1st Logo (1989-1999)
Nickname: "The Clayface", "The Materials"
Logo: On a sunny sky blue background, we see the top of a clay green planet with a river running through it, trees, etc. The planet turns right and a red/yellow polkadot bowtie shaped butterfly places itself on a patch of blue and white, which appears to be a suit. As this is happening, the letters
in various shapes, arrange and form themselves to the right so they are in separate wooden boxes which form in the same time. A brown pillar, a staircase, A wooden pillar with a yellow and black zigzag plank, and two pieces of wood also arrange and form themselves as a picture frame. A smiling clay face drops from behind the top part of the frame to the suit where we can't see the eyes. Then four clouds drop into place in the sky, as
fades in below. All of this takes place inside a small white box against a black background.
- Sometimes, a still version of this logo exists with different text and a copyright notice below.
- On Not Without My Handbag and The Wrong Trousers, the logo is shown to be altered, the smile is different, the number of red pots on the bowtie has slightly reduced and the last "A" in the vertical stacked "AARDMAN" is in a different style.
- A print version exists on the end card of early episodes of Rex the Runt. it has the font from the next logo and it seems to be the face looking through a telescope with stars (with the one from the next logo) around it.
FX/SFX: Very impressive stop-motion animation. It aged really well over the years.
Music/Sounds: Two ominous violin notes, followed by a 3-note flute tune, a musical "thud" as the head falls into place, and two more short bass violin notes as the clouds fall into place and bounce. At the beginning water can be heard.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the Blu-Ray release and on the 4/21-22/2012 Cartoon Network US airings of Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers, at the beginning, the music is slightly higher pitched, like the special itself had.
Availability: Seen on many Aardman shorts, most notably the Wallace & Gromit shorts A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave; it was removed on the 2001 DVD containing all three shorts (from BBC/Warner Home Video, a still version with copyright information was seen at the end of TWT and ACS) but was put back in for one W&G short (A Close Shave) on Wallace and Gromit in Three Grand Adventures when it was released by DreamWorks. The logo is intact on the CBS-Fox VHS prints of those shorts, so check eBay, Amazon, or a local thrift store for those tapes. Also seen on Netflix's prints of those three shorts.
Editor's Note: This is a favorite of Aardman fans, and stop motion fans in general.
2nd Logo (1998-)
Nickname: "The Machine", "Gears"
Logo: On a light cerulean-blue background with three matching gears and a yellow gear (that represents the sun) that has clouds and anthropomorphic planes that spin around, we slowly zoom toward a blue square with a red star (with gears inside) on it. It has little arms, legs, and a head, and is running on a green gear-like object that has some of the letters of "Aardman" printed on it in red and green and some of its letters in red are spinning around in different directions on black sticks by teal and green gears. Surrounding the square are animated hands, cars, trees, houses, buildings, and people rotating around on different colored gears. As we finally zoom into the position of the square, a human hand then reaches out from the right, grabs the square, and clicks its head like a stopwatch, freezing the machinery. "Aardman" is formed below.
- There is used to be an full open-matte version of the logo.
- At the beginning of Wallace & Gromit The Curse of the Were Rabbit, it is shortened, beginning just seconds before the hand comes in.
- An still version of the logo appears on the end card of later episodes of Rex the Runt.
FX/SFX: All the animation used, which is done in a strange, sketchbook, cartoon-like style.
Music/Sounds: For the normal version, it has a sly jazz tune with ticking that stops when the logo does, also when the hand comes in, we hear a man groaning. It debuted on the console versions of the Chicken Run video-game.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the Pathé print Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the opening theme of the movie is heard.
Availability: Seen on later episodes of Rex the Runt, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and the Pathé print of Chicken Run, although the next logo is used at the end of the UK and US releases. It was also seen on the VHS/DVD releases of The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit and Creature Comforts. It was also seen on video games from Chicken Run' to Flushed Away.
Editor's Note: None
3rd Logo (2000-)
Logo: On a black B-G, we see the word "Aardman" (similar to the previous logo, but in a grungy font), with a star drawn in the same style shown on the top left.
- A still logo appeared at the end of Chicken Run, as well as other feature films.
- Like the 2nd logo, there is used to be an full open-matte version of the logo.
- On Creature Comforts: The Series, the white logo is in the center of a brown background with copyright info underneath it.
- On Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions, the logo is on the white background with the copyright info below.
- On Shaun the Sheep, this logo is shown at the top, with the CBBC logo and the copyright info below it.
- On Flushed Away, an animated version, mostly like a prototype version of the 4th logo. The text appears by rolling up on a invisible roller, and the star pops in after it emerges.
- On the sneak preview trailer of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Originally titled as Wallace & Gromit), the still logo arranged horizontally with the star at the left and the word at the right.
- Sometimes, the star is slightly shifted further away from the word.
FX/SFX: None. For the variant, none.
Music/Sounds: For the still version, it is none, or has the closing theme playing over it.
- For the 2006 logo, it has the opening theme playing over it.
- For the variant, just the end theme of the show.
Availability: Current; the logo can be seen at the end of Aardman-produced shorts and feature films, and the variant is seen on Aardman-produced TV shows. The logo variant can be seen on Flushed Away.
Editor's Note: None.
4th Logo (November 23, 2011-)
Logo: On a black background, we see the Aardman logo peeling up out of the blackness, while a printed reflection is seen at an angle below. When the logo fully appears, the reflection fades out, leaving just the logo.
- There is a cinematic variant, where the print blocks of "Aardman" are placed in the machine. A pair of tweezers puts the star print block in its matching slot. The camera zooms out and pan as the machine starts up and we see on the other side that "Aardman" and the star is printed on the conveyor belt. While this is an official variant, it did showed up on The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! short film So You Want To Be A Pirate! It eventually showed up on Early Man.
- On Shaun the Sheep Movie, there's a custom variant of the logo. On a gray background, we see the sheep from the TV series the movie is based off of huddled around, before moving to reveal that they all have the letters of "Aardman" printed on their bodies. They accidentally form "Amadran", and 2 of the sheep move around to form "Aardman". A tiny staircase is pushed into the picture, and a sheep wearing the red star climbs onto it.
- On Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, there's also a custom variant that parodies Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It opens with a sheep wearing a smoking and playing the Shaun the Sheep theme on an electric keyboard over a black background. Every key he touches makes letters of the word "Aardman" appear over him, and the whole word appears once he finishes the music. He then touches another key which makes the movie's opening music begin and also the star in the logo appear, and then goes away, as the logo fades to a space background, which makes the Aardman star turn into one of the white stars in it.
FX/SFX: The CGI peeling animation.
Music/Sounds: A quiet grinding noise plays as the logo slides in, then silence, or the opening music of the film.
Availability: Seen on Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! and Early Man.
Editor's Note: None.