Is It Time for a New Adventures in Odyssey Logo?
By Jacob Isom |
January 15, 2010


Since Adventures in Odyssey's inception in 1987, the logo for the show has been tweaked several times. At the start, there was no logo at all except for Family Portraits and Odyssey USA. In 1991, the initial horizontal AIO logo first appeared on the cover of Other Times, Other Places (original cover) with less brilliant colors than what we see today. From 1992 to 1994, this logo was tweaked to a more arched appearance with vibrant colors and spanned albums 11-17 and The Early Classics. Also, "Audio Series" was added to the logo. The arched logo was later abandoned and became horizontal once again in albums 18-44 (1994-2005), as seen in the old art for A Time of Discovery. At one point, the words "Adventures in" were changed to yellow for several albums but reverted to the original red. Ultimately, the words "Audio Series" were removed from the logo. A a nice oval container was added, making it the perfect logo, as first released in Eugene Returns!, as well as repacks 1-50 (see timeline at conclusion of article). Or was it the perfect logo?


I think perhaps the main reason why the logo underwent a logo redesign is because of the word "in." The old logo (as you can see in our Odyssey Scoop logo at the top of this page) has the word "in" smashed in between "Adventures" and "Odyssey," with two lines to fill the white space. While we as fans have grown accustomed to this look over the past decade-and-some-years, it does have one big problem: readability. If you're walking through a Christian bookstore and the Odyssey items are in the far distance, you might see a sign with the AIO logo on it. But, instead of reading "Adventures in Odyssey" at first glance, you might make the mistake of reading "Adventures Odyssey," thus, getting a wrong first impression of the series' actual title. But if you're familiar with the series as all fans are, a first glance in the store would make you automatically assume it is Adventures in Odyssey, because that's what you listen to and love. For a good example of how it might look to a customer in a store, simply look at the smaller Scoop logo on the navigation bar. I'm seeing "Adventures Odyssey." Are you?


With that being said, I think it only makes sense to tweak the word "in" and move it up to the top line with "Adventures." At a distance, people won't get a wrong glimpse at the name. Not only that, the extended line on the "A" is about as long as the extended line on the "n" from the word "in," thus, we have a more balanced logo.


Chris from the Unofficial Podcast states in his blog, "I'm not a fan of the way the word, "in," is no longer in-between "Adventures" and "Odyssey." It somehow makes the logo appear less symmetrical. But I'm sure I'll get used to it. Haha."


Initially, I thought it felt less symmetrical as well, but the more I look at it, I can see why it was tweaked after so many years. Other fans are unhappy with the new logo as well, and you can see their comments at this message board thread. But we will get used to it.


Perhaps the biggest changes that fans seem to be unhappy with is the fact that the new logo has stripped away everything that the old logo was. The old logo popped off the page because it had a bold drop shadow, thicker fonts, oval, and a 3D look. I believe we have lost a lot of the creative flavor we had for years. Whenever I heard the name Adventures in Odyssey, the first color I thought of was orange, and still do. I don't think I ever won't (yes, I know, I used a double negative sentence there). So saying that leads me to perhaps the biggest change I am unhappy with: the color change.


One fan said, "I can't think of any logical reason they would spend years repacking all the old albums to give them a uniform design and then change, as soon as they finished. And, the other one was new and bright and appealing, but this one's rather plain and stale. [emphasis added] The one aspect of the artwork that's gotten better with time, they change to make look like it's 1987 again. I just don't get it."


I think this listener (and observer) was primarily referring to the bright red color of the logo which is rarely used in graphic design today unless it is done correctly. The particular shade of red creates an uneasiness or negative emotional response in a lot of people. Also, the new blue arched containment device does make the logo look somewhat archaic. It features a bevel, which makes some people question its use.

Yet another AIO fan puts it this way: "I'm not a fan of the new logo either. Something about that plastic-looking blue border doesn't fit well."


