago. What's the bet the new one cost 1000 times as much, if not much more.

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  • Glenda:

    30 Jan 2008 1:18:49pm

    I've always seen the squiggle as the sign for infinity - a circle that never ends - a quest for more - revamp it, but please don't dump it.

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  • Krishna:

    30 Jan 2008 1:07:57pm


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  • Robert:

    30 Jan 2008 1:05:48pm

    The ABC logo is technically a Lissajous Curve (where a = 1, b = 3, δ = π/2).
    The Logo aint broke and does not need fixing.
    By all means and a 1 to the logo and add a 2 to the ABC2 Channel, and put HD beside the Logo for ABC HD.

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  • Andrew:

    30 Jan 2008 1:00:46pm

    The ABC squiggle is as Australian as lamingtons, sausage rolls and Australia's national anthem. Please don't.

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  • Baz:

    30 Jan 2008 12:34:32pm

    Please don't do it. You can still have ABC1, 2, 3, etc but keep the 'squiggle'. I am sure many designs were considered, inclusing those that had a blend of old & new. But I find it hard to believe the ABC would want to throw away all that history in one go...

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  • Mr Squiggle's love child:

    30 Jan 2008 12:28:22pm

    Oh god! I thought they were changing Mr Squiggle! Phew!

    The chrome exhaust pipe is so nineties - "I got a 3D program for Xmas!" - it looked dated when they did it.

    But I like the Escher wave - it has mobius circularity.

    Surely the digital guys can live with it? Just because the wave forms are ones and zeros doesn't mean they are not still going into the mics, out of the speakers and transmitting the digital TV.

    So I guess only web sites with no audio have no waves. But who cares - do they have a web arm any more? The web people all work for the trad media depts now.

    Apparently the web can not be a stand-alone medium for Australian culture.

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  • Eddie:

    30 Jan 2008 12:18:08pm

    LEAVE the logo alone

    Change for changes sake is not worth the vast waste of money spent on it.

    "Director of ABC TV Kim Dalton has confirmed a more formal graphic will be launched as the public broadcaster moves into the digital age."

    a MORE FORMAL logo ? sheech where do they find these people, the ABC is the national broadcaster and has had that logo so long that most people world wide know that as the Australian ABC

    Any change and the ABC reporters will seem to be from a new unknown broadcaster and could well be denied access to personalities and other media events.

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      • jesse:

        30 Jan 2008 12:42:03pm

        Yeah, because when the reporters say 'We're from ABC Australia', nobody will know who they are, will they? They're not changing the name! It's just the logo!

        If that logo on is anything to go by, I'm all for it. It's modern, and unifies the ABC's branding. ABC1, ABC2, ABC3. It makes perfect sense. And they've said that the old logo isn't going to disappear, anyway.

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  • slammy:

    30 Jan 2008 12:17:00pm

    Change for the better. Why stick to old fashion stuff.
    People , work, life, living standard, technoligy etd ... have changed

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  • Deb:

    30 Jan 2008 12:13:05pm

    Leave it alone. The ABC squiggle is an Australian icon.......recognised by Australian children and adults alike. Why we can't embrace its longivity and stop fixing things that aren't broken is beyond me. Next it we will be changing the words to Waltzing Matilda, adjusting the shape of the Harbour Bridge or
    banning Vegemie!
    In uncertain economic times can't ABC come up with something more beneficial to its audience to spend money on.

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  • Lex:

    30 Jan 2008 12:08:05pm

    The changes all sound good.

    I don't understand why people are so attached to the current one, I'm only young but even I can remember the design being different than it is now.

    I can remember when they first brought out those intros/ads where people were writing the logo in the air... the hatred people had for that was suprising, then people were disapointed when they stopped.

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  • Joanne:

    30 Jan 2008 12:03:36pm

    I always thought it was based on the original oscilliscope patterns (or whatever they were called) of radio waves, that described the lissajous curves if the bandwidth was dialled any case there was good technical reason (if a little geeky and in-jokey) for the pattern to be used as a logo, so it seems a shame to drop it completely. There goes my childhood...

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  • WA Person:

    30 Jan 2008 12:02:19pm

    Ah, change for only the sake of change, with no real benefit.

    Bureaucrats with time on their hands, with no real purpose in life.

    The ABC should instead be trying to improve its service, rather than wasting resources on gratuitous change.

    It is unfortunate that it is not OUR ABC!

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  • John:

    30 Jan 2008 11:49:21am

    They should keep the curve in some form - it is one of the most recognisable logos in Australia. When you have that sort of brand recognition you do not throw it away.

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  • elle:

    30 Jan 2008 11:46:47am

    what would mr squiggle say?

