It seems that everybody, and we do mean everybody, these days is interested in their own personal brand. Even the Tour has dallied with it. But in the case of Doctor Who, branding, aside from the iconography which naturally developed down the years, more of less came to Doctor Who rather than being an integrated from the start, as it would be had it started today, or 2005 for that matter.
Logos are one of the most public ways for any brand to make an indelible impression with the public, and from 1970 on, we argue (the ‘logos’ from the 60’s are only made-logos after the fact), Doctor Who has had a succession of logos to present to the public.
Amongst those who took note, and took to heart, the two classic logos which bestrode the 1970’s were people who would go on to produce Doctor Who in the 1990s (!) and nu-Who nearly a decade later. Philip Segal, when he produced The 1996 TVM, thought so much of the ‘Pertwee‘ logo used for Seasons 7-10 that he used it for the back-door pilot that co-production was intended to be. And given the American buy-in that was needed to make it happen, something familiar or ‘pre-sold’ was undoubtedly persuasive in this regard.
Russell T Davies eschewed the familiar when Doctor Who came back in 2005, but to mark his own comeback for 2023 and beyond, he looked forward … and into the past by wholesale re-using the ‘diamond’ logo almost entirely associated (Seasons 11-17) with the Tom Baker era, giving it a bit of depth along with a neon sheen which we associate more with the Davison era. With the new series becoming part of the great-maw of content that is Disney+, perhaps having a ‘pre-sold’ logo was as important in 2022 as it was in 1996. After all, if a Doctor is being re-used, why not recycle a logo as well?
And then it hit the Tour Brain Wizards with thudding, revelatory force. 2023 is the 60th Anniversary for Doctor Who, the diamond Anniversary, and we slunked off into the dark corners from whence we came.
One of the Tour’s favorite bookmarks is for the Doctor Who Logo Collection. It’s not quite up to date, but who knows? Given enough time many of these designs will again be used by production teams in the far future.
Like around 2030.