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The History Of The Ghostbusters Logo

Recognize this iconic and legendary logo? Ghostbusters fans around the world certainly do! This is a logo that they associate with one of the greatest movies of all time and has a loyal following that’s able to quickly and easily identify the world’s famous logo that goes with it. Ghostbusters is a multimedia franchise that’s based on the movie and has grown to have a loyal fanbase. 

The first film, a comedy, was released in 1984, and shortly later the second film was released in 1989. 

Following that, there was a remake where women were in the lead roles in 2016. The most recent film is set to release on November 19th, 2021. As discussed, one element of Ghostbusters is the iconic logo that has stood out and made such an impact over time. The Ghostbusters logo is what helps us to instantly recognize the iconic franchise and associate it with one of the most iconic movies of all time. 

Today Ghostbusters is a multibillion-dollar franchise that not only has investments but also is known very well in the movie industry. This franchise hasn’t only played an impact on those who have seen the movies but it’s also set the path for movies that have come after it and the special effects that have been used on them. 

If you’re interested in learning about the history of the Ghostbusters logo and how far it’s come from where it started and how it’s impacted movies that have come after then read on. 

The History Of The Ghostbusters Logo

The Original Logo: 1984 – 2016 

The visual identity that’s used today is still based on the first original logo that was created in the middle of the 1980s. The reason that this first logo, a black watermark with a No Ghost emblem for the ‘O’ in the word, was popular was because it treated ghosts as if they were mundane and something that you didn’t have to fear.

Although the ghosts would look intimidating and scary in the episodes of Ghostbusters the logo made them seem simple and adorable, mocking the intimidating ghosts that are seen in the movie. 

This logo wasn’t only used on merchandise and posters for the show but it was also used in the comedy itself. It was used as a business logo for the main characters in the comedy and the logo was worked on for several years before it officially became the logo.

It’s clear that this logo was popular and continued for all the Ghostbusters movies, playing a critical role in the franchise. This logo was the base for the changes that would be made to the logo and made the final logo possible. 

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Today’s Logo: 2016 – Present

The first logo was incredibly popular considering that it stuck with the franchise for thirty-two years and imprinted itself not only for the movie’s merch but in the show as well. In 2016 we saw the release of the third film, which was not related to either of the first two movie’s plots. Since the first logo had already become such a strong part of the franchise and had been incorporated as such an important element the creators tried to preserve it. 

They gave a modern touch to the new logo, making it three-dimensional using a gradient and they also opted to include white reflections in the logo. Wide grey shadows were included in the new logo and the letters, that were black until now, were now white. Although these were changes, it’s still obviously the same logo that the franchise first had. Another change was that the spacing for the letters previously had been far apart from one another, where now they’re closer together. 

To some, it may appear that only the colors of the letters were changed but if one looks closer, they’ll see that they were other changes that made it different overall. The logo hasn’t changed again and we don’t suspect that it will. The creators managed to keep the essence of the original logo while still giving it a new and modern look for the most recent movie that had been released. 

Ghostbusters  movie logo
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What’s Different About The Ghostbusters Logo? 

There are millions of movie logos in the world that fans associate with specific movies, so what makes the Ghostbusters logo different? What makes this logo stand out and makes it such a critical part of the franchise and is used as such an iconic example for future movie logo designs? As a short answer, it’s different. This logo is different from logos before it and even different than those that have come after it. What makes it different? Let’s see! 

Ghostbusters movie still

It’s Easy To Read 

This may seem like a basic requirement, but you’d be surprised at how many movies don’t understand that the personality of their brand plays a critical part in their logo. Graphic experts will always tell you that a logo has to be readable to make any sort of impression on viewers. For Ghostbusters, they knew that they had to choose a font that was easy for people to read and make out, even if it was from a distance. The font can be used on multiple mediums and is easy for people to read and make out all the letters. 

It’s Memorable 

Ghostbusters  lego and logo
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This is a part that’s critical if anyone wants their logo to succeed. With the amount of logos that are out there it’s nearly impossible to get anything that is truly original and anything that leaves an impression. It’s more important than ever before that you have a logo that doesn’t merely grab people’s attention but that also sticks with them for a long time to come. One way that you can do this, and what Ghostbusters understood, is to create a simple logo. Ghostbusters created a logo that focused on the core values and was clean and simple. 

Ghostbusters  van
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It Stays The Same 

Simply put, the Ghostbusters logo stays the same and continues to be consistent across all platforms. When you’re building a brand, especially for a franchise, it’s important that there’s loyalty and that there’s a strong reputation. Remember when you’re crafting your visual identity, follow Ghostbuster’s example and build a reliable logo and a brand with loyal followers. 