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  • anne:

    30 Jan 2008 11:41:51am

    The money would be better spent on improving content than on expensive marketing hijinks which only impress those already working in the advertising/rebranding areas.

    In fact keeping one of the bestknown logos in Australia surely wouldnt be a bad thing if those in charge really are interested in improving brand loyalty.

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  • Arthur Rennick:

    30 Jan 2008 11:25:00am

    Leave it as it is. Talking about changes, go back to the original call signs for ABC Radio, e.g. 4QR Brisbane.

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  • nick:

    30 Jan 2008 11:23:30am

    I would suggest that it won't be a significant change (in fact the article said that too).

    I expect it's probably just more of a 3d or digital effect on the existing symbol.

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  • Geoff:

    30 Jan 2008 11:16:01am

    Logos come and logos go. What is important is more Australian content on Television. We have some amazing talented actors graduating from WAAPA, NIDA and other drama schools and they want work! More funding for the ABC to allow them to produce the high quality Australian productions they excell at, that's what is needed.

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  • Lament:

    30 Jan 2008 11:09:44am


    Change whatever needs changing.... and the logo is not one of those things.

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  • mayday:

    30 Jan 2008 11:08:14am

    Don't do it. The BBC logo hasn't changed for 60+ years and is one of the most widely recognised and respected ones out there (as is "The LONDON UNDERGROUND"). Change for changes sake.

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      • Pommie:

        30 Jan 2008 11:38:30am

        The BBC logo has changd loads of times.

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      • MBall:

        30 Jan 2008 1:38:40pm

        The BBC Logo which is now used (the letters 'BBC' in 3 blocks) was created in 2000. There has been many changes with there logo in the past 60+ years.
        I am yet to 'hear' people fleeing from the bbc becouse there logo changed!!!

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  • tom:

    30 Jan 2008 11:06:34am

    Don't hate me everybody, but I think the new proposed ABC1 logo on the front of The Australian today is actually kinda nice. It's clean and simple, and if they are keeping the squiggle as their corporate logo (as the report suggests), it won't be completely gone.
    I think it's time the logo changed to relfect the changes to the ABC audience demographic and the expanding digital areas. It's not all crusty old people anymore.

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  • David:

    30 Jan 2008 11:04:39am


    Let's start a petition....

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  • DexX:

    30 Jan 2008 11:02:33am

    I have no problem with the ABC updating or replacing its logo, but I am concerned about the cost. This kind of rebranding on a corporate scale costs a lot of money - meetings, designers, signage, stationery, marketing, etc. - and this money is coming from the coffers of an already financially crippled ABC.

    I hope Kevin and Co. do some serious salvage work on the poor old ABC, and inject a lot of new money into the old girl.

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  • mango in a twist:

    30 Jan 2008 10:57:01am

    There is no need to change this symbol.
    It has become an emblem of the ABC and it seems near
    ridiculous to change it simply for the sake of change.
    Just who is making decisions at the ABC these days?

    Throw it open to a poll, my democratic people's broadcaster.

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      • black chat:

        30 Jan 2008 11:04:55am

        changing the name to abc 1 is just annoying and confusing

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      • Wa Person:

        30 Jan 2008 12:06:13pm

        What "people's broadcaster"?

        What "democratic"?

        When have we ever been able to decide what the ABC does?

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  • Lewis:

    30 Jan 2008 10:34:12am

    Here is a quote from Wikipedia
    Lissajous figures are sometimes used in graphic design as logos. Examples include the logo of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (a = 1, b = 3, δ = π/2)

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  • windward:

    30 Jan 2008 10:32:41am

    Great! Change just for the sake of change. Exactly what the ABC needs, I am sure.

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  • D:

    30 Jan 2008 10:27:35am

    Ah, it's not just a "squiggle", it's a Lissajous curve.

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      • evdaemonia:

        30 Jan 2008 10:40:45am

        Wow, that is such great info. Thanks for pointing it out! More info here:

        So are Lissajous curves just analogue or do they still apply in a digital age?

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          • snufflebutt:

            30 Jan 2008 11:55:58am

            I vote for change ! I mean how else are we going to tell the difference between ABC1 ABC2 and ABC3 ???!!

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              • Mr. Squiggle:

                30 Jan 2008 12:01:36pm


                single, double and triple lissajous curvy bits.

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              • Mr Squiggle's love child:

                30 Jan 2008 12:33:20pm

                the big numbers on the end might help differentiate... besides only 5% of people will see 2 and 3.

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              • Andy:

                30 Jan 2008 1:42:24pm

                Actually, by the end of next year, everyone will be able to access ABC2 and ABC3...cos after that the analogue signal is being switched off!

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