Eye candy


Isn’t this a cool studio/production house emblem? So very art deco and Indian, all at the same time. Incidentally, Delux Films was the defendant in a landmark copyright lawsuit brought by playwright RG Anand against them for their 1956 film “New Delhi.” He claimed that it was an unauthorized copy of his play “Hum Hindustani” but Delux won the case when it finally came before the high court in 1978 (in a nutshell: it was similar, but not similar enough). Who says the wheels of justice turn slowly?

The RK Studios logo is well known for being modelled on Raj Kapoor and Nargis:


It is usually prefaced by a short video of Raj’s father Prithviraj Kapoor performing a puja:


I love to watch it, and never fast-forward through it. Not sure why. Possibly because I love him and two of his offspring so much.

Here’s Famous Films’ emblem incorporating a Buddha figure.


I love V Shantaram’s Rajkamal Kalamandir studio (the lotus opens up and the girl stands):



That girl reminds me of the one from Prabhat Studios, which Shantaram also co-founded:


This one glowed, which I couldn’t really capture but it’s very fab too:


And this is a little dark, but interesting; I think the text says “Lead Kindly Light.” Um, okay!


Here are Gemini’s famous chubby twins blowing trumpets as they turn towards you.



And Nasir Husain’s (although I have no idea what it IS, I know I see it a lot! and usually before something highly entertaining):


Sunil Dutt’s Ajanta Arts has a cool spinning flower or wheel of some sort behind the statue:


I will never understand why Basant Pictures—where Homi and JBH Wadia made some great “B” movies full of craziness—was happy with something as boring as this.


This is a little better:


Quite a few producers were content to tone things down to more western-style imagery:

(Bhimsingh-Mehmood Productions)




and a great many (in fact most) didn’t bother to design emblems or logos at all, relying only on text:


which is actually a good idea if you aren’t going to work a little bit on something interesting!

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59 Comments to “Eye candy”

  1. I completely share ur feelings about prithvi- i just totally want to hug him :)

  2. I love the studio/production companie emblems. I just love watching them. Even the new ones, like Yash Raj (with the song from Sisila). Also, I like Utv Motion Pictures when she dips her fingers in the paint. Thanks for the eye candy.

  3. The wheel in the emblem of Ajanta Arts is ‘Ashok Chakra’ also known as ‘Dharma Chakra’ (the wheel of religion). One can find it on Indian National Flag as well. Here is a link to an article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka_Chakra

    Nasir Hussain has joined together the letters of his initials, N and H, and then added a human figure, which to me looks like that of some shayar (an urdu poet).

    • Ah, thank you for that info. I always thought it was a khadi spinning wheel for some reason in the flag! Oops.

      I get the NH, but that head is very strange. An urdu poet makes more sense than an Assyrian warrior, which is what it always kind of resembled to me :-)

      • The khadi spinning wheel (charkha) was in the original Indian flag designed during Indian Revolution, but was replaced later by Ashok Chakra post Independance.

  4. These small things go a little too unnoticed, so I’m glad you picked up on it – hope to see similar posts in the future.

    I really like the AGPPL Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt. Ltd. logo with the sand dropping to form a gold embossed emblem on a wavy red brocade cloth – it seems so rich and “royal”.

    • I’ll need to look at the AG one again :) And definitely I’ll keep collecting these as I notice them (I always screen cap them if they’ve caught my eye)…glad you liked the post :)

  5. I love that RK Films’ Pritviraj Kapoor bit too – very tastefully done.

    The Nasir Hussain films logo is an nH, but that weird head on top of the n is a little disconcerting, I think.

  6. Very interesting idea for a post. It is a much better idea for a post than “Kasam Paida Karne waale ki” and the likes.

    Sunil Dutt’s “Ajanta” emblem shows a 24 spoked wheel (Ashok Chakra) which is part of Indian national flag and other official emblems as well. Emperor Ashok was an emperor who lived some 2500 years ago.The statue of course must be a statue from the Ajanta Caves.

    I had never noticed the emblem of Mukherji Brothers before. It shows the Trinity of three Major Gods of Hindu religion, viz Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the sustainer) and Shiva (the destroyer).

    Gemini’s logo is one that I clearly remember and love.

