According to the network, CBS introduced the Eye to the public during station breaks on Saturday, Oct. 20, 1951. CBS will commemorate the anniversary by using its original Eye logo on its website and onscreen during primetime.
“From the network to the corporation, the CBS Eye is an enduring asset of our company and a major source of pride for all of us,” CBS prexy and CEO Leslie Moonves said. “It is a corporate logo that is known and respected all around the world, and continues to be a fitting symbol of CBS’s proud history and ongoing leadership.”
CBS had quite the fall in 1951, launching both “I Love Lucy” (on Oct. 15) and “See It Now” with Edward R. Murrow (Nov. 18). It was leading up to that time, according to the network, that CBS prexy Frank Stanton asked creative director Bill Golden to give CBS Television a distinctive identity.
“Golden’s inspiration came while driving through Pennsylvania Dutch country,” CBS said in a press release. “He became intrigued by the hex symbols resembling the human eye that are drawn on Shaker barns to ward off evil spirits. He also came across a drawing he admired, that had the look of an eye, in a publication featuring Shaker art. With the help of graphic artist Kurt Weihs, the Eye logo was created.”
The following year, when Golden was contemplating a successor to the eye, Stanton reportedly told him that “just when you’re beginning to be bored with what you’ve done is when it’s beginning to be noticed by your audience.” In 1998, New York Times Magazine included the Eye in a roundup of the “greatest design hits” of the 1900s.