The Gallery

Channel 4 - 40th Anniversary Designs

A milestone worth celebrating..

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
CC
C.Channel04
I have been busy with yet another project, and it's another extensive one. But, with different software, using my Chromebook, it was a fun challenge to see if I could push my usual skills to another level. The past few days have seen me use lots of references to remake all of the channel's identities for it's Ruby Jubilee - my idea is that C4 would use them starting in the order they first appeared, each week, from the 2nd November (which is obviously the date Channel 4 began), showing all kinds of programmes from every decade, the ones which made the most impact on viewers, some of the most iconic, and controversial shows to grace a television screen.

Need I say more? This is going to be quite long, but I'll gladly go through each design(s) as a whole, and where better to start than a remake of the original Lambie-Nairn logo, and the ''80s and 90s" week.

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Now, my remake doesn't quite look like the original, but it is the start of something which I have completely made by myself, and so much time has been put into making every detail right, all around. You may also notice a recurring motif in the hashtag, which, I'm sure Channel 4 would do so themselves, because, what better way to get involved than with social media, these days?
(Disclaimer: every photo will be watermarked to prevent anyone who may be tempted to steal others' work and pass it off as their own...)


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The idea of THIS logo came from an idea I suggested to a friend of mine on Discord, based on 'Space Trip', one of the original 1982 idents. What you'd seen on screen is as follows:

We start with the Giant from the 2017 rebrand, and all of a sudden, to the tune of the Fourscore, he explodes into blocks that are the same shape as his body parts, which then flies up to the night sky to form the '4', but also what appears to be a '0' - obviously, it's a special ident to commemorate the 40th anniversary. After the symbols are formed, a la LWT, the shapes shine behind the backdrop of stars.



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This is where things start to become a little different. This is a remake of the late 1996 continuity menu, with every shape remade and coloured to follow the original, and the '4' symbol gets some gradients on the blocks. As you can see, since the great Lambie-Nairn died last Christmas, the channel would dedicate a programme to him, for being the creator of one of the most iconic logos in British television, and for designing the memorable idents that we all know and love.


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I don't think there was a proper menu designed to showcase what programmes would be coming next in late '96, so this is where guesswork and imagination come together. The background has been flipped to the other side, as I wouldn't want to reuse the same background layout, since it'd be boring for viewers.


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I always preferred the 1994 clock to the original, as the shine coming from the black circle makes everything look pretty good, and provides an extra source of light not seen in the wholly-black background of the previous variant, hence why I chose to remake it.


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I swear I saw a temporary fault slide on YouTube in the 1992 style, but I couldn't find what clip it was, so this was another design where guesswork was used. The background also is different, but only because I don't think I'd be confident to use skills to remove text and the symbol from a 'good' quality screenshot of it. The text is also different as I doubt a simple 'Programmes will continue shortly' would be appropriate for this era... at least, that's what I think.



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We now move to the 1996-99 era. Some call it 'Circles', others say 'Connections'. Regardless, this was the identity that I often edited to get every detail correct. It was also the most fun, particularly since this is one of my favourite identities the channel used throughout that time. This ident idea, as you can see, shows the colours of the previous symbol as fireworks exploding in the sky, appropriate for the celebrations.


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The first of the continuity slides that I made for this presentation, complete with clock.


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I saw the mock closedown that was supposed to show a larger clock against a background, on YouTube, and I was practically fooled by it, at first, because it seemed SO real! The idea for the two clocks shown is that they are supposed to be for the Channel 4 News pre-intro, hence why they are always at 7 o'clock.


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Connections didn't have a temporary fault slide, so this is my idea of what it would have been like. The caption has been changed to suit the era, as well, which I personally love. The arrangement of the circles has also been changed from the ident idea, as so to not simply reuse things and not bother to change them.



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We now switch to the identity which saw C4 through to the New Millenium at its early stage of life. The idea for the ident is that the colour motif for the Connections ident returns, but put into the familiar moving rectangles.


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This promo slide is also a little sneak peek into my designs for a possible return of Big Brother, returning it to the 2000 format which made it so famous at the very start. This programme would be about the show's creation in the UK, and its legacy around the world, shown a few months after the Final would have taken place around August.


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An idea for the 'Next' slide and each programme would have a particular background suited to the colour of the logo - in this case, Countdown would be dark blue, even applying for the Cats special. You may also notice an 'odd one out' square, only because I had troubles fitting in Susie, Jimmy and Rachel all into one separate square(s), so I filled it in with a frame from the title sequence.


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The first of the programme information slides shown during the closing credits of another. Nothing really much to say about it, bar that this is based on the 2002 variant.


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A little menu of the next three programmes. My friend on Discord suggested to me the idea of the white rectangles after I sent him an idea based on the 1999 menu, with the rectangle beside the programmes that would make the '4' square shine white. Naturally, I went along with him, and I made some refinements after some of the rectangles seemed too bright, and drowned out the text.


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Like Connections, I don't think there was a proper temporary fault slide for the SPIN/STATIC era, so this was another imagination piece of work. The colours of the test card are the motif of this idea, in line with an in-joke about the loss of programmes.



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The next week begins with the arrival of the 2004-10 rebrand, and the one which I grew up with as a child. This whole presentation might have never got the ideas I put in without having remade the graphics first, and I was very pleased with my work, especially since I actually remade the knockout shadow to fill with some pictures!
By the way, this idea for Deal's return is part of another idea: Channel 4 would commission one-off specials of shows that everyone knows, or was huge successes in the past, as a hidden curtain-raiser to a new series. The idea of Deal is that the Dream Factory becomes a massive club, and follows on from the old USA format, but the things that made it unique to us are still there, albeit modernised.



