Broderbund Software

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Background: Brøderbund Software was a software company formed in 1980 to create educational titles. It created many successful gaming franchises such as Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Zoombinis, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. In 1997, it opened Red Orb, the subsidiary for publishing mature games. In 1998, Brøderbund became a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Learning Company, which itself was purchased by Mattel year after. After Mattel experienced financial difficulties, it sold Broderbund to Gores Technology Group, who turned the company into profit after only 75 days. Ubisoft purchased Brøderbund's Entertainment Division in March 2001, while Riverdeep Interactive acquired its Education Division in September that year. Then in August 2002, all of Brøderbund assets became part of Riverdeep. In the early 2000s, budget software publisher Encore, Inc. acquired the trademark of Broderbund; it currently publishes software titles from the company under said name.

1st Logo
Broderbund Software (1995)Broderbund Software (1996)Broderbund Software (1994)Broderbund Studio (1997)

Logo: On a black background, a bunch of teal blue shapes thicken out and rotate forward, revealing "Broderbund" in a font resembling tubes. An outline of 3 orange crown with crosses on top of them, rotates towards the screen above the text. A diagonal light slash emerges on the "o", cutting 2 notches into it as a registered trademark symbol appears in the top right corner of the text.

  • Most of the time, the logo is still.
  • On some of their earliest Apple II titles, the logo has the crowns separate with full detail and color (the colors differ on which game it was on) and the full name written out in a slightly different font than the later versions. "PRESENTS" is also seen below it as well as the title screen. Serpentine was the first title to have the updated design.
  • The 1991 MS-DOS release of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? had the crowns fully detailed and in gold, shining once each, and the text reading "Broderbund Software Presents" in one line.
  • On the Active Minds Series, the logo is has smaller crowns and a bar reading "ACTIVE - MIND - SERIES" below it. The colors and actions of these differ greatly from game to game, but ends with the "o" flashing.
  • On Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge, the logo is seen with the full name on a rock wall lit by a spotlight, with the logo in lavender. "ENTERTAINMENT" in Copperplate Gothic then zooms out to the logo, making "Software" become "Studio" and the text going down. The crowns then enlarge and ends with the "o" as usual being cut into.

FX/SFX: The text and crowns rotating, the "o" flashing. The variants have either different animation or none.

Music/Sounds: 2 sets of dialing sounds before a synth medieval tune plays. A low synth note then plays, followed by a longer and higher one which is accomplished by a synth. Other times it may have no music, the opening theme of the game, or custom sounds.

Availability: Common. Seen on a lot of educational games. The animated version appears on In The 1st Degree, the 1999 version of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, among others.

Editor's Note: None.

2nd Logo

Logo:On a black background, a white circle with another purple circle in it appears. In the ring is "BRODERBUND SOFTWARE" and on the circle is the crowns, shining in sync to the music. "p-r-e-s-e-n-t-s" then wipes in below in either black or red on a gold banner.

Variant: On Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe, the logo fades out except for the banner and circle, which change into the logo. Here, the "p-r-e-s-e-n-t-s" text just appears.

FX/SFX: The shining, the wiping.

Music/Sounds: 3 ascending synth notes, followed by a synth xylophone tune.

Availability: Rare. Seen on some DOS releases, as well as the re-releases for Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe and The Playroom.

Editor's Note: None.

3rd Logo
Broderbund Software (2001)
Logo: On a black background, a navy blue rectangle is seen below with "Brøderbund" in a much more sans-like font. Above it, a portion of a crown sketch draws in above it. A spiral and an another line then draw in to finish the drawing as navy blue, sea green, yellow, and grape purple squares then emerge from all corners of the screen and close in onto the logo.

FX/SFX: The drawing.

Music/Sounds: A held synth note with sketching sounds, ending with a 4-note xylophone tune.

Availability: Uncommon. Was seen on several educational titles from TLC, such as Dr. Seuss Preschool.

Editor's Note: None.

4th Logo

Logo: On a sky background, several blue rectangles swirl around, all before combining into a bigger rectangle. On that rectangle appears the crown and the "Broderbund" text, as well as "Solutions for your home & business."

FX/SFX: The rectangles.

Music/Sounds: A synth theme likely composed on a MIDI synthesizer.

Availability: Very rare. It appears on software titles such as version 15 of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.

Editor's Note: None.