    • You didn’t like my Mithun posts????! ;-) Glad you liked this one. And as usual when I post things I know nothing really about, I learn from readers like you and rmb above! And I really think the Mukerji Bros. image is beautiful—it also shifts color although the image remains the same, which has the effect of making it glow hot and cold, very lovely. I did figure it was the Trinity :)

  7. I ,too, love to watch the RK Studios introduction and do not feel like fast-forwarding it.

  8. Oh I love these. One reason to watch oldies is that their studio emblems might’ve not had CGI and all the modern trinkets but they had a definite creativity and beauty of their own, being low-tech.

  9. The flag of Indian national congress, that ruled India for most of the time after independence had a tricolor flag with a spinning wheel (Charkha) in the centre. It was also used as national flag when India became independent. But soon, the charkha was replaced by Ashok Chakra.

    The congress party flag still remains the same, viz tricolour with a charkha in the centre.In other words, the flag of India and that of Congress party differs only in having a charkha/ Ashok Chakra in the centre.

  10. Thanks Amey and Atul for clarifying the wheel issue :) I am so much more knowledgeable now than I was when I woke up today!!!

  11. The logo of the film studio–all over the world–is a moment of reflection for the “movie, please be good” prayer.

    The UTV one fascinates me, because at some point finger paint turns into CGI…and I am fixated on that moment. In the earliest days, was it paint all the way? Why do I care?

  12. The girl in the lotus has always been my favorite.

    I am loving on all the wonderful logo screencaps!

    • Yes, and I really love the Prabhat one too.

      • The lady who blew the Trumpet( actually,it is NOT Trumpet,it is called TUTARI in Marathi.This is used in any traditional function in Maharashtra-perticularly a cultural Government function.) was Gulab bai alias
        Kamaladevi,the leading lady of ‘Sairandhri’-1919.She later married S.Fatehlal,one of the Directors of Prabhat Film co.
        This information is given in “Silent Cinema” by Dr. R.K.Verma.

  13. I like the emblem of Trimurti Films as well. Nice post! :-)

  14. What a great post! It’s funny how your favorite production-house emblem can set an optimistic mood no matter what. Being a fan of sticky-sweet SRK romances (I know, I’m sorry), just hearing the Yash Raj music from the other room makes me come over verklempt. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t forget Mehboob Khan’s fantastic red hammer and sickle (I’ve only seen “Mother India” but that was a fine and instructive opening image for that film).

    • Probably Yash Raj is the first one most goras become acquainted with! It is the first one I remember, anyway. And my copy of Mother India doesn’t have Mehboob Khan’s emblem on it. I looked :(

  15. Fab post, its all in the details ‘innit’… of all you’ve posted i love the V shantaram one and RK. the best i also love the BR films one with a man and woman walking , the woman has a pile of wood on her head and the man an axe, its a nice one, look out for it next time

  16. well researched, and informative….where are the ‘now-gen logos…

  17. Mehboob Khan had communist leanings hence the Red Hammer and Sickle logo. He had risen slowly from the ranks and it is said that his logo was a tribute to communism. ‘Mother India’ was banned in some countries such as Turkey for this reason.

    • A lot of filmmakers in the 40s/50s had communist leanings; Raj Kapoor did too, for instance. India itself had at least “socialist” leanings, which made for tension between the newly independent country and the US. And it’s one reason Indian film was so popular in Russia in the 50s as well.

  18. Great post! Apart from Mehboob studio, you can also add the one from Dev Anand’s Navketan Studio.
    I have uploaded some of them to Youtube here:

    • Great idea to put them up there in animated form :) I looked through my DVDs for both Mehboob Khan and Navketan’s emblems, but they are omitted from the ones I looked at. I didn’t really take the time to look very hard though. I like your early version of the Rajkamal Kalamandir one!

      • I just remembered one more thing. The RK logo changed a bit with time. Nagris-Raj Kapoor emblem took the backseat (obviously) looking more and more animated and Prithviraj doing Puja became more and more prominent.

  19. I couldn’t find Khan’s hammer and sickle in an online copy of Mother India that I watched… Either I missed it, or it was omitted.

    But when I saw it in Anmol Ghadi, even though it was in black-and-white, I got a kick out of that. :)

    As I’ve said on my blog, I’ve found it interesting that this maker of Indian blockbusters could have that particular logo at the same time in history when Hollywood had its red scare and blacklists.