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I was quite surprised that Channel 4 never used a test card background for the breakdown slide, as it would have been more fitting than the blank-ish background we actually got. This is also another slide that I like because it showcases my skills of perspective, which is prominent in the whole rebrand of that time.


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This is an idea for the menu, and although I made the zoomed-in variant on the other presentation I mentioned, I forgot to adapt it for the 40 Years presentation. Nonetheless, you can see it below this text after I stop now:


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This is an idea for the information slide, and you may be surprised to see the name of the answer to TOTP when C4 started back in 1982, presented by Jools Holland before he moved to the BBC.


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And, rather appropriately, we end with an endboard idea. For Countdown, the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s would pay homage to the old days with the Yorkshire Television endboards, as I think using the modern endboard with changes for all identities would be less than satisfactory with TV Forum members who watch TV daily. I couldn't find the same background the '4' has, so I found a replacement online. I would think that the old background would reappear on screen, in reality, though...



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The 2010 rebrand follows, and it's the shortest in terms of slide ideas, as some of the things would be the same as the previous ideas, including the information slide. But, this was the identity that gave me a headache at first, as I didn't know how I would pull off both the PHYSICAL shape of the 4 alongside the knockout shadow. I managed to achieve it, luckily, to some extent.


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A new breakdown slide to replace the plain one actually used, that also seemed to be a hangover from the previous design Rudd Studio came up with. This would be much better, in my opinion, as the 4 would actually animate again, rather than just stay static.


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Then, the 'Tonight' menu. I found this rather fun to recreate, as it's rather simple, despite the angle making it seem like it isn't.


I will continue the post in a reply, owing to the preview not showing what's next to come...
CC
C.Channel04
Continuing on from the main post...

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Finally, the present look, returning to the coloured blocks. This would be a mixture of both the 2015 and '17 refreshes, showing the symbol occasionally, and some new idents. I forgot to mention that I didn't do ident ideas for the last three designs because they would be live-action idents of familiar locations where shows were made, as well as some new ideas, and there would be a way to put the Giant into the juxtaposition of the newer idents, such as it walking along Horseferry Road, the old HQ of the channel.


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And with that, that is all the designs I have to show. It was very interesting to see how I could do all these ideas within the constraints of my Chromebook, and I think I've done it pretty well. I'd love to hear back from you and see all your comments and suggestions, which I'll take with appreciation (and maybe a pinch of salt, I don't know).
This may be my last proper post to TV Forum before the cancellation date comes, but I won't know until I decide if there is something I need to show you all, not just my Discord friends. So, with that, thank you very much for having me as part of this website, any of those who may be a high-up or really respected member, and do enjoy these designs!
JL
J. Lyric
You know what? I like this.
JosiahStuart and C.Channel04 gave kudos
LL
Larry the Loafer
Lush!
RI
richard110888 New member
I like it too but personally I would remove the 2 blocks from inside the zero. Its clever how you have used the original shapes which make up the 4. The 4 is made up of 9 shapes and the outside of your zero is made of 9 shapes

I find myself getting distracted by the watermark background. At first I thought it was some special branding for their birthday but I could not understand why they were calling themselves c.channelo4 then I looked at your username Razz
JosiahStuart and C.Channel04 gave kudos
CC
C.Channel04
I like it too but personally I would remove the 2 blocks from inside the zero. Its clever how you have used the original shapes which make up the 4. The 4 is made up of 9 shapes and the outside of your zero is made of 9 shapes

I find myself getting distracted by the watermark background. At first I thought it was some special branding for their birthday but I could not understand why they were calling themselves c.channelo4 then I looked at your username Razz

I was basing the 'zero' on something Jay S made that I saw on his website, but I didn't realise how many blocks there were! That's a very good thing to point out, actually!

And, my friend on Discord suggested I use a watermark, and considering the amount of work I've done, it's not gonna be an extra touch! 😂
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rob Founding member
Very nice, but that watermark is terrible.
CC
C.Channel04
rob posted:
Very nice, but that watermark is terrible.

Ah... I see.

Just asking, do you have any good suggestions on how I can change the watermark? Like, getting rid of the '4'?
CC
C.Channel04
I like it too but personally I would remove the 2 blocks from inside the zero. Its clever how you have used the original shapes which make up the 4. The 4 is made up of 9 shapes and the outside of your zero is made of 9 shapes

I find myself getting distracted by the watermark background. At first I thought it was some special branding for their birthday but I could not understand why they were calling themselves c.channelo4 then I looked at your username Razz

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Here's the revised version for you! I hope it looks better now.
RO
rob Founding member
rob posted:
Very nice, but that watermark is terrible.

Ah... I see.

Just asking, do you have any good suggestions on how I can change the watermark? Like, getting rid of the '4'?


Ditch it completely. It's not necessary.
DM
DeMarkay
rob posted:
rob posted:
Very nice, but that watermark is terrible.

Ah... I see.

Just asking, do you have any good suggestions on how I can change the watermark? Like, getting rid of the '4'?


Ditch it completely. It's not necessary.


Well, he clearly doesn’t want anyone to steal his work, that’s why it’s there.
FA
fanoftv
Wonderful, faithful recreations. Very well done.

Through them it takes me back to my days growing up in awe of their connections/circles presentation (so ahead of it’s time imo), and the simplicity of the original square/rectangles branding. I associate it with strong programming, especially growing into adolescence during that branding.

I also think your current work shows how easily the colours could return and be used with the current branding on a permanent basis. Very strong imo.

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