Notable Channel 7 TV station logo designs
If you’ve been waiting for our roundup of Channel 7 logos — you’re in luck! The time has come.
Design By Numbers
Design By Numbers is a regular NewscastStudio feature that looks at TV station logo design based on the number 1 and up. Each number has an editor's pick post and readers' choice and will include follow up posts in the future with new and notable logos. To suggest your favorite TV station logo, leave a comment at the end of the post.
Of course, it would be impossible to discuss Channel 7 logos and not mention the iconic “Circle 7.”
The logo was originally designed in 1962 by San Francisco graphic designer G. Dean Smith for ABC.
The network originally wanted to pursue “owning” the “7” spot on the dial in as many markets as possible because of speculation that slots 2 through 6 would be removed from the television spectrum, thus making “7” the “first” station on the dial.
Though this obviously didn’t come to fruition, ABC trademarked the Circle 7 logo and used it at the five stations it owned at the time: WABC-TV in New York City, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WBKB (now WLS-TV) in Chicago, KGO-TV in San Francisco and WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
Over time, the various ABC owned stations (as well as other non-ABC owned or non-ABC affiliated stations) adopted variations of the Circle 7 logo.
The exact thicknesses, colors and stylizing of the logo varies from station to station, though the perfect circle and curved downward stroke of the “7” remains consistent across the “original five” ABC O&Os.
It’s also worth noting that true logo aficionados will often argue that a true “Circle 7” logo is only those that are closely related to the original fives’ look — whereas some of the other variations shown here aren’t actually part of that “family.”
The concept of the Circle 7 has also been applied to many other TV station logos on different channel numbers — and these are often dubbed “Circle N” logos; where “N” is the channel number in question.
For a feel of how the original Circle 7 logos have evolved over the years, take a look at these logos from those original ABC O&Os:
WABC-TV in New York’s variation of the logo is a “brushed metal” version with subtle shading that’s most evident in the blue area. Of course, the exact stylizing and colors even vary within the same station.
The shade of blue at WABC-TV, meanwhile, is more of an electric blue that goes to a slightly deeper shade toward the right side, which is especially obvious in the space to the lower right of the curved downward stroke of the “7.”
The lighter part of the logo is a metallic look mixed with whites and grays.
KABC-TV in Los Angeles uses a slightly flatter look — though it still maintains subtle shading.
The logo starts with a slightly lighter blue shade and then shifts to a darker shade toward the edges of the circle.
It’s also worth noting that the ABC globe logo is typically positioned along the same baseline as the circle 7 itself, whereas WABC-TV places it centered vertically.
Chicago’s WLS-TV uses a glassier look that’s also a bit thicker than its other counterparts. The logo is also notable for having minimal white in the outlines — instead using blue-grays and grays.
Detroit’s WXYZ-TV continues the thicker trend — while also adding a rather thick bevel effect. Its outline tends to skew more toward the lighter grays as opposed to white. The blue field, meanwhile, is more of a royal blue with subtle darker shading near the bottom.
The ABC global logo is also typically parked in the lower right of the logo and is also smaller proportionally than at other stations.
San Francisco’s KGO-TV sheds almost all embellishments in favor of a left-to-right gradient.
Perhaps the most obvious difference is the use of the bold, bright red. The logo is also accented with strong glassy effects along with stronger deep gray and black accents.
This variation of the logo also has a shorter diagonal downward stroke than other logos and also uses a slightly less curved look.
The downward stroke is also less curved.
It’s also worth noting that before the digital conversion, WZVN-TV aired on Channel 26 over the air — the Channel 7 logo was actually inspired by the station’s cable slot assignment.
WHIO-TV in Dayton uses an interesting variation of the Circle 7 logo — a look that drops the border and instead places the strokes for the “7” inside a circle. By slightly insetting these strokes, the illusion of a border is created.
In this logo design, the top left-to-right stroke doesn’t full connect on the left side to the ring, which does make the logo “read” as a “7” a bit clearer.
This post is part of a semi-regular series on NewscastStudio that takes a look at TV station and network logos that include the numbers 1 and up. These posts aren’t meant to be a comprehensive list of all logos featuring the number in question, but rather a look at notable logos with creative, historic or an otherwise significant impact on branding design. If you have other logos with the number featured in this post, feel free to share it in the comments and stay tuned for a “reader’s favorites” version of this post coming soon.