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Background

WETA is a PBS affiliate located in Washington D.C.


1st Logo
(1976-1984)

Nickname: "The American Colors"

Logo: On a black background, in sync with the music, red rectangles appear to crate three lines, followed by a blue trapezoid with a white star in the center. The white right-dianagual rectangles appear, folllowed by two squares, and three rectangles to form "WETA" (which consists of the italic "W", the "E" is made of three red lines, the white non-italic "T" are colored white, and the blue trapezoidic "A" with a white star in the center). When the logo is complete, "WASHINGTON D.C." appears below.

FX/SFX: The "pieces" forming the logo.

Music/Sounds: A patriotic fife/drum sounder that is synced to the animation. FitsIt fits the bicentennial period well.

Availability: Extremely rare. Appears on episodes of Washington Week in Review from the era, and also on a VHS of Summer of Judgment: The Watergate Hearings.

Scare Factor: Low. The music might scare some.

2nd Logo
(1982-1988)

Nickname: "The Comet"

Logo: On the black background, the blue-black gradient star with awhite shadow and trails passes by leaving a stylized "WETA 26" with a star in the "A". The words "Washington, D.C." fades in, the blue part fades in from the bottom, and the logo shines.

Variant: On national programs, the logo is shown without "26" next to "WETA" and "Washington D.C." fades in under the letters.

FX/SFX: The comet, and the shining effects.

Music/Sounds: A synthesized "swish" sound, followed by a 6-note synth-orchestra fanfare.

Availability: Pretty much extinct. Appeared on Washington Week in Review. It made a surprise appearance on the 1997 Turner Home Entertainment release of the WETA/WYES coproduction Spaceflight, an exception to the general rule that station logos don't appear on co-productions between PBS stations.

Scare Factor: Low. The music may catch some off-guard.

3rd Logo
(1988-1994)

Nickname: "The Ribbons"

Logo: On the black background with ribbons and squares colored blue, gold, purple, and pink, with blue stars in them (looking a little bit like the background in King World's "Spotlights" logo), we see three colorful ribbons. The text "WETA" zooms out and settles itself in front of a pink-colored ribbon, and "WASHINGTON, D.C." fades in below.

FX/SFX: The ribbons.

Music/Sounds: A 5-note synthesized violin sounder, which sounds similar to the 2nd logo's fanfare.

Availability: Very rare. This logo has appeared on many Ken Burns documentaries, such as The Civil War. You'll probably find this on tapes of Washington Week in Review, as well.

Scare Factor: None.

4th Logo
(1992-1996)

Nickname: "Starry Triangle"

Logo: On a white marble background, three blue stars form a triangle, with red stripes next to it. Below the symbol is a gold "WETA""WETA" in the same font as the 3rd logo, with "WASHINGTON, D.C." below it. Two lines shine, one going across at the top, and the other going down on the left.

FX/SFX: The lines shining.

Music/Sounds: A violin stinger culminating into an orchestral note.

Availability: Extinct. This logo was used on some episodes of Washington Week in Review instead of the 1988 one.

Scare Factor: Low.

5th Logo
(1994-1997)

Nickname: "The W"

Logo: A "W" draws itself on the top center of the screen. The letters "W", "E", "T" and "A" appear one by one below, and grow as they do. A white square appears via astrangea strange "wipe" effect over the "W" logo, turning it black. Simultaneously, the text "WASHINGTON, D.C." appears below.

Variants:

  • One version has a purple-tinted video of the exterior of the White House, a white "W" while it draws, "WETA" and "Washington D.C." in white, and the white square with a black "W" at the end.
  • A version with an inverted color scheme (Black "W" while it draws, "WETA" and "WASHINGTON, D.C." in black, and the black square with a white "W" at the end." against a moving orange and green background was recently spotted.

FX/SFX: The 2D effects.

Music/Sounds: 4 orchestral hits playing against a percussion beat in the background the whole time. When the square draws itself, an elevator-like "ding" is heard.

Availability: More common than its predecessors, but still pretty rare. Appeared on Ken Burns' The West (Preserves it on DVD) and Washington Week in Review. This also appeared on Baseball, but don't expect to see it on Turner's VHS release.

Scare Factor: Minimal.

6th Logo
(1997-October 2, 2009)

Nickname: "The Ribbons II"

Logo: Over a animated shady cobalt blue-black garident background, the yellow text "WETA" spreads out. It is at an angle and turns to face the screen. while that happens, two red ribbons draw themselves around the text. When the animation finishes, "WASHINGTON, D.C." rotates in letter-by-letter

FX/SFX: 2D graphics, over 3D background.

Music/Sounds: A relaxing 4-note wind sounder. When used as a local ID, it used a piece of new age music. A female announcer says, "You're watching WETA Washington, D.C., Maryland & Virginia."

Availability: Common. Appears on Washington Week in Review and Globe Trekker/Pilot Guides episodes from 1997-2008. However, the show's title has been shortened to Washington Week in recent years. It also appears on many Ken Burns documentaries, such as Jazz (most episodes [Except the first episode] of which preserve this on the streaming version) and The War. Its last known appearance was on The National Parks: America's Best Idea, the 2016 rebroadcast of which preserves this.

Scare Factor: None.

7th Logo
(2007- )

Nickname: "The Ribbons III"

Logo: On a stylized white/silver background with bright lights, we see the WETA logo appear in the same manner as before, but with ""WETA" in black, and only the left ribbon drawing in. "WASHINGTON D.C." is shown below, spreading apart.

FX/SFX: The background, the logo appearing, and "Washington D.C." spreading apart.

Music/Sounds: A short piano jingle.

Availability: Currently in use. Found on Washington Week, and newer Ken Burns documentaries, as well as newer prints of older Ken Burns documentaries, such as The Civil War and Jazz (the first episode of which plasters the previous logo on the streaming version).

Scare Factor: None.

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