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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone March 26, 2024

Nickelodeon’s splat logo a nod to its past, not Jeffrey Epstein’s island

If Your Time is short

  • Nickelodeon’s logo was designed in the network’s 2023 rebranding. It was created to create a sense of nostalgia for the network’s early branding, which included a "splat" logo.

  • No spin, just facts you can trust. Here's how we do it.

The four-part docuseries "Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" put Nickelodeon in the spotlight with its allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct at the children’s television network. Now, some social media users say the network’s logo also represents something dark.

Multiple social media posts compared Nickelodeon’s famous orange "splat" logo to aerial images of Little St. James, a 75-acre island in the U.S. Virgin Islands once owned by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

"The Nickelodeon logo is ACTUALLY Epstein island," read a March 24 Facebook post. "They always put the truth in plain sight."

We found numerous social media posts connecting the logo to the island’s shape.

The logo bears a passing resemblance to aerial photos of Little St. James, such as this one captured by a Reuters photographer in 2019 and this Google Earth image. But there’s no evidence that the logo’s designers had Epstein’s island in mind when creating the new logo.

The Facebook posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

(Facebook screenshot)

The Nickelodeon logo is part of a 2023 rebrand for the network that harked back to a previous logo, known as the "splat," variations of which were used from the 1980s until 2009.

Featured Fact-check

@politifact Replying to @Nykieria There’s no evidence Nickelodeon’s famous “splat” logo is a nod to an island owned by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The logo was designed in the network’s 2023 rebranding to create a sense of nostalgia for the network’s early identity. #nickelodeon #factcheck #logo #fyp #learnontiktok ♬ Minimal for news / news suspense(1169746) - Hiraoka Kotaro

In trade publication articles about Nickelodeon’s rebranding, Sabrina Caluori, a Nickelodeon executive, said research showed strong feelings for the network’s legacy identity, so it was a way to target nostalgic parents who watch TV with their children. The "core DNA" of the brand also resonated with children, Caluori told Ad Week.

The Los Angeles-based branding and design agency Roger worked with Nickelodeon’s design team on the logo. 

Roger, on a webpage, said Nickelodeon’s rebrand reimagined the splat logo by seeking to simplify the shape and "establish it as the starting point for the rest of the graphic language built around it."

The agency used a circular grid "inspired by the construction of the I from the" Nickelodeon text logo, which has a circle dotting the letter. The grid would allow for additional "splat" shapes that would fit the brand identity. The website showed different examples of the splat shape used across Nickelodeon products. It did not mention Epstein, nor his island.

"Quiet on Set" has been in the news since it premiered March 17 on Investigation Discovery (all episodes are now streaming on Max). The documentary focuses on an allegedly toxic working environment created by producer Dan Schneider, who produced several hit shows on Nickelodeon that helped launch the careers of actors such as Amanda Bynes and Ariana Grande.

The documentary also highlights two Nickelodeon employees who were convicted of child sexual crimes. Former child actor Drake Bell was a victim in one case. He came forward publicly in the documentary as a victim of dialogue coach Brian Peck, who pleaded guilty in 2004 and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. A production assistant and an animator who worked at Nickelodeon also were convicted of sex crimes involving children, The New York Times reported. We have found no connection between Schneider and Epstein in searches of Google and Nexis, a news database.

The claim that the Nickelodeon logo was designed to mimic Epstein’s private island has no merit. The claim is False.

PolitiFact Researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Our Sources

Facebook post, March 24, 2024

Nickelodeon, Instagram post, May 9, 2023

Fast Company, The splat is back: Why Nickelodeon rebranded for the first time in 14 years, May 19, 2023

Design Week, Nickelodeon rebrands for the first time in 14 years, July 12, 2023 

Creative Bloq, The Nickelodeon logo: a history, July 25, 2023

Logopedia, Nickelodeon/Logo Variations, accessed March 25, 2024 

Ad Week, Nickelodeon Refreshes Brand for First Time in 14 Years—and Brings Back Splat, May 8, 2023

Roger, Nickelodeon Global Rebrand, accessed March 25, 2024

Reuters, Little St. James Island, July 21, 2019

Google Earth, Little St. James Island, accessed March 25, 2024

Vulture, Quiet on Set Shows the Darkest Side of Kids TV, March 19, 2024

IMDB, Drake Bell acting credits, accessed March 25, 2024

Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Acting and Dialogue Coach Arrested for Lewd Acts with a Child, Aug. 20, 2003

NBC News, Drake Bell and other former Nickelodeon stars allege toxic environment in new docuseries, March 13, 2024

The Washington Post, ‘Quiet on Set’ alleges a ‘dark underbelly’ at Nickelodeon, March 23, 2024

The New York Times, ‘Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV’: 5 Takeaways, March 20, 2024

The Guardian, Quiet on Set: ex-Nickelodeon child stars allege abuse and toxic culture, March 22, 2024

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Nickelodeon’s splat logo a nod to its past, not Jeffrey Epstein’s island

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