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The Creator Of The Ghostbusters Logo 

Dan Aykroyd, the co-author of the Ghostbusters movie, was the one with the idea of the iconic and revolutionary 1984 Ghostbusters logo. Although Dan was the one with the idea of the logo for the movie, Michael Gross was the one who brought it to life with his incredible design talent. He created two of the most iconic pop culture images of the 20th century, one being the 1984 Ghostbusters logo and the second being the cover of National Lampoon. 

Michael C. Gross was an illustrator, an artist, and a film producer and used his skills to make such a mark on Ghostbusters that it’s stuck with the show for decades. Dan may have been the mastermind behind the idea for the logo, but Michael executed it brilliantly and was the one to bring Dan’s vision to life through his work. Some people believe that Michael had helped with the creation of the logo from another graphic designer, Brent Boates. 

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Michael passed away on November 16th, 2015 from cancer. The artist had survived cancer for 30 years, but in 2014 he was given a terminal diagnosis and at that time decided to forgo any life-extending efforts. Michael “went down fighting”, staying strong throughout his remaining time alive and making it memorable with a “Flip Cancer” campaign. When asked, he described his life goal as “to have fun and do new things”. Although he may be gone, Michael’s legacy lives on with his amazing and detailed work that’s shown through the Ghostbusters logo and his other work. His creation lives on and he’s become well known for the iconic and signature logo! 

About The Ghost In The Ghostbusters Logo 

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Although most are familiar with the iconic Ghostbusters logo, what many people don’t know is that the ghost featured in the logo has an actual name. It’s true, the ghost not only has a personality and a signature look but it also has a name that goes along with it. 

The original concept for the Ghostbusters movie was too crazy and sprawling, leading Dan Aykroyd and his co-star John Belushi to have to rewrite the script. This was so that it would be more affordable and grounded. 

When Ghostbusters was first made in the 1980s franchises weren’t common, so neither the cast nor crew were thinking about making a sequel or continuing further with the movie. The second movie came after the cartoon spinoff of the movie was a hit, five years after the first movie came out. At this point, the initial excitement that had come with the first movie and cartoon had started to die down and fans weren’t as hyped up for the second movie. 

After the release of the second movie and seeing that the excitement and freshness had started to wear off Bill Murray swore that he wouldn’t continue with making the Ghostbusters franchise, opting out of being included in Ghostbusters 3. In 2016 Ghostbusters reboot with female leads was released, starring Mellisa Mcarthy and Kate McKinnon. Although many fans are familiar with the history of the franchise, they don’t know that ghost featured in the Ghostbusters logo has a name. 

Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman named the ghost that’s featured in the logo Mooglie during production at the beginning of the franchise. The ghost was designed by Michael Gross and he was the one to later come back to redesign the logo for the second movie. Although we don’t see Mooglie as a spirit in Ghostbusters, we do see him in the intros to the Ghostbusters cartoon. 

Although a spirit called the Copycat was a living version of Mooglie and was shown during a season three episode, it wasn’t until the reboot in 2016 that Mooglie really got his time to shine in Ghostbusters. In the finale, the movie’s villain was seen transforming into the logo where Mooglie was featured. Although Mooglie wasn’t a main character in any of the movies and certainly didn’t stick around, there’s no denying that he’s an important part of the franchise and is an important part of the legendary logo that has made such an impact on the franchise.  

Summing Up The Ghostbusters History 

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I’m sure we don’t need to reinforce just how big of an impact Ghostbusters has had on our world and how legendary the logo is. The Ghostbusters symbol is truly iconic, having created a symbol that is clever and tells you about the movie and the characters that are portrayed in it. When you look at the logo, you can see more than just what represents the movie and that it incorporates all the important elements not only to include what makes a great logo but signature elements of the movie as well. 

Ghostbusters team with logo in background
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I’m sure if anyone would have told young Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, and Michael C. Gross that they would’ve played such an important role in creating a famous franchise they wouldn’t have believed it. These three people played critical roles in creating not only the legendary franchise but the famous logo that’s associated with it as well. Without these three men, Ghostbusters never would have existed and it certainly wouldn’t have been as impacted as it is today. 

In this article, we took a look at the logo, the history of the logo, and why it’s made such an impact and has been so important throughout time. We took a look at the creator of the iconic logo and a fact which not many know about the ghost featured in the legendary logo that takes center stage. It’s clear to say that this franchise has hugely impacted our world and that the logo is one of the most iconic of our time.