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Logos for broadcasters

(August 2009)

DV
DVB Cornwall West Country (West) Spotlight
Back in the dim and distant past TV company logos were wholly graphical and didn't have backing video to go with them for continuity or stings.

So a question... Is it time for WHOLLY graphic logos without accompanying video or film to make a return to our screens, or have broadcasters decided that it's just too simple to do and that complexity is the name of the game?
TVF
TV Forum Team
This topic has been moved from The Gallery
DA
davidmcg
Back in the dim and distant past TV company logos were wholly graphical and didn't have backing video to go with them for continuity or stings.

So a question... Is it time for WHOLLY graphic logos without accompanying video or film to make a return to our screens, or have broadcasters decided that it's just too simple to do and that complexity is the name of the game?


It would be a step backward surely? The reason we have backing video now (which is the idents in the case of Channel 4) is that people didn't think still logos were any good! I wouldnt want them back, it would be the sign of a cheap rebrand for me.
FA
fanoftv Central (West) Midlands Today
Back in the dim and distant past TV company logos were wholly graphical and didn't have backing video to go with them for continuity or stings.

So a question... Is it time for WHOLLY graphic logos without accompanying video or film to make a return to our screens, or have broadcasters decided that it's just too simple to do and that complexity is the name of the game?


It would be a step backward surely? The reason we have backing video now (which is the idents in the case of Channel 4) is that people didn't think still logos were any good! I wouldnt want them back, it would be the sign of a cheap rebrand for me.


If they weren't still logos, could graphical logos work to represent a modern channel without having to have the lettering to spell out the channel name. Could something be created to sell the channel without a typeface. I'd imagine that most people of an older generation could tell (or could have told) you the different ITV networks based on the Granada G, the Central Cake & the Yorkshire Chevron alone.
RD
rdd Founding member
Back in the dim and distant past TV company logos were wholly graphical and didn't have backing video to go with them for continuity or stings.

So a question... Is it time for WHOLLY graphic logos without accompanying video or film to make a return to our screens, or have broadcasters decided that it's just too simple to do and that complexity is the name of the game?


TV3's current look (since January) is completely graphical. It looks awful, it's basically a domino of "3"s or else a bouncing "3" on a purple/grey background. Completely awful compared to what came before it.

So no, I'm not sure a complely graphical look works...BBC Three's idents are also completely graphical, but have far too much going on in them.
BR
Brekkie Recently warned Wales Wales Today
Well Five has some wholly graphical idents, which look a hell of a lot better than their current "real" idents. Fiver too is graphical, and they work quite well too.
Last edited by Brekkie on 15 August 2009 6:45pm
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.
CW
cwathen Founding member West Country (West) Spotlight
Quote:
If they weren't still logos, could graphical logos work to represent a modern channel without having to have the lettering to spell out the channel name. Could something be created to sell the channel without a typeface. I'd imagine that most people of an older generation could tell (or could have told) you the different ITV networks based on the Granada G, the Central Cake & the Yorkshire Chevron alone.

I think there are two issues issues here. One about the design of the actual logo, and the other about the design of the idents that the logo is used on.

My issues with modern brands (brands in general, not just in TV circles) is that they are all based on text, there is no symbol. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and to a certain extent this is true - things like the Yorkshire chevron, the Tyne Tees 'TTTV', Granada 'G' and the Central cake were all capable of identifying with the broadcaster on their own. This was eventually proved when Granada's 1994 ident had just the logo, but in no way did people fail to identify with the Granada name because of this.

Yorkshire and Tyne Tees later did the same thing with their 1999-2002 regional idents.

Having a symbol for your brand is also is a very powerful tool in brand awareness because graphical logos are completely unique to one brand, by definition nothing else will ever look anything like them.

This only changed when branding became an industry in itself. All these old symbols took years to bed in and were difficult to change without destroying the brand awareness. This was fine when branding was done in house but would never do for an industry which relied on being able to sell a company the idea that their brand had to change every few years in order to stay fresh.

But if that is going to happen, then the actual company name is the only way of preserving brand awareness when something new is introduced, leading to the current situation where symbols are rare and most corporate logos are simply the company's trading name written in a specific font and colour.

The lack of any iconic quality in modern branding coupled with the frequent changes in my view all makes modern branding very dull and samey - and you can see this on TV.

