VARA

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

The Omroepvereniging VARA (simply known as the VARA; originally Vereeniging van Arbeiders Radio Amateurs until 1957, but today it's no longer an acronym) is a Dutch public broadcasting organization that operates with the Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPO: Nederlandse Publieke Omroep). The company mostly broadcasts shows about labour and working, but also participated in broadcasting on other genres including children's shows like The Smurfs and sitcoms like Oppassen!!!. It also operates on some of the Dutch parts of Belgium. On January 1, 2014, VARA was merged with BNN to form BNNVARA.



1st ID (1951)


Visuals: At a dark scenery is an odd-looking model of a chicken standing on a thin pole with two overlapping thin poles from horizontal to vertical directions, with the separated letters "VARA" in each of the edges respectively, referenced as a weather vane.

Technique: Model work by Peter Zwart.

Audio: Unknown.

Availability: Discovered as a TV-DX capture and as the catalog number 511N, photo number 25 on the Beeld en Geluid archives.

2nd ID (1969-1975)


Visuals: On a dark salmon background, the duplicate abstract letters "VARA" appear in order and angled by a path of a hexagon, followed by it's lateral faces in pink. As they stop duplicating, one of the lateral faces from the left-most blink, then directly cuts to the same background, but with the lateral faces (with a segmented pattern) appearing from left order, then the letters from right order, and the faces turn to a solid color. A thick ring with a flame-shaped feather appears underneath it.

Variant: A different variant has a gray environment, with the broadcaster's logo in dark red and with the lower letters made out of diamonds.

Technique: Traditional animation by Hans van der Jagt.

Audio: A moody piano theme with xylophone notes that are in sync, ending with said instrument's rising note.

3rd ID (1975-October 1977)

Visuals: On a black background is an orange arc with "VARA", and with streaks of gold, orange and red sticking out from its sides, made out from rounded tubes. There's a white rooster in front of it and on the right.

Technique: A still, printed image by Johan Volkerijk.

Audio: None.

4th ID (October 1977-1981)


Visuals: On a black background, various orange, magenta, red rings zoom out towards the middle, creating a white-black circle pattern. This is followed by a horizontal black-white stripe colored bottom arc with a black rectangle with "VARA". As it settles, a red light flashes in to reveal a stylized drawing of a rooster with it's beak open.

Variants:

  • There's a 30-second countdown ident where it firstly takes place on a black background, complete with the white-black circle pattern and bottom arc, with the timer in white taking place on the rectangle, as well as the rooster with its eye closed and a minute hand in the middle. Each second when it rotates, magenta/yellow/white colored stripes light up before going dim. Whilst this happens, the rooster's comb can be seen moving and opens it's eye before closing again. The rooster begins to blink as it reaches the 5 second mark, and begins to shake it's head 3 seconds later. When it reaches the 0 second mark, it abruptly gets replaced by "VARA", and the rooster shakes his head again and nods upwards, with the colored stripes now fully visible, followed by the rooster's crowing.
  • A still version has the complete logo shown.

Technique: Analog computer animation by Swip Stolk and René Coelho.

Audio: A 0.3 second phaser string note that rises down, ending with a 5-note guitar riff and a sparkling zap.

5th ID (1990-1995)


Visuals: On a black background, there are various silver lines. A red ball is seen crossing them and drops down few of the holes of these lines. The last cut features the lines seen from above and they're revealed to make the word "VARA". The ball moves to the bottom of the "R" and the lines move away to reveal the trademark logo. A red exclamation mark is in place of the line of the "R'. The background changes into a multicolored light background before the whole thing cuts away for almost a second.

Variants:

  • On in-vision continuities, the logo is shortened, and when the lines move away the background doesn't change. The trademark logo moves to the top-left corner to start the continuity.
  • A production version has the logo still.

Technique: CGI by Lion Keezer and Margot Smeyer.

Audio: A calm piano tune, followed by a 5-note synth tune, which later became VARA's signature jingle from 1983-2009. Composed by Henk Westrus.

Availability: The normal animated logo was seen during VARA programming on the NPO channels. The production logo may be still seen somewhere around.

6th ID (1995-1997)


Visuals: The idents consist of live-action clips that include the red exclamation mark from the logo. The VARA logo fades in at the upper-left corner.

Technique: Live-action by the English company Pittard & Sullivan.

Audio: Depends on the variant, but always ends in a 5-note jingle.

Availability: Used in tandem with the previous logo.

7th ID (March 7, 2002-2009)


Visuals: On a black/red light background, a red box featuring an exclamation mark is seen along with the word "VARA". There's some variants in which the box does an specific action:

  • The box may walk in and stop at the left of the word.
  • The box may dance in one of the variants.
  • Another variant shows the box moving very fast and then settling into place.
    • There's an alternate version of this variant where the box breaks the screen.
  • The box may look at the the word.
  • On 2 voor 12, the question mark on the box is showing, but it slides into a correct symbol of an exclamation mark.
  • The box can be bowing to the audience.
  • On drama shows, a close-up of the box zooms out.
  • On comedy shows, the box jumps to the left of the word and it's upside down. Then, it laughs and jumps to the correct one.
  • The spotlight moves to search the box, then it turns off for showing the logo.
  • The box looks left and right, then it spins to the word.

Variants:

  • Until September 2006, the Publieke Omroep logo may appear on the lower-right corner.
  • Sometimes, the URL "www.vara.nl" can be seen below.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Depends on the variant, but ends in a 5-note jingle, sometimes it would have the last three notes or the last two notes.

8th ID (2009-2012)


Visuals: On a cream/bluish background, there is the box from before, which goes to the tilted, white rectangle with the word "WEES VERSCHILLIG" at the left and the "VARA" name at the right. There's some variants in which the box does an specific action:

  • The box goes up in the sky and falls down.
  • One box is flying, followed by three boxes zoom in together and one box settles down.
  • One box is flying, followed by two boxes bump together and two of them stack in.

Variants:

  • A 85th anniversary variant exists.
  • Sometimes, the "Wees Verschillig" slogan is replaced by a URL.
  • There is a variant where to help the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, in which the box has a footprint and the text reads "Wat laat u achter?".

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A one piano note accompanied by a noise that sounds like a bee buzzing when the box is flying, then a 3-note piano jingle, which is the modified version of the VARA jingle.

Audio Variant: There's a later variant where the electric guitar version of the VARA jingle (accompanied by the sound of an audience talking) is playing in the "bumping" variant, or either a comedic-styled version of the jingle (accompanied by a slide whistle sound) for the "settling box" variant. However, the piano one was still remaining in the "sky" variant, despite the synth squeak sound is heard at the start, along with a cartoonish whoosh sound.

5th Logo (2014-2017)


Visuals:

  • Opening: A red box is seen zooming out inside the white background, then the "VARA" name and an exclamation mark fade in, with a shadow seen underneath.
  • Closing: The box pops in while the broadcaster's name and an exclamation mark fade in. Then, the box zooms in.

Variant: On some episodes of De Wereld Draait Door, the logo transitions from a shortened version of the show's intro.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A quiet whoosh, followed by the last three notes of the 2009 jingle.

VARA
BNNVARA