Channel 4 is 25 years old today. It’s really the only commercial broadcaster worth watching. Mind you, even Channel 4 is a bit shit these days.
But the important thing is that its idents are still awesome, as they always have been. It’s great to see that Channel 4’s continuity is all in the style of the original iconic designs, with a range of classic idents being shown (some of which I’ve never seen before).
The original idents lasted an astonishing 14 years. That’s an age — you’d never see an ident package lasting that long nowadays. Even more amazingly, the original ‘4’ logo has never changed, merely being adapted for each new era.
The coloured blocks were well loved and recognisable enough for Hamlet to create this spoof version for an advert. For me, it’s surprising in two ways. For one, I’m surprised Channel 4 and the regulators allowed them to do it, given that it could have easily been confused for an actual ident.
Then there is the fact that it is tobacco being advertised — something from a different era. It goes to show just how far Hamlet were determined to advertise despite all the regulations. Sometimes a restrictive environment can make you come up with the best ideas.
It was always going to be a tough act to follow the coloured blocks. I seem to remember the circles era was quite unpopular, but I thought they were quite good.
I also liked the ‘squares and stripes’ era, although it dated really quickly.
So it was a bit of a shock to see just how excellent the following ident package was!
Channel 4 have a couple of special websites up and running for the occasion as well.