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VMPhil8,050 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today

For me, it was 2002 which marked the beginning of a sharp decline (and ironically, the year that got me into idents in the first place). We had the dancers replacing the balloon on BBC One, the celebrities on ITV1, and five and UK Gold adopting very dull real life shots with a logo slapped on them, while BBC Two re-used a Christmas ident for the first time. There's been the occasional bright spot (2005 was quite good with both BBC channels getting new, and decent idents) but it does make me sad that we won't ever experience the sort of greatness we once had.

I've always associated 2002 with the decline of TV pres in general as well - it's bounced back since then, but there was a period of time from then when it all went a bit boring and people generally lost interest in it, such as TV Home closing a couple of years later. (Not that people lost interest entirely, but that's just how I felt at the time).
BillyH1,226 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
Yeah I think pres is in a much better state now than the early-mid noughties, when virtually every ident seemed to just be a random live-action clip (whether featuring dancers, celebrities or someone doing the washing up) with a logo slapped on the top. I remember being pleasantly surprised when the new Channel 4 look debuted as it seemed more creative than anything else around, along with the BBC1 circles a couple years later.

Also a reminder that a decade ago everyone kept changing their idents every few years, whereas now BBC1's are coming up to a decade of use, Ch4 only just retired their 2004 set and BBC2 are using ones from almost 25 years ago!
Member since 26 May 2001
Larry the Loafer4,787 posts since 2 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
Also a reminder that a decade ago everyone kept changing their idents every few years, whereas now BBC1's are coming up to a decade of use, Ch4 only just retired their 2004 set and BBC2 are using ones from almost 25 years ago!


I'm sure the BBC would refresh them if they could afford to/wouldn't be savaged by the press for "wasting" licence fee money. At least I hope that's the case, as I dread to think anybody at the BBC still thinks the circles look fresh. Personally, I'm flabbergasted when I come across a recording from 2006, excepting presentation I haven't seen for ages, and find it's the same thing they're still using to this day.

And considering Channel 4's original 1982 look lasted until 1996, they strike me as a company who finds something that works and sticks with it for as long as possible. Especially when you consider the flexibility of both that and the 2004/5 set, by which I mean they were easily able to made additions and amendments in order to keep the look fresh, they set themselves up to avoid the risk of their idents becoming stale... unlike now.
Steve in Pudsey8,582 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I have a theory:

Compared to the majority of channels, BBC 1 and 2, ITV and to a lesser extent C4 need much longer idents, bescause of the reactive nature of the channels. Long idents that can be cut short, meaning that junctions can be contracted or extended to get back on schedule after live programmes.

So while channels where everything is pre-recorded can use relatively short idents and regularly change them, the reactive channels need much better thought out idents. So it's not surprising that when they have something that kind of works they stick with it.
Write that down in your copybook now.
PFMC841,031 posts since 28 Feb 2013
UTV Newsline
...they strike me as a company who finds something that works and sticks with it for as long as possible
Their 1996 look didn't work, and they kept it for 3 years. Something tells me these blocks may not last as long as other ident sets, in fact, I'd be surprised if they lasted 3 years before being replaced with something different, but the rest of the presentation style being kept.
62305820,740 posts since 19 Aug 2005
STV Central Reporting Scotland
...they strike me as a company who finds something that works and sticks with it for as long as possible
Their 1996 look didn't work, and they kept it for 3 years. Something tells me these blocks may not last as long as other ident sets, in fact, I'd be surprised if they lasted 3 years before being replaced with something different, but the rest of the presentation style being kept.


that 1996 look had alot of idents, and all completely different. http://www.tv-live.org.uk/tv-presentation/channel-4/channel-4/1996-1999/ some of them are like the current idents.
Is the next post dreaded?
VMPhil8,050 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I'm not sure I'd agree that the 1996 look "didn't work", I don't think it would have reached TV screens if it was that bad. I imagine whoever running Channel 4 by 1999 just wanted a new look - remember, that package only lasted three years as well before they refreshed the idents and presentation in 2002, and the 2004 look lasted until 2009/2010 before they refreshed the surrounding presentation.
mr_vivian386 posts since 11 Oct 2015
UTV Newsline
I'm not sure I'd agree that the 1996 look "didn't work", I don't think it would have reached TV screens if it was that bad. I imagine whoever running Channel 4 by 1999 just wanted a new look - remember, that package only lasted three years as well before they refreshed the idents and presentation in 2002, and the 2004 look lasted until 2009/2010 before they refreshed the surrounding presentation.


I had no problem with the 1996 Channel 4 ident - but I hate what they did to the logo in 96.

The 1996 idents were pretty successful - 3 years is pretty decent. When they moved it from a circle to a box I just despaired (I REALLY hate boxes). Then finally in 2004 the logo was free from circles and boxes and the world was right again.

I do agree with the point however that the current run of idents on Channel 4 will not go on for long... they are tired already... so what you can bet on right now is that they are absorbing the reaction to the current ones and working out what to do next. The idea of not showing the logo on screen will remain for a while... but the idents will evolve and may perhaps get even weirder.

Look, BBC TWO and Channel 4 have wonderful unique logos - I just wish these design companies would just strip away all this "be risky" nonsense and just KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Interceptor644 posts since 20 Oct 2014
The circles era (bar the IVC) were pretty poor really. At the time I remember feeling the boxes were repetitive, but I think that's because if at peak times they weren't using the idents, just the now & next boards (which had much simpler animations). The idents themselves were lovely (from all 3 sets of them they had).