Cartoon Network’s Original Checkerboard Branding Info Now Back Online On The Wayback Machine

Cartoon Network's Original Checkerboard Branding Info Now Back Online On The Wayback Machine

Cartoon Network’s Original Checkerboard Branding Info Now Back Online On The Wayback Machine

Some good news, Hatmaker’s website, the company that designed Cartoon Network’s original logo and Checkerboard era presentation is now finally accessible again on the Wayback Machine. The website was inaccessible for about two years ever since the domain registrar that now owns the domain – Uniregistry put a Internet Archive block on

I first came across Hatmaker’s website back in 2015 while doing some research on who did Cartoon Network’s first graphics package and the black and white checkerboard logo. While searching on the internet, I found out that a design company called Hatmaker Studios developed the channel’s launch graphics which was later used on Cartoon Network in Latin America, Europe and Asia. I tried to search for anything about the company, but couldn’t find anything, so thought I’ll try my luck with’s Wayback Machine, the first domain I typed in was “”, and by chance, it was exactly what I was looking for!. I would of included this information for the Cartoon Network 25th Anniversary blog post, but as mentioned, the Hatmaker website was inaccessible. I’ve been waiting a long time to write a blog post on this.

Not only Hatmaker developed the Checkerboard graphics package, but they also designed Cartoon Network’s checkerboard infamous logo, the first one to be used in public, unlike the original round logo which was used in the 1991 sales presentation. Hatmaker designed the logo in a way to make sure it stands out at all times against a backdrop of various colours, after discovering that black and white were the least used colours in cartoons, it made perfect sense to use black and white in the logo, the checkerboard idea came from finding a way to avoid drop shadows so the logo text stands out, it also worked because the words “Cartoon” and “Network” have exactly the same amount of letters – 7 letters. Finding the right typefaces for the logo and the channel’s presentation was done through a trial and error process, in the end, four typefaces were chosen for Cartoon Network’s identity: Gothic 821 Condensed, Spumoni, Eagle Bold (the typeface used on the Cartoon Network’s original checkerboard logo) and Birch.

The presentation had to have cartoon characteristics to fit into the nature of the channel, the presentation adopted a cartoony illustrative style with flexible, bouncy, lively and constant movement, with typical cartoon sound effects. The presentation had a wide range of hues and textures and because the logo was black and white, it contrasted well and always stood out.

In addition to the channel’s presentation, Hatmaker also designed Cartoon Network’s stationary such as letterheads and business cards and also produced an image guide for the launch of Cartoon Network, which explains the channel’s identity. Copies of the guide were given to advertisers, MSO’s (Multiple System Operators aka Cable Companies) and members of the press.

Hatmaker also produced an animation for the transition between Cartoon Network and TNT Classic Movies in Europe, every night at 8pm CET (7pm UK), Cartoon Network closes for the night and hands over to its sister channel TNT Classic Movies. The animation features one of Cartoon Network’s earliest mascot characters (used exclusively in presentation) – Hi-Ball the Jester. Hi-Ball wears an hourglass on his wrist to remind him how much time CN has left for the day, when the time’s up, Hi-Ball pulls down the switch from CN mode to TNT mode starting the transition sequence and electrocutes him in the process. Then a stick of a dynamite explodes (a pun of Turner Network Television’s acronym and the well known explosive also called TNT), then the TNT Classic Movies logo appears. The transition animation features somewhat weird characters, such as a mouth with lips and teeth, an eyeball with with and a propeller, a toothbrush and a match. In my opinion, the transition was one of the best examples of television presentation I’ve seen (although its somewhat nightmare fuel-ish), no other timesharing channel ever replicated as something as seamless and that connects two channels that have little in common with each other so well, the only common factor is that Turner owns both channels. From what I remember, the transition stopped airing on Cartoon Network Europe after the channel became a 24-hour service, although on most providers the channel still timeshared with TNT. Cartoon Network Poland adapted and reused the same animation many years later but this time for TNT Classic Movies’ spiritual successor – TCM.

In 2003, Hatmaker Studios closed with its portfolio merged with its sister company – Corey McPherson Nash. Hatmaker was also known for creating Hanna-Barbera’s logo during the Turner-owned era and during when the animation studio started to produce shows for Cartoon Network.

