Nevermind: Granada 

24 May 2004

Russ J Graham on an untraced pre-launch symbol that didn’t point north


Granada symbol, origin unknown


From a book on graphic design comes this symbol, noted as being “Granada TV Network symbol, 1956”. Yet it was never used on air.

Most interestingly, the symbol is clearly pointing west. Now this could mean that the symbol was designed for Granada’s hoped-for 7-day Manchester contract (which they eventually got in 1968), but why west?

Other than strictly logically, no-one thinks of Manchester as being west (a term, thanks to the BBC Regional Programme and Home Service, exclusively reserved for Bristol). Manchester has always been considered North West rather than west.

Andrew Hesford-Booth points out the similarity between this symbol and the Granada Media symbol created in the late 1990s. However, the chances of this having lain dormant for 40 years before being rejigged into a the Granada Media symbol seem remote. More likely that this is co-incidence.

Another possibility would be that this is the symbol for Granada Theatres or Granada Group prior to 1955. The flaw there is a lack of evidence – no sign of the symbol on photos of cinemas at the time.

Perhaps an internal symbol? Something used on headed notepaper but not elsewhere? A distinct possibility in these design conscious days, but not the norm in the 1950s.

Indeed, the 1950s and before are noticeable for the application of one symbol to dozens – hundreds – of disparate parts of the same group. Witness BET, owner of Rediffusion, slapping the adastral star onto towel rails, hand-driers, burglar alarms, television stations, dustbins, flight simulators and everything else they did.

So this symbol remains somewhat a mystery. If you know what this symbol was used for – or was planned to be used for – you know where we are.

You Say

6 responses to this article

Sheila Isom 30 November 2013 at 1:36 pm

The Granada arrow doesn’t point upwards.

pg 16 December 2013 at 10:34 am

Even stranger since Granada’s patch up until about 1968 covered Yorkshire too, so it was truly North and not only North West!

Dave Roberts 4 May 2018 at 9:23 am

Of course, there are those old Granada idents with a map of the country and an arrow pointing at Manchester – used, I imagine, for overseas versions of Granada shows and designed to show people where Manchester is in relation to the rest of Britain. But in that case the arrow is not, strictly speaking, pointing West, but to Manchester.

Radio Geordie 4 May 2018 at 4:30 pm

Before Granada TV, the brothers owned Granada Theatres Limited which was a chain of cinemas based mainly in the South of England. They chose the North of England franchise so the two companies weren’t in direct competition with each other.

Why mention this? It may simply be that it was the company logo at the time they applied for the TV licence.

Russ J Graham 4 May 2018 at 4:31 pm

This theory is mentioned in the text of the article above.

Mark Boulton 27 April 2021 at 10:38 pm

Depends on when the book it was taken from was printed. The book may be wrong.

My theory, if the book comes from anytime around or after the late 60s, is that it was an early draft for the G-arrow we came to know and love, i.e. the first design for those infamous children’s T-shirts. And that the comment was made that any arrow should be pointing up, meaning a complete redesign because the one shown here couldn’t simply be rotated.

I can imagine a discussion where someone had put this early draft down on the desk of the person compiling the book, and had been told “we know this isn’t the current symbol, this is their previous one”, meaning it was a previous draft, and that comment was misconstrued as meaning it was the station’s original symbol from 1956 which we know is not the case.

So my final answer is that it may be a draft from 1968 that wasn’t used, and the book author thought it came from earlier.

Your comment

Enter it below

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Wednesday 10 April 2024