For the first time in it's 30 year history, MTV has decided to freshen up their iconic logo-ed imagery to reflect their conversion from scheduled music material to a pool of programmed reality productions. If you were unaware how seismic of a shift this adjustment bears and what it means for the posterity of the once-heralded network, the future's in the font.
Above, you'll find the well-known MTV imagery, complete with an icon and tagline. Perfectly balanced for the then fledgling network, executives greenlit the logo as both an introduction to new viewers, and a beacon of truth for their fast-adapting followers. Since its premiere, MTV has had a profound impact on the music industry and popular culture, with the latter forging ahead of the initial purpose that the channel chose to serve.
With the advent of The Real World in May of 1992, music television programming as we knew it (and as referenced within it's proper emblematics), would no longer remain a flag in the foothills of developing and breaking new artists.
As the station made its move into targeting adolescents and young adults with a broadcast lineup of a variety of popular culture and reality television shows, familiar VJ's and musicians began to be replaced with challenges, hot tubs, Puck's and Snooki's. Since then, MTV's choice to focus on non-music programming has been tirelessly contested, validating the channel's impact on modern media.
Which brings us to the new logo. After it's unveil late last week, many were quick to jump on the attack and critique the network for the removal of the "music television" tagline. A stunted "M" now replaces one whose stems used to stretch forth, in which I'll go so far as to even parallel the length of its strokes to the amount of genuine music programming the channel once held.
There will be no potshots from my viewpoint. Rather, I say, "good on you MTV!" for changing what has long been overdue. You've finally come to terms with an ever-rapidly-depleting focus on music. I'd expect that within the next 5 years, it would be safe to completely remove the "M" altogether. But I remiss, thanks to MTV.com's content catch-all section, Songs From the Show. How else will I know which Morningwood song was used in that scene from The Hills when Spencer was yelling at Heidi?
To reminisce: a few songs from the glory days of the thirteenth letter can be found below.
mp3: Yazoo - Only You