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ⓘ History of ITV television idents. The ITV television network began as a group of regional stations, each with their own identities. Each station used its own id ..




History of ITV television idents
                                     

ⓘ History of ITV television idents

The ITV television network began as a group of regional stations, each with their own identities. Each station used its own idents to create an individual identity until the late 1990s when ITV began to introduce a consolidated presentation package as part of a dedicated effort to unify its identity. This article looks at the history of presentation of ITV.

                                     

1. Corporate images

Summer set

On 8 June 2013, ITV introduced its latest set of idents.

Autumn set

ITVs autumn set of idents was introduced on 31 August 2013.

Later additions

On 29 December 2014, ITV introduced 4 new idents from January 2015 and later, more new idents from February 2015 onwards.

Special idents

Special idents have also been used to mark occasions. The idents used for Easter celebrations during 2013 are documented in the list of Spring idents.

Back to School Idents

Two one-off idents are used during Back to School season on ITV in September 2015 to mark the start of the new school day, theyre both aired only once.

                                     

1.1. Corporate images 1989

A new generic ITV logo was introduced on 1 September 1989 and accompanied a first-time, national on-air identity designed by English Markell Pockett with music by Lord David Dundas. The logo was the centre of a whole branding package; there was a national logo and regional logos for all of the ITV franchises. Each franchise had a distinctive portion of their logo included into the V of the ITV logo. The ident was generally formed by beginning with the franchisees logo, then going into a sliding sequence featuring an arctic tern, a couple in period dress, Big Ben, an athlete, and a pair of dancers before the regional ITV logo is reformed. Along with this, each franchise received a regional clock, trailer style, network font and break bumpers.

However, their new look did not go as the designers intended:

  • Granada Television used an altered version to suit their normal branding package.
  • Anglia Television, Channel Television, TVS, TSW and Ulster Television did not adopt the look at all. The logo, however, appeared on network trailers, end boards the company who made the programme or feature and at the start of some networked programmes such as Morning Worship.
  • Yorkshire Televisions moving ident was altered in early 1991 so that their chevron logo appeared full in place of the triangle shape and zoomed into the centre of the screen at the end of the ident, a different font was also used.

Their look was dropped at various times depending on region:

  • HTV completely dropped their look and launched with their own presentation package on 1 January 1993.
  • Thames Television ended the 1989 package entirely, a few weeks after losing their franchise in 1991. This included trailers, holding slides, and created their own ident and presentation package.
  • Scottish Television used the ident sparingly in conjunction with its own, but then dropped it by early part of 1990.
  • Grampian Television continued to use the 1989 generic ident right up until ITVs new corporate logo was introduced in October 1998. They had also been taken over by SMG at this point.
  • Granada Television had dropped their altered ident look in 1991, being replaced with their own package.
  • LWT ended the package after 30 August 1992.
  • Yorkshire Television ended the package in early October 1994 and used their own versions.
  • Tyne Tees Television returned to their own new-look package around 1991, but kept their music in subsequent idents.
  • Central Television used the original version, but quickly decided to revise the ident with many variation linked to their branding. In September 1990 Central introduce a new presentation package, however this still featured ITV logo in some form on certain idents, but these were gradually phased out by 1993.
  • Border Television ended in early September 1993 but kept their music in their own subsequent idents.
                                     

1.2. Corporate images October 1998 – 2002

On 5 October 1998, the ITV logo was changed to a lower cased blue and yellow affair. This was in line with the fact that, with the upper cased ITV logo used previously, the viewer perception of ITV was a high brow stuffy channel, not aimed at younger audiences. ITV changed the logo to reverse the younger audiences perceptions.

On 8 November 1999, the next generic look was launched, designed by English and Pockett with music by Lord David Dundas, both of whom were involved with the last look. The main theme of the look was the ITV slogan of TV from the heart. There were three variations of the ident.

