WETA is a PBS affiliate located in Washington D.C.
1st Logo (1976-1983)
Nickname: "The American Colors"
Logo: On a black background, several "pieces" of the WETA logo at the time (a white italic "W", a red "E" that's made of three lines, a non-italic "T", and a blue trapezoidal "A" with a white star in the center) appear in sync with the music. When the logo is complete, "WASHINGTON D.C." appears below in Avant Garde font.
- A filmed variant exists.
- A still variant exists.
- When it was used as a station ID, the logo is still and has a white "26" in the same "font" as the WETA logo, along with having the text "PUBLIC TELEVISION IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL" below the "A" in one single stack.
- A version of the logo seen on local programming exists, where the WETA logo, the "26" from the station ID, and "WASHINGTON D.C." appear via a "strobe" fade effect in that order. Then, the "26" grows to a much larger size than before, causing the WETA logo to shrink and the "WASHINGTON D.C." font to fade out.
FX/SFX: The "pieces" forming the logo.
Music/Sounds: A patriotic fife/drum sounder that is synced to the animation. It fits the bicentennial period well. The still and station ID variants have only an announcer, while the alternate animated variant has a series of binaural synth tunes.
Availability: Rare. It can be seen on most WETA programming of the time, such as Washington Week, and Agronsky At Large. Kultur's release of Baryshnikov at Wolf Trap preserves this as well. The filmed variant has been seen on a 16mm dupe print of Music Is Melody. The station ID is Extinct. The local version is ultra rare, and so far has only been found once.
Editor's Note: A neat thing about this logo is how it goes well with PBS' 1971 logo, with similar animation, style, and font for the text below.
2nd Logo (1983-June 30, 1988)
Nickname: "The Comet"
Logo: Over a black background, a blue-black gradient star with yellow lines trailing behind it slides along the screen to revealing the WETA logo from the previous logo, but thinner and all in a blue-black gradient. It's also in 3D. The logo shines as a blue haze emerges from below and the text "WASHINGTON, D.C." appears in yellow.
Variant: A local ID had the number 26 next to "WETA".
FX/SFX: The comet, and the shining effects.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized "swish" sound, followed by a 6-note orchestra fanfare.
Availability: Extremely rare. Appeared on Washington Week in Review. It made a surprise appearance on the 1997 Turner Home Entertainment release of the WETA/WYES co-production Spaceflight, an exception to the general rule that station logos don't appear on co-productions between PBS stations.
Editor's Note: Pretty nice logo for the time. The orchestral theme is a nice touch.
3rd Logo (July 1, 1988-September 28, 1991)
Nickname: "The Ribbons"
Logo: We see three colorful ribbons. The text "WETA" zooms out over a black background with blue, gold, purple, and pink ribbons and squares with blue stars in them (looking a little bit like the background in King World's "Spotlights" logo). "WETA" settles itself in front of a pink-colored ribbon, and "WASHINGTON, D.C." fades in below.
Variant: This also had the number 26 beside it, albeit still.
FX/SFX: The ribbons, CG animation.
Music/Sounds: A 5-note synthesized violin sounder, which sounds similar to the 2nd logo's fanfare.
Availability: Very rare. This logo has appeared on many Ken Burns documentaries, such as The Civil War, but unfortunately, it has been plastered on 2015 and 2016 airings of the latter. You'll probably find this on tapes of Washington Week in Review (where it debuted on the weekly edition broadcast on July 1, 1988), as well earlier DVD editions of The Civil War from Warner Home Video. Retained on the Turner Home Entertainment release of The Congress.
Editor's Note: A nice looking logo. However, it could have been a tad bit longer.
4th Logo (September 29, 1991-July 31, 1994)
Nickname: "Starry Triangle"
Logo: On a white marble background, three blue stars form a triangle, with red stripes next to it. Below the symbol is a gold "WETA" in the same font as the 3rd logo, with "WASHINGTON, D.C." below it. Two lines shine, one going across at the top, and the other going down on the left.
FX/SFX: The lines shining.
Music/Sounds: A violin stinger culminating into an orchestral note.
Availability: Extremely rare. Appeared on WETA programs from the era, including Empire of the Air, National Audubon Society Special, and Washington Week in Review. This appears on the Pacific Arts and Turner Home Entertainment VHS releases of the former, and also on the Turner Home Entertainment releases of Brooklyn Bridge, The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God, The Statue of Liberty, and Huey Long.
