Spectrum Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Spectrum Video was a UK sub-label of PolyGram Video that focused on music-related videos. It was the sister company to the primarily-American PolyGram Music Video. It was also the name of a former PolyGram Records label that distributed primarily compilations.

In 1986, PolyGram formed a UK joint-venture with Heron Communications called Channel 5 Video, with the Spectrum brand being used as the venture's music label until it was retired in 1990.

The "Spectrum" brand was also used by PolyGram in France and Germany as well.

Not to be confused with Wizard Video's distributor from 1984 to 1986.

1st Logo (1982-1988)

Visuals: It's basically the same as the first PolyGram Video logo, but after "presents" slides in, a series of rainbow-colored bars with "spectrum" in a jumbled white Helvetica font forms one-by-one from the right.


  • A French version of this exists where the text "presents" is replaced with "présente une exclusivité", and they slide word by word.
  • A German version also exists where it's the same as the German variant of the first PolyGram Video logo, but with the Spectrum logo zooming in from the center of the screen instead of the Arena logo wiping in.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: A descending synthesized sound, followed by a synth ditty. The French variant is the same, but slightly modified.


  • Check eBay for tapes that feature this logo, as it primarily appeared on UK tapes of music.
  • One example is The Jam: Video Snap!.

2nd Logo (1988-1990)

Visuals: On a black background is a red line "stretching", then two white arrows, representing rewind, appear in the line and behind it an white oval appears via a countdown effect, containing the letter "s" (red). The arrows then show the same letter on the line on a black color before they go out of view, then there is another set of white arrows pointing to the right, representing fast-forward, with the countdown effect then inverting the colors of the background and oval at the same time the letter "p" (orange) appears on the oval and then on the line. This process is repeated with the following letters in the same order as the colors of the rainbow alongside other VCR symbols: "e" (yellowish-orange, single arrow (play backwards)), "c" (yellow, two horizontal lines (pause)), "t" (gradient of light green and dark green, two vertical lines), "r" (dark green, triangle), "u" (gradient of green and greenish-blue, square (stop)), and "m" (gradient of greenish-blue, blue and indigo, circle (record)), at the same time adding the rainbow colors with a gradient effect to the line letter by letter. The oval then wipes out of view via the same countdown effect, and the logo fades out seconds afterwards.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: A muzak-like synth tune.


  • Appeared on later music tapes from the company.
  • It also appears on the 1988 UK VHS release of Foxy Fables: The Crow and the Fox.
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