In October 1998 after over nine years ITV introduced a new corporate symbol, which was renamed ITV1 in August 2001. There were a few generic idents around this time, for occasions such as Christmas 2001. By October 2002 the decision was taken in England and Wales to drop all regional idents, and replace them with generic ones that would be seen nationally. So here’s a quick look at what happened to ITV presentation in the post-regional era to the present day.
ITV1 had become rather obsessed with celebrities in their shows, they seemed to be here, there and everywhere, so the logical decision was made to even include them in the idents too. Just about about everyone who featured in a programme on ITV1 at the time took part in an ident, so they would even be looking at you between the programmes now as well as in them.
Scottish, Grampian, UTV and Channel did take these looks but kept their regional name on the idents, and made several variations of their own featuring presenters of their local shows. In England and Wales the regional name would now only appear before the news, as just about all local programming had disappeared. In London there was no regional branding at all, the only distinction between the two franchises now was that on weekdays and weekends the local weather had a different sponsor.
In 2003 a new wave of these celebrity idents were introduced, with more emphasis on a yellow and blue background, the same colours as the symbol. Again just about all the ITV1 faces were invited to stare into space for 30 seconds to create the ident. These were memorably spoofed regularly in Harry Hill’s TV Burp.
In October 2004 there were more changes. The ITV symbol was now split into three blocks for each letter, much like the BBC’s symbol. The celebrities were dropped and the main idents now featured a massive “1” in them. I never thought that these were that great really, and a separate daytime strand was briefly introduced called ITV Day. It was also around this time that the CITV strand ended on ITV1.
After just over seven years in January 2006 a new ITV corporate symbol was introduced. The symbol was now white on yellow, and a new group of lifestyle idents were introduced. These were really dull, and I’ve never really liked this style of idents, and they didn’t last very long before there was a rethink.
In November 2006 the ITV1 symbol was changed to black on yellow and now the idents featured various things featuring a hint of yellow, and again more were introduced over time. Again, I thought that these were much better and they ran for about six years, with again variations for occasions such as Christmas.
In January 2013 another ITV corporate symbol was introduced (again, curiously the third consecutive symbol to feature “itv” in lower case). The symbol dropped the “1” and is now split into five colours. On trails, the colour of the ITV ident at the end is based on the final picture onscreen, meaning every trail is different and there is an almost infinite colour palette available for the ITV symbol which I think works really well.
Again however, I find the idents very dull, just people doing ordinary things which supposedly ITV viewers can relate to. The idents usually change every season too, with extra ones for special events. It’s a surprise to think that this look had already been in use for almost three years now. Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to do their own thing (for now). And that’s just about it for my look back at ITV presentation over the past 60 years.