  • An opening film that incorporated a heart shape at the end, before transferring to a spinning hearts background with the region name, with ITV logo below it with their logo in a small box above the name.
  • The name, logo and ITV logo form from lines coming across from the sides of the screen over the spinning hearts background.
  • The name, logo and ITV logo fully formed on a spinning hearts background.

The lines and static idents could also feature a spinning hearts background that was tinted brown that was used during Daytime schedules. The look was accompanied by a clock superimposed on a spinning hearts background, as well as promotions provided by ITVs Network Promotions Unit. A heart break bumper was also provided. Upon launch and over time, some changes were made to the look:

  • In November 2001, an animated "itv.com" website logo was added to the bottom of the idents.
  • HTV and LWT used their logo in place of their name on the end slides.
  • On 11 August 2001, ITV changed its name to ITV1, and the logo was changed accordingly.
  • To allow cross channel promotions, the logos of ITV2 and the ITV Sport Channel could also be added to the idents.
  • By November 2001, most regions had discarded the live action startups.
  • Border Television did not use their logo with the look.

As with the last look, not all of the companies adopted it:

  • The Carlton Television owned regions of Carlton London, Westcountry Television and Central Independent Television all adopted the look besides the idents. Instead, on 6 September 1999 they launched their own take on the hearts instead of using the generic idents. The idents designed by Lambie-Nairn. This look saw the end to the Westcountry Television and Central Independent Television brands. The Idents featured an animation involving dynamic hearts that would end with a star flashing on the top-right corner of the heart to reveal the Carlton Television logo with a star next to it, the ITV logo underneath it, and the Carlton website at the bottom, on a rotating star background.
  • UTV, Grampian Television and Scottish Television does not adopt the look, instead to continue their own look. Both Grampian Television and Scottish Television later took a unified look featuring a blue square in 2000 until 2003.
  • The companies owned by Granada Ltd and UNM, these being Granada Television, Tyne Tees Television, Yorkshire Television, LWT, Border Television, Meridian Broadcasting and Anglia Television all adopted the full look.
  • Channel Television used the look thoroughly, creating a full rebrand out of the elements of the new look. Major changes included a new logo featuring comets forming a heart around a spinning globe and a new slogan "The Heart of the Islands". They used the Idents but with a completely different soundtrack and were the only region to use the clock ident.
  • HTV was originally owned by UNM and so adopted the Hearts look. However, when UNM was sold to Granada Television, to comply with competition laws, HTV had to be sold to Carlton Television. From July 2001 onwards, the idents were slightly changed to a strange mix of Heart and Star. The new Idents would start out with one of the Carlton animations without the Star before flashing white. Following this, the heart shaped flash zooms out to become the V of the HTV logo imposed on the blue spinning hearts background.

Once again like the last look, it was dropped at different times:

  • Channel Television dropped the heart idents on 28 October 2002, but retained the clock for a few more months, and retained the hearts logo and slogan until they were replaced alongside the January 2006 rebrand.
  • LWT dropped the look on 24 March 2000, replacing it with their own video wall idents until 2002.
  • The Granada Television, Tyne Tees Television, Yorkshire Television, LWT, Border Television, Meridian Broadcasting, Anglia Television, Carlton London, Westcountry Television and Central Independent Television regions all dropped the look on 28 October 2002 to be replaced by the celebrity idents until 2004.


                                     

1.3. Corporate images October 2002 – 2004

On Monday 28 October 2002, a new idents package was rolled out across the regions using the central theme of a celebrity posing backstage. There would be a clip of the celebrity chilling-out when they were supposedly off screen. The ITV1 logo had been softened with smoother edges by this point and it would animate on in the bottom right hand corner, being formed from 3 aligned blue blocks and one yellow block. This package also coincided with the centralisation of continuity from the English, Isle of Man and Scottish Border regions to London. As a result of this, announcers were always from a national team of six live from the Carlton/LWT continuity booth, even with regional idents. Wales retained its own announcers for the time being.