Hatmaker was also known for creating the famous orange Nickelodeon logo (along with Fred/Alan Inc.), FX’s original logo and graphics package, Comedy Central’s original logo and also UK Gold’s (now branded GOLD) first ever logo. It’s a shame that Hatmaker closed, it created some of the most iconic and recognisable branding in television, also the website looked very good compared to mid-to-late 1990’s standards which was when the World Wide Web was just in its infancy.

Channel ID (with more info about the logo):



Cartoon Network Image Launch Guide:

Cartoon Network Partners With Brazilian Airline Azul For Powerpuff Girls Branded Plane

Cartoon Network Partners With Brazilian Airline Azul For Powerpuff Girls Branded Plane

Cartoon Network Partners With Brazilian Airline Azul For Powerpuff Girls Branded Plane

Turner Latin America and Azul Airlines, the largest domestic airline company in Brazil have partnered up for a specially designed Powerpuff Girls branded airplane. Now Azul customers can take to the skies with Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, which will be flying as shown on the plane’s fuselage. The branded plane is an Embraer 195, with the Brazilian civil aircraft registration code PR-AIQ. In partnership with Sky Brasil, Azul has a livestream of more than forty television channels, including Cartoon Network on its in-flight entertainment system, which is available on most of their flights.

Gustavo Diament, General Manager of Turner Brazil made this statement (translated) about the Powerpuff Girls branding partnership with Azul:

“We are proud to offer a different experience for fans of the series, they can now fly in the company of Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup.”

Claudia Fernandes, Director of Marketing and Communication from Azul (translated) also made this statement:

“We are delighted with the partnership between Azul and Cartoon Network. With the live broadcast of Cartoon Network in most of its aircraft, the addition of the Powerpuff Girls on the fuselage makes it an even more special experience of those who travel with us”

Cartoon Network And Troika Develops Dimensional Rebrand Style Guide

Cartoon Network And Troika Develops Dimensional Rebrand Style Guide

Cartoon Network And Troika Develops Dimensional Rebrand Style Guide

Yesterday (09/06/2016), it was announced that Turner Broadcasting System and Hollywood-based branding and marketing innovation agency Troika have partnered up to develop a style guide for the new Cartoon Network rebrand (known as Check It 4.5 by CN fans, officially called “Dimensional”) to inform international versions of Cartoon Network how the new branding should be implemented.

The style guide is a set of rules on how the animations and on-screen graphics should be displayed on-screen to maintain an international consistency of branding. Also, Troika have designed a dynamic insert and promo system that provides brand consistency, this system will be applied to promos made by the international Cartoon Network creative teams.

Jacob Escobedo, Vice President of Design/Creative for Cartoon Network stated that developing a style guide based on the new branding was a difficult process and he was impressed by Troika’s work:

“We asked Troika to do the impossible. I’m surprised, actually, that they didn’t throw us out of their office when we dumped all of our design fragments and bits in their lap and asked them to piece it all together into a comprehensible system. They handled the challenge like pros, transforming our on-air packaging into a dynamic and cohesive environment. All of this while feeding us amazing cookies.”

Larry Morris, Creative Director On-Air for Cartoon Network stated:

“We had a lot of design fundamentals already in place, but we really needed a system that made sense and allowed us to have fun. We basically had a floor full of thousands of video Legos, and we needed a manual for putting them all together. The last thing you are thinking of at the end of the day is ‘Gee, I’d really like to work a one thousand piece puzzle right now.’ What Troika allowed us to do was build onto a modular system and grow the Cartoon Design brand towards a unified look.”

Creative Director of Troika, Seton Kim stated:

“I’m extremely proud of the work we accomplished with Cartoon Network. Susan, Larry, Jacob, and their entire team are incredibly talented and a pure joy to work with. Not only was it an opportunity to work with a beloved brand, it made me look like a hero to my kids! We look forward to collaborating with Cartoon Network again in the future.”

Cartoon Network’s credits for the work include:

Susan Shipsky – Vice President, Production
Jacob Escobedo – Vice President, Design/Creative
Larry Morris – Creative Director, On-Air

Troika’s credits for the work include:

Amy Palmer – Account Director
Seton Kim – Creative Director
Julia Torchine – Producer
Jeni Wamberg – Art Director
XinXue Wang – Designer
Liz Vogtsberger – Writer/Strategist

Troika was also the branding company that developed Turner’s new logo and branding which was introduced last year:

Bent Design Lab developed the Dimensional rebrand package, which made its debut on Cartoon Network USA on Monday 30th May.