Time-Life Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

Revision as of 18:06, 19 April 2024 by Logofreak98 (talk | contribs)


Time-Life Video was formed initially as a music and video direct-marketing division of Time Inc. In 2003, AOL Time Warner (now Warner Bros. Discovery) sold Time-Life to Direct Holdings Americas, Inc. Later in 2013, Reader's Digest Association sold Time-Life to Mosaic Media Investment Partners, a catalog and online retailer.

1st Logo (1978-1980)

Visuals: On a purple background, a lavender rectangle is seen in the center of the screen. To the left, a black box with a red TV tube shape is seen, containing the conjoined letters "TLV" in white. To the right, the stacked text "GREAT PROGRAMS TIME-LIFE VIDEO" is seen at the bottom in black.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: It only appeared on the Great Programs series of beta tapes. One of the tapes released in this series was an early issue of Ten Who Dared.

2nd Logo (1978-1980)

Visuals: On a red background, the official Time logo in a white rectangle scrolls up and settles in place as the Life logo scrolls in a red rectangle. It rests in the middle as the rectangle expands to the other side of the white rectangle. The word "VIDEO" appears in sync with the music and the logo then flashes between the logo and the text in the same font as "VIDEO". It ends up on the text and then the text zooms and fades out as the first letter of each word zoom in to form the symbol in the 1st logo, taking up the whole screen.

Variant: A slightly shorter version exists where it starts when the white rectangle is just finished scrolling upwards. The quality of the logo also is lower, with duller colors and visible boxes around the text.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A synthesized flute tune that is in sync with the animations with a flourish at the end.

Availability: This was used in tandem with the first logo on VHS. It appeared on early VHS releases of NOVA.

3rd Logo (June 25, 1980-1986)

Visuals: Same as the Time-Life Television logo of the time, but it reads "TIME LIFE VIDEO" instead.

Variant: There is also a filmed version.

Technique: Scanimation.

Audio: Same as the Time-Life Television logo. Sometimes, an announcer will say, "The material of this videocassette is protected by copyright. It is for private use only, and any other use including copying, reproducing, or performance in public, in whole or in part, is prohibited by law."

Audio Variant: A silent version exists.


  • It appears on some NOVA tapes. It also appears on the original release of The Kinks: One for the Road. The filmed version appears on the NOVA episode "The Miracle of Life", which is available for viewing on the Internet Archive.
  • It makes a surprise appearance at the end of the 1985 Vestron release of The Private Eyes.
  • Also appears on Ambrose Video DVD releases of The Long Search.

4th Logo (1986-2000s)

Visuals: On a black background, a white square containing the current Time-Life logo, which resembles the 2nd logo but with a thicker font for the logos and the red rectangle being smaller, and the text "VIDEO", in a Microgramma font below it. Everything takes up almost the entire screen.


  • A variant without the square exists. The logo is also slightly smaller.
  • On Australian releases, the logo will be at half-size and a dark blue haze can be seen.
  • An animated version has "Presents", in a Microgramma font, sliding down from the top of the screen, wiping in the logo in a larger white square.
    • An French version with a different font and a smaller square exists.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on many releases from the period, and was sparingly used in tandem with the 5th logo. The smaller variant is seen on Animal Bloopers with Jack Hanna.

5th Logo (1992-2000)

Visuals: On a blue background with a white haze on the bottom, the Time-Life logo is seen to the left. Next to it, a TV shape made of interlocking black and white triangles and inverted colors is seen. Below it all, "VIDEO" is seen taking up the entire size of the logo.

Variant: A zoomed-in version exists.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on Time-Life releases from the period like The Big Comfy Couch tapes. This logo also appears on video releases of season 1 episodes of Barney & Friends although a few were released independently. Also appeared on some Best of Saturday Night Live videos (1992/93) they co-distributed with Starmaker Entertainment.

6th Logo (2000- )

Visuals: Fading in to a scrolling montage of various clips, surrounded by darkness, the wordmarks of the Time-Life logo zoom out at angles from in front of the screen and a ping appears, turning the rectangle of clips red. The wordmarks move into place as they zoom out, with "VIDEO" in a white Microgramma font, wiping in from left to right, glowing out an trail as it does.

Variant: A widescreen variant exists.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A tribal tune and a laser sound when "VIDEO" appears.

Availability: Seen on some releases since 2000, like Best of The Muppet Show. Other DVD releases from 2007-2017, however, may use the next logo below.

7th Logo (2007-2017)

Visuals: On a black background, the 2 halves of the Time-Life logo pan across the screen, with the "LIFE" rectangle hollowed out to let light through it. It then cuts to several clips of the words moving in front and behind each other. It then cuts to the words moving away from each other and zooming out into their usual positions as they shine, a lens flare retracting the light trails and a white square appears behind the logo, of which it turns into a dim version of the print logo. A copyright stamp appears below.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A catchy synth tune ending with a brief synth-choir. The tune in question is a modified version of the song "Ready to Fly" released by Universal Production Music in 2001.

Availability: Can be found on DVDs of This Is Tom Jones and Blu-Rays of Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

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