The regional versions of the idents were now only used in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout the day. The other regions had their own idents specifically for use before local programmes. These varied subtly by region:

  • The former HTV Wales region was renamed ITV1 Wales. They used the idents featuring a yellow oblong containing the word "WALES" under the ITV1 logo.
  • The Westcountry and Central regions featured that same as above except the Carlton logo below the ITV1 logo outside of a blue box.
  • The Anglia, Border, Granada, Meridian, Tyne Tees and Yorkshire Television regions all featured a celebrity while on the left hand side of the screen against a light blue background, the franchise name is featured in yellow against a navy blue box that surrounds and includes the ITV1 logo
  • Grampian Television and Scottish Television used the national idents replaced with their own two toned blue oblong logo instead of the ITV1 logo. They adopted the look in 2003.
  • The former Carlton London and LWT regions had no regional idents. Both regions now had no on screen identity – not even the name was retained. Before regional programming, a national ident was used with an announcer saying "Youre watching ITV1 for London"
  • Channel Television used their ident before local programmes only. Their ident featured local celebrities, while the left half of the screen displays the Channel heart logo on a navy blue background.
  • UTV also used the main idents, but replacing the ITV1 logo with their own purple and yellow logo.
  • The former HTV West region featured the line "West of England" below the ITV1 logo.

The set of idents were updated with new sets and celebrities on 1 September 2003, with the sets more pronounced blues and yellows and removing the backstage feel. Along with this, news ident graphics and the backgrounds to the regional idents were changed to overlapped blue squares.

A number of regions changed their identities throughout the period:

  • The Central Independent Television, HTV West and Westcountry Television regions used the national idents, but dropped the regional idents three months after the updated look in 2003, replacing them with their own ones. They featured regional landscapes with three large blue cubes and a large yellow cube spread on the landscape. They featured the ITV1 logo in the bottom-right corner with a caption below stating "ITV1 for Central England", "ITV1 for the West of England" and "ITV1 for the Westcountry" respectively.
  • The former HTV Wales region used their package, but adapted it three months after the rebrand in 2004, so that programming only shown to Wales used the landscape idents used by the Central, HTV West and Westcountry regions. Prior to national programming, the celebrities were used.
  • The Grampian, Scottish Television and Channel Television regions kept the 2002 idents and did not adopt the refreshed idents in 2003.
  • The Anglia Television, Border Television, Granada Television, Meridian Broadcasting, Tyne Tees and Yorkshire Television regions all kept the national and regional idents, including the updated idents in 2003.

The look was dropped at different times:

  • Channel Television kept the look until 2004
  • UTV dropped the look following the refresh in 2003, adopting their own regional pictures idents
  • The Grampian and Scottish Television regions kept the 2002 Celebrity idents until 2006.
  • The soon to be ITV plc, namely Anglia, Border, Carlton London, Central, HTV Wales, HTV West, Granada, LWT, Meridian, Tyne Tees and Westcountry and Yorkshire Television regions all dropped the look in 2004
                                     

1.4. Corporate images November 2004 – January 2006

The 1 November 2004 heralded a new on-air look coinciding with the launch of ITV3. The ITV1 logo was reworked, splitting it into separate squares. On-screen, the boxes were arranged as a large yellow square containing the 1 with blue ITV boxes on top. This logo would be seen against a generic background of a blue sky with clouds, windows of a high rise building, underwater with fish swimming by and dark blue ribbons flowing against a blue background.

The plan for these Idents were to use them as mini-menus showing what is coming up soon. The Idents would zoom to the left allowing a short video and description of the upcoming programmes to be shown, before the panels of the videos to become part of the ITV1 logo in the centre of the screen. They were not designed to be traditional idents, however despite the fact that ITV took on a team of associate producers to produce these promotions, the promotional idents were used less and less as the months go on.

During this period, ITV spent a lot of this period using themed idents specific to particular programmes, such as Celebrity Love Island.