Editor's Note: Pretty standard, if not underwhelming logo of the early 90s, heavily reminiscent of the work of jcbD.
5th Logo (August 1, 1994-August 31, 1997)
Nickname: "The W"
Logo: Over a purple-tinted video of the exterior of the White House, a white "W" draws itself on the top center of the screen. The letters "W", "E", "T" and "A" appear one by one below, and grow as they do. A white square appears via a strange "wipe" effect over the "W" logo, turning it black. Simultaneously, the text "WASHINGTON, D.C." appears below.
Variant: A version with an inverted color scheme against a moving orange and green background was recently spotted.
FX/SFX: The 2D effects.
Music/Sounds: 4 orchestral hits playing against a percussion beat in the background the whole time. When the square draws itself, an elevator-like "ding" is heard.
Availability: More common than its predecessors, but still pretty rare. Appeared on Ken Burns' The West and Washington Week in Review. The former program preserves this on DVD. This also appeared on Baseball, but don't expect to see it on Turner's VHS release or MLB Network broadcasts. One of the last new programs on which this appeared was Thomas Jefferson.
Editor's Note: Incredibly 90s. That's all we can say.
6th Logo (September 1, 1997-October 2, 2009; April 25-30, 2016; June 11-September 3, 2020)
Nickname: "The Ribbons II"
Logo: Over a shady cobalt blue background, the text "WETA", in yellow, spreads out. It is at an angle and turns to face the screen. After that happens, two red ribbons draw themselves around the text. When the animation finishes, "WASHINGTON DC" appears below. When used as a station ID, the background shimmers for a few.
FX/SFX: The ribbons.
Music/Sounds: A relaxing 4-note wind sounder. When used as a local ID, it used a piece of new-age music. A female announcer says, "You're watching WETA Washington, D.C., Maryland & Virginia."
Availability: Common. Appears on Washington Week in Review and Globe Trekker/Pilot Guides episodes from 1997-2008. However, the show's title has been shortened to Washington Week in recent years. It also appears on many Ken Burns documentaries, such as Jazz (most episodes of which preserve this on the streaming version) and The War (which preserves this on 2020 rebroadcast). Its last known appearance was on The National Parks: America's Best Idea, and it still appears on rebroadcasts of the series today even on newer prints.
Editor's Note: Pretty alright CGI of the time, although it was a bit behind by 2009.
7th Logo (2007-January 14, 2022)
Nickname: "The Ribbons III"
Logo: On a stylized white/silver background with bright lights, we see the WETA logo appear in the same manner as the previous logo, but with "WETA" in black, and only the left ribbon drawing in. "WASHINGTON D.C." is shown below, spreading apart.
- The program Sara's Weeknight Meals has this in open matte, squeezed to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio.
- After PBS and WETA took over the American distribution of BBC World News beginning on June 3, 2019, a copyright notice for the BBC started appearing on this logo at the end of the program.
FX/SFX: The background, the logo appearing, and "Washington D.C." spreading apart.
Music/Sounds: A short piano jingle.
Music/Sounds Variants: On the second episode of The Vietnam War, "Riding the Tiger", the first two notes are cut off.
Availability: Common. Found on PBS NewsHour, Nightly Business Report, Washington Week, and newer Ken Burns documentaries, as well as newer prints of older Ken Burns documentaries, such as The Civil War and Jazz (the first episode of which plasters the previous logo on the streaming version). And it still used in its surprisingly appearance on the episode 2 La Flonteira with Pachi Jinich.
Editor's Note: Quite better than the previous logo, but it's a bit strange how the left ribbon appears fully formed before the logo starts.
8th Logo (January 15, 2022-)
Nicknames: "The CGI Ribbon", "The Ribbons IV"
Logo: On a white background, we see the word "WETA" slowly zooms in to the center. Then a CGI red ribbon flies from the above and formed under the "WETA" word.
Variant: On BBC World News and Ken Burns documentaries, an abstract rendition of the capital is used as the background instead.
FX/SFX: The zooming in, and the CGI ribbon. Nice CGI.
Music/Sounds: A soft, dreamy 6 piano jingle. The variant pitches it one tone higher.
Availability: Brand new. Seen on many shows currently produced by WETA.
Editor's Note: A nice logo that have some nice animation and a really nice tune.