The Robot Wars logo is the main identity of the show, featuring in every episode and was used on all merchandise. It has also been incorporated into the various versions of the Robot Wars Arena itself.
The main parts of the original logo were a gear with five teeth on the right hand side adorned by a weapon. On the left hand side wrapped around the logo from bottom to top was the text "ROBOT WARS" spelt out in block capitals in the Bank Gothic Medium font, a font which was also widely used throughout the series for text that showed up on screen.
The logo would eventually be modified a few times throughout the course of the series. Starting with The Second Wars the logo would often be customised for special episodes, such as grand finals and special one-off competitions. More extensive modifications would eventually be made for the spin-off series Robot Wars Extreme and American versions of the series.
When the series was brought back in 2016 a fair number of revisions were made to the logo but the basic design remained largely the same.
- 1 Pre-Series 1
- 2 Television
- 3 Merchandise
- 4 References
The familiar Robot Wars logo appears to be derived from the logo of the American 1995 San Francisco event. It shares a number of recognisable elements in common with the UK version, namely the curved "Robot Wars" text on the side and a mechanical/tool motif. It can be found on the earliest revisions of Mentorn's official UK Robot Wars website dating to 1996-97. It is also visible in footage of the 1995 UK event in London, which served as a pilot for the TV series.
By the beginning of 1998 this early logo had been replaced on the website by one similar to the current logo. The text, however was not set in the Bank Gothic font.
1st Logo (1998)
The first iteration of the logo would be short lived, as it was not used after the first series. Compared to later designs it was much darker and had a more three-dimensional appearance.
2nd Logo (1998-2001)
The second version of the logo was used from Series 2 through to Series 4, lasting three series in total. The logo was now much flatter looking and was made much brighter. The "ROBOT WARS" text in particular was now flat and had a drop shadow underneath.
Series 2 also began a trend of customising the logo for "special" episodes, starting with The Making of Robot Wars. The new text, again in Bank Gothic had a 3D, silvery look and appeared slanted on top of the logo.
Series 3 largely continued the style set by Series 2 though there was some more variety in appearance, with both the Grand Final and International League Championship logos having different font colours and effects applied. Unlike the last series the semi-finals used the standard logo.
The end of each episode around this time also featured a different logo design. This logo could also be seen on some home video releases of the era.
Though the basic logo was kept the font used for the "special" logos was revised, now being positioned straight and with a more fiery appearance placed upon a metal backing.
3rd Logo (2001-2004)
In 2001, commencing with the first series of Robot Wars Extreme the logo received a substantial facelift, coinciding with the debut of a new intro sequence. The logo now included more detail presumably to give a more metallic, 3D appearance.
The new intro sequence also contains a possible animation error: When the logo finishes forming in most variants a final layer of texturing and sheen appears but in the "standard" variant this doesn't happen. Presumably an oversight, it was nonetheless never corrected during the few years it was in use.
Extreme Series 1
The first Extreme series style was somewhat similar to the Series 4 style, except with a more metallic effect and no metal backing. The logos in this series now appeared at the start of individual events, instead of in the opening sequence.
The Extreme logo did see some use on merchandise, such as for instance appearing on the cover of Robot Wars Extreme: The Official Guide. It also would be drawn upon as the basis for the logos of the American Extreme Warriors and Grand Champions series.
The Second World Championship logo would mark the start of a new style, being far more elaborate and using the Robot Wars logo as part of a larger design, a theme that would continue with Extreme Series 2 and Series 7.
In contrast with the previous few series but in common with Series 1 no special logos appeared in these two series. Not even the Grand Finals featured a customised logo, breaking a pattern that had started with Series 2.
The UK vs Germany Special did not feature a special logo, making it the only non-championship episode in the first 7 regular series not to feature one.
Extreme Series 2
Robot Wars Extreme 2 featured the most custom logos to date. Unlike the first Extreme series there was no "standard" logo as such. Instead the normal Robot Wars logo would form up as usual, before changing into the special logo, each one using a different animation to do so.
Series 7 continued the style set by the previous few series.
All 3 special logos had previously appeared in both series of Extreme.