    Does everyone remember the BR Films logo? I like how it features a hammer and…is that a film reel? :) And I don’t know if the figures in that one were modeled this way, but when I look at them, I always see Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala.

    Good post, by the way!

    • It’s not on my (non-pirated) DVD of Mother India either. I need to look harder for more of them. I’ve mostly collected the ones that caught my eye particularly or became familiar to me.

      And India is probably one of the few countries left where the communist party still has some clout…

    • I have the same feeling about BR Films but I can’t imagine Dilip Kumar in half-pant:)
      Here’s the BR logo:

      and Hammer and Sickle (it is also famous for the accompanying urdu couplet) of Mehboob Productions from Mother India:

      notice the name ‘Azamghar’ in ‘words of Gratitude’. Last year almost everyone in India was convinced Azamghar was the ‘Badland’ of India till people started recollecting its other more noble stories.

  20. Love the Gemini chubby twins and Shantaram’s Lotus girl. Do not remember seeing the Sagar emblem on film, but remember it coming on every sunday when Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan would be shown. That was something!!!

  21. Lovely post Memsaab, I immensely love the RK opening sequence, with Prithvi Raj chanting the Shiva mantra for two reasons, I have been seeing my father chanting the same mantra every morning ever since I can remember, secondly because of Shankar Jaikishan’s music.

  22. Hey Indeed a marvellous piece! Its a great post. Like the way you have revived the old memories within us. By the way I am am a beautiful lock on Hrithik’s head full of gorgeous hair! As I have observed, from my vantage point (of being on top of Hrithik’s head, duh!), a lot of you want glamorous locks…but (sigh, sigh) very few of you manage to look like me. So, I will try to be at my swishiest best and using my available position to best advantage, I’ll tell you the secrets of my beauty and of course, I’ll give you a glimpse of what goes on in Hrithik’s world. Follow me at hrithikslock.blogspot.com… See you there!

  23. That head on NH films of Nasir Hussain is a mystery.
    If it had a beard then that would have offered a whole lot of possibilities.
    Kabirdas sports a headgear of this sort (but with a beard) so do many sufis and poets.
    Very mysterious.

    • Personally I remember Nasir Hussain movies for the enthralling music. So then, this head could well symbolize a Gandharva – celestial musician in Hinduism. More importantly, Gandharvas are never shown wearing beard/moustache!

      • The urdu couplet that plays in the background is by Jigar Moradabadi who was the mentor of Nasir Hussain’s favorite lyrics writer – Majrooh Sultanpuri. But it can’t be an image of urdu poet. With those slit eyes and curly side locks, it could well be a Gandharva.

        • Well, having a second thought, Gandharva does sound farfetched symbol to be coming from a Muslim filmmaker. Though it is much directly related than Assyrian warrior! More I look at it closely now more the head appears to be representing an Urdu poet. Gandharva would have been perfect choice (considering his inclination for music and dance), but that’s surely not what it really is. Anyway, whatever…

  24. hey who’s ‘prakash’?
    & what movies did they make

    im confused :{ help would be much appreciated :)

  25. hey, i read your blog quite a lot, can you please put in something like related blogs, as in recommended blogs at the footer of blog posts?

    something like youtube’s related videos.

    because when i click on the tags i reach the wordpress.com website…

    • I haven’t done that because very often the “related” post links actually are completely unrelated—it doesn’t seem to be a very accurate feature.

      The blogs that I recommend are already listed in my sidebar :)

  26. The logo, or sign of BBC under line with each of its alphabet’s is so much in price London Share Market that it value is count “INFINITY”.
    This will be same as “RK”s logo for Indian market in coming time. As The Kapoor family is enjoying their presence in Indian film industry; for the last 70-80 years.
    The Kapoor family must only family in the world serving for Indian film industries such a long time.
    first PruithviRajKapoor, RajKapoor (and 3 brothers); Rajkapoor’s 3 sons; 2 Granddaughters and now grand son – RanbirKapoor.
    This means it covers; always name begin with R or K as film-star in their (KAPOOR) family.

  27. Could you share the videos or the links to videos of these unforgettable productions houses? I could use it for a class project.

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