Syfy Originals

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Syfy is a cable channel originally devised in 1991 by two Boca entrepreneurs: Mitchell Rubenstein and Laurie Silvers as the Sci-Fi Channel. The network airs programs geared towards science fiction (Sci-Fi), fantasy, horror, and thriller genres. USA Networks picked up the concept in 1992 and when Viacom acquired Paramount Communications in 1994, the company controlled Paramount's stake. In 1995, Seagram and Sons, the then-current parent of Universal Studios acquired MCA's stake. In 1997, Paramount/Viacom sold its stakes in the USA Networks to Universal. In 1998, Seagram/Universal sold the USA Networks to Barry Diller, who later became the CEO of Vivendi Universal Entertainment in 2001 after reuniting the USA Networks with Universal. On May 11, 2004, Vivendi Universal sold 80% of VUE to General Electric's NBC to form "NBC Universal" (now "NBCUniversal"). On July 7, 2009, the network was renamed to its current name.

Sci-Fi Originals

1st Logo (September 24, 1992-September 12, 1999)


Visuals: A green flame rises up, and while it is slowly turning orange, a black circle with the words "SCI•FI" above and "CHANNEL" below in white appears. When the flame is down, it reveals the black circle is a brown planet with rings around it that looks like Saturn. The words "PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appear above and move clockwise, along with the planet.

Trivia: At least the print logo, if not the actual on-screen look itself, was designed by Aerodrome Pictures.

Variants:

  • A version exists where the logo is on a black background, the planet is red and the text above it is removed.
  • There is an abridged version that skips the flame portion.

Technique: Live-action effects.

Audio: Just a weird bubbling sound when the flame appears. On some shows, the logo is completely silent.

Availability:

  • It was seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes from the Sci-Fi Channel era. This logo is cut from most episodes of MST3K on PlutoTV, but it can still be seen on one episode, #812 "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies".
  • It was also seen on various Sci-Fi Channel specials and original programs from the period such as The Anti-Gravity Room, Masters of Fantasy, Mysteries, Magic & Miracles, First Wave, Alien Voices: First Men in the Moon, Welcome to Paradox, SF Vortex and Mission Genesis.

2nd Logo (October 31, 1996)


Visuals: A weird-looking, cross-eyed smiling man holds up a ping-pong ball featuring the Sci-Fi Channel logo of the era. He holds it up closer to the camera, and the ball starts to flash a red light, gradually flashing slower. produced in association with fades in beside the ball, then fades out. A byline then fades in:

copyright 1996
sci-fi channel all rights reserved

The man then pulls the ball away from the camera (with the ball no longer flashing), now looking cross-eyed to the left.

Technique: Live-action.

Audio: Weird UFO-like sounds.

Availability: Only seen on Sci-Fi Con.

3rd Logo (March 19, 1999-January 31, 2002)


Visuals: On a black background, the blue-white text "this has been a presentation of" appears near the bottom of the screen, followed by the spaced-out word "SCI FI". Above "SCI FI", the planet logo, now smaller and in blue-white, appears and "shines" while rotating slightly. As it vanishes, the screen is suddenly overtaken by an "explosion" of blue-white "smoke" or liquid, which moves around for a few seconds before the logo fades out.

Variant: There is another version where the presentation disclaimer is set more to the top and "presentation" is replaced with "production" and everything is set in bright red.

Technique: 3D animation, which was produced by Manhattan Transfer as a part of the "Sci-Fi 2.0" makeover.

Audio: A breathy synth tune accompanied by whispering. The variant used a more dark rendition.

Availability: Appeared on Farscape, Stargate SG-1, Lex, Black Scorpion, and G Vs. E, the latter two had the variant. Some shows didn't use a logo, like The Chronicle.

4th Logo (June 7, 2002-March 10, 2006)


Visuals: A black background lights up with a light purple and blue hue. "ORIGINALS" is already present in the center of the screen, while the planet logo appears and lights up as "Sci fi" appears next to the "ORIGINALS" text. The background turns more purple as a curved black and dark purple strip appears at the bottom of the screen.

Variants:

  • Most bumpers would include voiceover on the series that would be presented, but some included no voiceover.
  • There is a singular variant that doesn't include the "S" in "ORIGINALS".

Technique: 2D animation by Lambie-Nairn.

Audio: A five-note bell-like sound followed by a shimmer sound effect.

Availability: It was seen on all original programming on the Sci-Fi Channel from this era such as Stargate SG-1/ Atlantis, and Andromeda. Also appeared on DVDs of the TV miniseries Taken (2002) and the Battlestar Galactica miniseries.

5th Logo (July 14, 2006-March 20, 2009)


Visuals: A white slightly cloudy background appears that includes text saying "IF" to the center left of the screen. The text then expands and transforms with purple smoke into showing the "Sci Fi channel" logo with text saying "ORIGINAL SERIES" next to it. The background also transforms to include a more sky blue and purple cloudy background.

Technique: 3D animation.

Audio: A plucky 5-note stringed note plays as the word "IF" is whispered and eerie sound effects play.

Availability: Used for original series airing at the time, which included Stargate SG1/Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, and more.

Syfy Originals

1st Logo (2009-2017)


Visuals: During the opening of the show, the then-current Syfy logo and the text "Original Series" appears.

Variants:

  • There is an animated version of the logo in which the logo is on a white background. Also, the text "Original Series" is purple, the logo is in 3D, and the camera moves away from the logo.
  • There is another version (which is the same as the animated version) used in different forms in which the text "Original Series" is replaced by "Imagine Greater", which is below the logo.
  • Since Syfy customized the "Imagine Greater" version of this logo on promos for most of its shows, there are incredibly many variations.

Technique: None for the standard version. 3D animation for the animated version (produced by ManvsMachine).

Audio: The opening theme of the show.

Audio Variant: The animated version uses a three-note synth tune.

Availability: Used for original series airing at the time, which included Stargate: Universe, Warehouse 13, Haven, Being Human, Defiance, The Expanse, and more. It was also used in a number of original miniseries including Alice, Riverworld, Neverland, Ascension, and Childhood's end.

2nd Logo (June 19, 2017-)


Visuals: On a black background is the new Syfy logo (the word "SYFY" in a blocky font). Suddenly, the colors reverse for a second, and it cuts back to yellow on black, except the two parts are separated, smaller, and in different positions (top left corner and bottom right corner). They slide to align each other stacked to reform the logo. During this, "ORIGINAL" slides in.

Trivia:

  • The new logo went into use in 2017 to celebrate the channel's 25th anniversary.
  • This rebrand was shortlisted at the 2017 Clio Entertainment Awards, but it didn't win.

Technique: 2D animation by Loyalkaspar.

Audio: A reversed low pitch note, and a sped up normal note. This was composed by Trollbäck+Company.

Availability: Seen on current airing Syfy shows such as Resident Alien, Chucky, The Ark, and Reginald the Vampire.

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