The other issue here, is that once you have your logo, what do you do with it. The basic purpose of an ident is for you to so associate certain programmes with certain channels. I would argue that the best way to do this is through pleasing visuals and soundtrack. Again, in my view older idents excel here - it doesn't matter why the YTV logo emerged from a river of liquid gold, it doesn't matter why the Central colours appeared as spheres which 'splashed' into the cake, it doesn't matter what the Anglia flag was doing during it's formup, all that matters is that idents of this ilk look good, sound good, give the logo itself the bulk of the screen space, and are memorable - this gives you all the brand awareness you need.

Again, this won't do for a brand consultant which has to create 'meaningful' idents in order to justify what they cost. Leading again to the situation where most idents are some bit of film which 'means' something with the logo plastered on top, and worst of all, in order that you can appreciate the meaning, the corporate logo itself is usually very small!

Brand consultants will of course poo poo those simpler times and wax lyrical about the importance of the work their industry does but consider this - in the old days a brand was strong enough that it could stay in place for decades, and a TV ident could carry on for years and years without a change, yet today their work is only good enough to last a short time before it needs replacement. Why is that?

To this day, one of the most memorable pieces of branding in the south west is the good old TSW ident. Neither the original nor the second version cost millions of pounds to make, and in the actual words of the person who designed them 'it doesn't really mean anything' . But it's still memorable, and it didn't cost the earth to make. Says it all really.

I'd argue that the best ident made in the last 5 years is the (now sadly axed) 2nd BBC HD ident from last year. Brilliant because it has all the qualities that an old ident had - it was big, it was in your face, and it was devoid of all meaning - it simply looked good and sounded good. What is so terrible about that?
CH
Chie
Excellent post, cwathen.

Having a symbol for your brand is also is a very powerful tool in brand awareness because graphical logos are completely unique to one brand, by definition nothing else will ever look anything like them.

This only changed when branding became an industry in itself. All these old symbols took years to bed in and were difficult to change without destroying the brand awareness. This was fine when branding was done in house but would never do for an industry which relied on being able to sell a company the idea that their brand had to change every few years in order to stay fresh.

But if that is going to happen, then the actual company name is the only way of preserving brand awareness when something new is introduced, leading to the current situation where symbols are rare and most corporate logos are simply the company's trading name written in a specific font and colour.

The lack of any iconic quality in modern branding coupled with the frequent changes in my view all makes modern branding very dull and samey - and you can see this on TV.


Brands used to give the impression of being reliable and trustworthy, and it worked.

Now I'd say modern branding that changes regularly just makes things look disposable, temporary and poor quality as well as dull and samey, instead. It's a great shame.
ST
STVNewsAtSix
Chie posted:
Excellent post, cwathen.

Having a symbol for your brand is also is a very powerful tool in brand awareness because graphical logos are completely unique to one brand, by definition nothing else will ever look anything like them.

This only changed when branding became an industry in itself. All these old symbols took years to bed in and were difficult to change without destroying the brand awareness. This was fine when branding was done in house but would never do for an industry which relied on being able to sell a company the idea that their brand had to change every few years in order to stay fresh.

But if that is going to happen, then the actual company name is the only way of preserving brand awareness when something new is introduced, leading to the current situation where symbols are rare and most corporate logos are simply the company's trading name written in a specific font and colour.

The lack of any iconic quality in modern branding coupled with the frequent changes in my view all makes modern branding very dull and samey - and you can see this on TV.


Brands used to give the impression of being reliable and trustworthy, and it worked.

Now I'd say modern branding that changes regularly just makes things look disposable, temporary and poor quality as well as dull and samey, instead. It's a great shame.


I think the STV Logo is actually pretty good as it looks fresh and vibrant.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
You could say that ITV went partly down a road of having a logo when they had their '4 blocks' device

But in today's times when 'the brand' is important, did people know it was ITV1 if only the 4 blocks were on screen, if that branding was still in use now, would they now know it was ITV1?
ST
STVNewsAtSix
You could say that ITV went partly down a road of having a logo when they had their '4 blocks' device

But in today's times when 'the brand' is important, did people know it was ITV1 if only the 4 blocks were on screen, if that branding was still in use now, would they now know it was ITV1?


I knew it was ITV1/Scottish/Grampian when they had the bar type logo in 2002 onwards I think.

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