American Public Television

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

In 1999, American Program Service (APS) renamed itself to American Public Television (APT). The company continues to distribute public TV shows nationwide to PBS stations.



1st Logo (April 26, 1999-2010)


Visuals: On a black background, there are three squares, one in the distance zooming out, one with a white outline that flips, and one with red outlining. Each one is blue with transparent lines and watermarks of the name, close-up and in a Helvetica font. As the watermarks scroll to the right and zoom in, a red outline forms another square, which appears like a CRT-TV being turned on as "American Public Television" fades in; it is in the same color and has another watermark of the name with the camera panning on it.

Variants:

  • Starting in 2000, the URL text "aptonline.org" appears under the company's name. The first few seconds of the animation are also cut off. In more recent years, it reads "APTonline.org".
  • On The Organ Wise Guys shorts, the logo appears at the bottom of the screen with the text: "Copyright (C) (Year) American Public Television" to the left of the logo.
  • Each variant may appear in widescreen.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the second logo for American Program Service.

Availability: For most of its lifespan, this logo was essentially the public television equivalent of the 1st Sony Pictures Television logo.

  • It was tacked onto the end of practically every program APT distributed during the period, such as The Saddle Club and A Place of Our Own, as well as shows on independent public TV stations such as 2010-2019 KCET and on the digital broadcast network Create (which APT partially owns).
  • With the logo being retired in 2010 in favor of the 2nd logo, its presence has dipped down, but it can still be found on older prints of APT programs.
  • It made an appearance on the 2010 documentary Greece: Quest For the Gods.
  • Though APT normally doesn't show its logos at the end of The McLaughlin Group, this was seen on a 2009 episode thereof.
  • The original 1999 variant is also strangely seen before the 1993 Connecticut Public Television logo on a 2014 episode of Scully: The World Show.
  • This logo is also seen on the PBS Kids specials Barney's Great Adventure (originally a theatrical feature released by PolyGram Films), VeggieTales: The Star of Christmas, and VeggieTales: Duke and the Great Pie War.
  • The original 1999 variant is also preserved on a U.S. master copy of the Two's Company episode "The Clergy", following the 1989 An LWT Programme for ITV endcap.
  • The original 1999 variant is also preserved on a U.S. master copy of the fifth S01 episode of A Fine Romance, "How to Avoid Bankruptcy", following the 1996 An LWT Programme for ITV endcap.

2nd Logo (February 2, 2009-February 5, 2011)


Visuals: A new-and-improved version of the previous logo, with notable differences:

  • The logo is darker and seemingly quicker in pace.
  • The company name is stretched.
  • The square with "American Public Television" appears via a "wipe-in" effect.
  • "American Public Television" is in a different font.
  • There are spotlights shining over the logo.
  • The URL "APTonline.org" appears under the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the last logo.

Availability:

  • Seen on WORLDFOCUS episodes from the era.
  • It is also still intact on old episodes of Doc Martin, plastering the previous logo on current prints of Series 1 episodes.

3rd Logo (February 6, 2011-)


Visuals: On a shady steel gray/blue gradient background, the text "American Public Television" in the Times New Roman font shines. Then, several blue/aqua/white-textured squares zoom out from the sides of the screen and the URL "APTonline.org" wipes in below. The top of the "n" in "Television" shines with a four-pointed star.

Trivia: This logo was made by Zydeco Design as part of a rebrand of APT coinciding with the latter's 50th anniversary.

Variants:

  • A still version exists. Here, the background is white, the squares' colors are altered and the company's initials with the words "American Public Television" underneath it.
  • On Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie and The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower, the 4:3 version of the logo is stretched to fill the 16:9 image.
  • Sometimes, as seen on Nightly Business Report and Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac, the logo fades in and out.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A re-arranged version of the last three notes of the 1996 American Program Service logo's music. Otherwise, the actual 1996 theme or the closing theme is used.

Availability:

  • Seen on current prints of APT's archival programming such as Mr. Bean and The Joy of Painting, and newer (episodes of) APT shows such as WORLDFOCUS and Nightly Business Report, among others.
  • The version with the older fanfare can be seen at the end of Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Royalty Close-Up, A Daring Journey: From Immigration to Education, The Reformation: This Changed Everything, Free to Rock, Fit 2 Stitch (previously distributed by NETA Program Service), and a series of 78 movies licensed from 20th Century Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Television (though the telefilm Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie uses the later fanfare).
  • The still version can be seen on Ruby's Studio on the now-defunct Qubo Channel.
American Program Service
American Public Television