Once again, not all of the companies took the look:

  • UTV TV channel completely boycotted the new look, instead opting for an in house look of their own based on pictures of the region.
  • Channel Television used the break bumpers, however instead used their hearts logo against filmed shots of the Channel Islands.
  • The SMG plc companies, namely Grampian and Scottish refused to take the look, remaining with their 2002 national celebrity themed idents until 2006.
  • The ITV plc companies, namely Anglia, Border, Carlton, Central, Granada, HTV Wales, HTV West, LWT, Meridian, Tyne Tees, Westcountry and Yorkshire Television all adopted the look.

Regional idents were available, and featured the ITV1 ident with the region name written under the logo, to a background of different shades of dark blue. However, the ident was becoming less frequently seen, usually only before some local news bulletins and the decreasing number of regional programming. ITV1 Wales was the exception to the rule, with a Wales name added to the bottom of all idents in their package.

The ITV plc regions, the only regions to adopt the look, dropped it in 2006 in favour of a complete overhaul.

                                     

1.5. Corporate images January – November 2006

On 16 January 2006 a brand new logo and presentation package was unleashed. It brought ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3 in line with ITV4. It was part of a major rebrand of the ITV network, known as Brand 2010, which also included the News and Sport divisions as well as off screen content. It was designed by Red Bee Media following a perception analysis carried out by the audience. The results stated that although all the ITV channels had a good combining brand, with the ITV logo, they all looked the same, couldnt be told apart, that their programming values were blurred and that the ITV logo itself was getting boring.

The solution was to make a new logo in a rounded off box, involving the lower case itv. These, it was claimed, made the service look friendly, retaining what had been attempted in 1998, and yet fresh and crisp. From there they added an extra rectangle on the other side of the channel name. All channel shared this look with the colour being the only main difference with the exception of the name. This provided the distinctiveness, yet unity they sought.

The ITV1 idents were created on the basis that ITV1 provokes "an emotion response in all of us" and therefore the so-called Emotion idents were created. Many were shot in South Africa and featured a montage of unrelated scenes, which include such things as a man rubbing his bare chest, girls rolling down a hill and two people hugging trees. These represented moods such as joy, pride, sadness, love etc. In them the ITV1 logo would open out and enclose the footage it was superimposed on to. The exception to the rule was one of the ITV1 logo on a black background, used to introduce the news.

The look was controversial both with critics, online and in print, viewers and ITV bosses who saw the look too vague. This look had one regional ident, Pride which was used before regional programming and also for a time at the 19:00 and 22:30 junctions on Thursdays, with an announcer name checking the regional station on some occasions. These were the last ITV idents to include the regions name onscreen. ITV1 Wales also had a full selection of idents for a time before they began using the standard ITV1 idents with the Wales added on the live television feed during transmission.

Only two of the four ITV parent companies adopted any part of the look:

  • UTV refused to adopt the look, instead opting for their in-house created landscapes look.
  • The SMG regions of Scottish Television and Grampian Television, both now branded as STV, refused to adopt the look vowing instead for their look involving Scottish people and a large elongated S, finally retiring the 2002 national Celebrity idents after four years.
  • The ITV plc regions of Anglia, Border, Carlton, Central, Granada, HTV Wales, HTV West, LWT, Meridian, Tyne Tees, Westcountry and Yorkshire Television all adopted the full look. They dropped it in November.
  • Channel Television adapted the look by using the logo and music, but replacing the emotional pictures themselves with images of the islands. They had by now dropped the 1999 comets logo, replacing it with the yellow ITV1 logo, with the name Channel Television underneath the ITV1 logo.

The Idents themselves and their contents:



                                     

1.6. Corporate images November 2006 – January 2013

The next presentation of ITV1 was launched on 13 November 2006, just 10 months after the last new look. Following the issues with the previous one, the themes were changed slightly: the logo remained the same shape and style, but with the letters ITV changed to black so as to contrast with the yellow of the logo better. This look had also saw another change for regional idents for the ITV plc owned stations; the regional names were now used leading into the regional news only.