4th Logo (2016-2018)
On 3rd February 2016 the BBC unveiled the new logo which would be used in Series 8-10. Designed by Jump, it "totally encapsulates everything that is new about the series: updated technology, modernised armour, contemporary design and a seismic updated tonal shift from the original series".  The new logo coincided with a completely new title sequence and opening theme; the animation of the logo formation was first shown at the end of the BBC iPlayer-exclusive preview Meet the House Robots, promoting the debut of Series 8.
Compared to previous series, the cog and text were rotated 180 degrees; the cog has nine teeth instead of five, a more worn-down and battle-damaged look and more mechanical/technological details, such as power lights, exposed wires and a sawblade. These details gave the cog a three-dimensional look, emphasised in the opening sequence by the cog assembling itself in front of a backdrop of smoke and fire. The colour scheme for the entire logo, including text, had also been changed to a predominantly dark green and yellow. The font used in the logo, as well as other elements of the rebooted series including on-screen presentation and associated media, is Pirulen.
Prior to the logo's unveiling, the BBC had shown various other designs through their social media outlets, without the cog. Logos featuring only the Pirulen 'ROBOT WARS' text were also used on various pieces of media, merchandise and promotional materials, including the official website, books, toys, DVDs/Blu-rays, trailers and advertisements.
An earlier version of the Series 8-10 logo shows an additional gun on the central part of the cog, as well as the cog and text being reversed, reminiscent of the original series logo.
Very few special logos were made for Series 8-10, and the title sequence for the main series remained largely unchanged throughout the reboot's run. However, it is known that some international broadcasts of Series 8 used a modified opening sequence, with a '2016' text added to the left-hand side of the cog during the logo formation. Additionally, the first episode of Series 10 did not feature a logo formation at all, instead cutting directly from the opening sequence to the robot introductions.
A single custom logo was used for both episodes of Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars, which added multi-coloured fairy lights to the cog in reference to the specials being originally broadcast in Christmas 2016. The Battle of the Stars text appears in the centre part of the cog in Pirulen, similarly to the logos adopted by the Series 4 specials. The logo for the Battle of the Stars specials was used as part of a revised opening sequence, featuring a new backdrop for the logo formation and altered music.
By contrast, Robot Wars: World Series did not have a custom logo or a modified opening sequence, instead using the regular Series 8-10 logo and opening sequence along with unchanged opening music.
The South Korean airings of Series 8, broadcast by FX Korea, feature a unique logo loosely based on the standard Series 8-10 logo. This logo features a revised cog motif with the show's title in the centre, as well as a plain grey colour scheme with rust effects and a red background. The regular Series 8-10 logo can still be seen in footage of the show itself.
While the German and Dutch series kept the same logo and on-screen title as the UK series, all three US versions of the show had individual logos incorporating additional subtitles and the logos of their respective TV broadcasters.
In areas outside of the television show a second logo was in use. Primarly used on merchandise it could also be found in other contexts such as stationery and on the sets of the series itself such as on the presenter's microphones among other places.
1st Logo (1997-1999)
The earliest logo that can be seen on merchandise. Compared to later versions it has a somewhat simpler design. The "spike" part extends to the inner edge of the "gear" part. The "cogs" are also at a different angle. On the show it was used during the production of The First Wars and The Second Wars.
2nd Logo (1999-2003, 2013-)
Following production of the second series the logo was given a redesign. Many of the finer details were adjusted bringing it in line with the logo that was being used on the TV show. Just like the logo shown on TV the brightness was increased slightly, making the text part in particular easier to see. This is by far the most common version and can be found on most Robot Wars merchandise such as the video games, books etc. On the show it can be seen in use from The Third Wars all the way up to the second series of Robot Wars Extreme.
The recent Robot Wars Live Events have also been seen using this particular logo.
3rd Logo (2003-2005)
In 2003 nearly two years after its television counterpart the merchandise logo was given an update. More detail was added and the brightness and contrast was bumped up slightly. Also the logo now has been given a 3D border. Due to being introduced late in the series' life the logo saw fairly limited use, appearing on the second Robot Wars Magazine starting from issue 5 (dated April 2003) as well as on the two Fox Kids DVDs. It was used on the show during the production of The Seventh Wars.