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Forget About Scary Movies; These Production Logos Will Terrify You

If you’re like we are, you’ve spent untold hours working out a deep-seated fascination with TV station and production company "identity logos":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Production_logo, or idents. For those of you who weren’t babysat by a TV...
October 31, 2011, 9:50pm

If you're like we are, you've spent untold hours working out a deep-seated fascination with TV station and production company identity logos, or idents. For those of you who weren't babysat by a TV throughout your childhood, the ident comes on after a TV show or during commercials, and boy oh boy, were they ever creepy! They've got the dark-majick look of sigils, combined with the polish and technical snazz of a high-budget cartoon. And we haven't even mentioned the music!

Throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s idents were soundtracked exclusively by Moogs, symphony orchestras, or both. YouTube offers a great collection of strange identity logos to jog your memory, or whet your palette, or creep you out.

The filmmaker Rodney Ascher made a whole movie about one particularly frightening ident: the logo for Screen Gems, a subsidiary of Columbia, now Sony, Pictures. It's called "The S From Hell.", and you can watch it below.

There are also a number of websites devoted to this strangely satanic symbol that spooked untold numbers of children in the 60s and 70s, when it was shown after the closing credits of programs like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Monkees and The Partridge Family. Screen Gems survives today as a film studio; its highest grossing movie was 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife. Who could have guessed the logo would come back to haunt those of us who are too busy cleaning up our frightening inboxes to watch an entire scary movie.