The ident films themselves were scrapped and a new set created following the theme of "Alive with Colour" with ITV promoting the new idents as the "second phase" of the look introduced in January. The idents, based on the previous set by Red Bee Media, were designed by The Mill and produced by Blink Productions and Pleix include surreal scenes featuring yellow colours to the same audio track.

The look launched with six idents: Beach, Bike, Lake, Market, Basketball and Pavement Art, with another 4 added on 3 September 2007 which runs in tandem with the previous ones. These latest idents included an ITV1 logo that was bigger than the ones launched in 2006, but retained the same soundtrack. In April 2010, ITV1 HD was launched, featuring an updated glossier logo based on that of ITV1. In response, ITV1 changed their logo to the glossier version and launched another four idents. These latest idents have been noticeably different from their predecessors: the logo was once again larger and faded on in parts. They also featured individual soundtracks based on those previously and the style of the ident themselves, namely the shooting of them, was very different from those before them. They were accompanied on screen by updated programme promotions, end credit promotions, stings and break bumpers.

Because of these changes, all of the idents were updated with the new logo, including making it bigger in many places. However, the soundtracks remained the same causing some to question why the other idents werent changed with the new looks. Viewer opinions suggest that the original music is unpopular, but the ident package itself generally popular. This has been the longest lasting ITV generic look to date, lasting far longer than the 1999 Hearts, and being kept by far more companies and for longer collectively than the 1989 Generic look. The primary criticisms of the look have been the scrapping of regional idents. All regions are introduced with a national ident and the region is not referenced to in the announcement. The exception to the rule is ITV1 Wales, with includes the word Wales either underneath the ident or located in the bottom left hand corner of the ident. The Wales ident was used before all programming except overnight for the first few years of the rebrand before being quietly relegated to regional junctions only.

This package was only seen in some areas of the ITV network however:

  • The STV Group companies of Scottish Television and Grampian Television refused the look, instead continuing their STV S idents until 2009 which was replaced by their current arrow picture idents.
  • Channel Television only used it on national programming and continues with the January 2006 look with their own landscape pictures before regional programming. However the new logo did appear on some network promotions on the station, due to their network link from ITV Meridian being unclean. From 2011, all regional programmes were preceded with new idents featuring the new ITV1 logo of 2010 but soon killed it off.
  • UTV refused to adopt the look, instead opting for their in house produced postcard idents of Northern Ireland landscapes.
  • All ITV plc companies of Anglia, Border, Carlton, Central, Granada, HTV Wales, HTV West, LWT, Meridian, Tyne Tees, Westcountry and Yorkshire Television adopted the look.

The ITV plc regions, the only regions to adopt the look, dropped it in 2013 in favour of a complete overhaul.

The idents include:

                                     

1.7. Corporate images January 2013 – January 2019

On 15 November 2012, it was announced that ITV1 was to receive a rebrand in January 2013, in which it would revert to its old name of ITV. A new "curvy" logo was introduced with new idents and presentation package. This was first implemented on 14 January 2013. On the same day, ITV1 +1 and ITV1 HD were rebranded to ITV +1 and ITV HD respectively, whilst sister channels ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV all received new idents and presentation based upon the new corporate logo.

ITVs new idents were created to reflect "everyday life of the Great British public". New idents will be brought in on a consistent basis to reflect the four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. In addition, the new ITV logo changes colour on each ident, a process named as "colour picking", in which each segment of the logo adopts the colour of whatever passes behind it.

This package is only seen on the ITV plc owned companies of Anglia, Border, Central, Channel Television, Granada, London, Meridian, Tyne Tees, Wales Later ITV Cymru Wales, West Country and Yorkshire.

UTV fully used the look, when ITV plc bought the channel in February 2016 and relaunched it on 17 October 2016 to match ITVs 2013 branding.

The STV Group companies of STV Central and STV North have refused their new look, instead continuing with their arrow flip idents introduced on 23 March 2009, before being rebranded on 2 June 2014.

