I got sucked into a bit of a 90s black hole when /r/typography shared a link to screenshots of every title shot from the show Seinfeld. Amazing.I’ve probably seen each episode two or three times as it was a household staple, and reruns were broadcast gratuitously. So my first few reactions today upon seeing this were pretty startling: The Seinfeld logo is a hot mess of nostalgia that I equally love and hate. There is also some subtle greatness in changing the logo only so slightly each season, with the exception of the screenshot above which carried over the the logo from the previous season (that didn’t happen afterwards). It’s quirky, like the show. And yet I had no memory of how formulaic the show was for the first seven seasons, starting (and sometimes ending) with Jerry’s standup routine, with that wacky but lovable logo.
Above is the graphic you’ll get if you search for “Seinfeld TV series” which is strange, but also the only one I remember off the top of my head (ketchup and mustard colors). The “i”s dot is an inverted triangle and is the same color as the rest of the text here, unlike all other instances of the logo. It makes sense for consistency with a simplified treatment for all the packaging they did with DVDs of each season, but also kind of a sad loss.
The other thing that startled me was my recollection of reruns. It’s a concept that I’m not sure my son will understand, for better or for worse. We can’t pick up any TV stations over the air (even with an antenna) and will likely never pay for cable. But he’s well aware of Youtube/Netflix/Hulu. I haven’t even tried to convey to him that at one point in time before video was on the internet you didn’t have thousands (or tens of thousands) of choices of what to watch at your fingertips. You had several dozen channels, if you were lucky, each with their own shows and schedules that changed from year to year. It’s because of the time of day that Seinfeld reruns were back to back on TBS or NBC or whatever that I know and love these logos. It’s the reason that a few weeks ago during a hotel stay I flipped on the TV to find “Full House” on with an episode that I absolutely remembered and loved – Full House ended in 1995 by the way. Sure, maybe I should have been doing something else instead of watching a TV series that has been off the air for 20 years, but I had a great time watching that rerun. Again.