From a graphic design perspective, that's exactly what I was thinking. Here's one rule of graphic design that we must always remember: If it looks like it was photoshopped, it probably was. A good indication that something maintains good graphic design is that it goes unnoticed by the viewer. A good logo grabs your attention and makes you agree with its design choices.


Blogger Austin Peachey of the AIO Blog writes, "Personally, I don't like the new logo. The present logo makes Odyssey look professional. While this one takes that feeling away."


Let's face it. Companies tweak logos over time, but not too much each time so as to transition people into what a logo ultimately becomes. With the stripping away of everything the fans held dear, it's obviously going to cause some emotional upheavel. Consumers are funny that way. They get used to seeing a product on a shelf at a store and it always looks the same. Then they discover that a drastic change in the look has taken place, and they begin to question why.


The Pepsi logo is a perfect example of this. For a long time, the logo was 3D, featured refreshing water droplets on it, and popped off the page. But then one day, consumers walked into Wal-mart to discover that the logo had been stripped of everything. The logo was now 2-dimensional, contained no water droplets, and lost the excitement of the original look. To change a logo in such a drastic way confuses consumers. Because of Pepsi's poor mistake, their sales plummeted significantly after the redesign. The same thing happened with a redesign of the Tropicana logo. It went through such a major design change that their sales drastically went down immediately after the redesign.


Now I'm not saying that people are going to quit buying Adventures in Odyssey because it has been given a newer logo. Quite the contrary! I'm pretty sure the loyalty level of a consumer's love for Pepsi and Tropicana is far lower than that of someone who grew up with Odyssey and almost lives in the town alongside its characters. People are always going to purchase AIO for its quality entertainment, great acting and sound design, true-to-life aspect, Christian values, and applicability to their lives. Odyssey is an emotional product. It's got a lot of memories tied with it. We know its impact. Its value. Because of that, Odyssey will live on.


The Odyssey team has always been open to comments and suggestions on how they can improve the show. A new logo is another opportunity for you to share your thoughts. Usually a logo goes through several stages before it is perfect. This could possibly just be Stage 1 or Stage 2. And just remember... if you're a fan of the logo on albums 1-50, enjoy it on albums 1-50. The old logo is here to stay on those albums. Albums 51+ will feature the new logo. I'm beginning to believe that since we've entered into a new era for Adventures in Odyssey, now is a perfect time


We may reach a point in the show where there are so many changes happening. John Avery Whittaker has a replacement actor for a second time. Even Whit himself "lays off the Twinkies" after a long life of obesity since 1992. Edwin Blackgaard is retiring. Tom Riley drifts away. New characters. New storylines. A new logo. Amidst those changes, we press forward. We keep tuning in on our FM channels, CD players, iPods, and online streaming internet radio. We keep supporting Odyssey because we connect with it. We enjoy its drama, its laughs, its tears, and its lessons. After all, it is Adventures in Odyssey: the radio journey of a lifetime.

More Information:

  • Watch a video podcast where the new logo is officially revealed.

  • See the logo revisions through the years:

    • 1987

    • 1991

    • 1992-1994

      • Arched logo introduced on albums 11-17 and The Early Classics with more vibrant colors and "Audio Series" under the name.

    • 1994-2005

      • Arched logo abandoned and reverted back to horizontal logo (tweaked from 1991 version), beginning with A Time of Discovery. This version of the logo contained more vibrant colors and "Audio Series" text (albums 18-44).

      • Several albums were released with yellow "Adventures in" text, but later reverted back to red.

    • 2004-2005

      • Gold Audio Series released with red oval around logo and gold "Adventures in" text. See The Adventure Begins as example.

      • A white oval container was added for remaining albums in the series as pictured in the original cover of Eugene Returns! This white oval container would be used for repackaged albums 1-50.

    • 2006

    • 2010

      • New logo released in Take It from the Top, the first appearance of the logo discussed in this article. This logo will be featured on albums 51 and beyond.

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