These are the idents to have been featured so far:

                                     

1.8. Corporate images Winter set

At Christmas 2013, a selection of the Winter set of idents returned for use before non-entertainment programming such as news broadcasts. Following the withdrawal of the Christmas idents, the complete set returned for its second rotation on 2 January 2014, all in edited form: as with the subsequent sets, the idents now have the logo form-up much earlier, and it stays on for the remainder of the duration.

                                     

1.9. Corporate images Spring set

On 13 April 2013, three months on from the rebrand, ITV introduced a new set of idents. A notable change with these idents is that the logo stays on screen until the end whereas in previous idents would fade away during the ident.

                                     

1.10. Corporate images Summer set

On 8 June 2013, ITV introduced its latest set of idents.

                                     

1.11. Corporate images Autumn set

ITVs autumn set of idents was introduced on 31 August 2013.

                                     

1.12. Corporate images Later additions

On 29 December 2014, ITV introduced 4 new idents from January 2015 and later, more new idents from February 2015 onwards.

                                     

1.13. Corporate images Special idents

Special idents have also been used to mark occasions. The idents used for Easter celebrations during 2013 are documented in the list of Spring idents.

                                     

1.14. Corporate images Football

Special idents have used to coincide the ITVs coverage of football leagues and sporting programmes, with four idents continued as the part of the live coverage and sport events: "Face Painting", "Garden Kickout", "Trophy Engraving" and "Celebration".

                                     

1.15. Corporate images Back to School Idents

Two one-off idents are used during Back to School season on ITV in September 2015 to mark the start of the new school day, theyre both aired only once.

                                     

1.16. Corporate images Rugby World Cup Idents

These special idents were used to coincide the ITVs coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup during 18 September until 31 October, as well as sporting programmes. This coverage will continue as part of the Six Nations 2016.

                                     

1.17. Corporate images ITV Creates 2019–present

In December 2018, ITV announced a new project, ITV Creates, which would be the basis of its idents beginning on 1 January 2019. The network will commission artwork featuring the ITV logo from British artists, which will be used as the basis for a new set of idents every week. The first 8 artists of the project were Ravi Deepres, Sutapa Biswas, James Brunt, Patricia Volk, Mark Titchner, Katrina Russell Adams, Kristina Veasey, and James Alec Hardy. ITV Creative executive creative director Tony Pipes explained that the project was meant to be a platform for British visual artists, reflect ITVs position as being an "endlessly creative" broadcaster, and counter the traditional notion of idents being a static theme used for a long-term period.

Artists in order of appearance: Ravi Deepres, Sutapa Biswas, James Brunt, Patricia Volk, Mark Titchner, Katrina Russell-Adams, Kristina Veasey, James Alec Hardy, Alec Stevens, Charley Peters, Isabel + Helen, Bharti Parmar, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Olly Fathers, CJ Mahony, Fiona Grady, Laurie Nouchka, Caroline Wright, Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq, Liz West, Gayle Chong Kwan, Florence Mytum, Greta Davies, Rabiya Choudhry, Carleen de Sozer, Sargent & Seers, Yvette Hawkins, Julia Vogl, 121.Collective, Downing & Weston, Brandon Saunders, Bournemouth Fine Art Students, Ash Kayser, Erin Taylor, Emily Forgot, Florence Blanchard, Russell Bamber, Louise Bristow, Yinka Ilori, Fernando Laposse, Stuart Robinson, Noemi Lakmaier, NEON, Kochi Kochi, Jo Taylor, Anna Berry, Sam Curtis, Dan Rawlings, Faith Bebbington, Hattie Newman, Melanie Tomlinson and Anna Lomax.

The ITV Creates idents are only used by the ITV-branded stations. UTV continues to use 2013 ident series, but did adopt the new on-air presentation used alongside the new idents. The STV Group of STV Central and STV North refused to adopt the look, instead continuing the 2014 look.



                                     
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