Paaa, Paaa, Pa Paaaaa 

16 January 2005

Channel 4’s New Idents

I was always a fan of Channel 4’s last set of idents. In fact, I have always been fond of Channel 4’s idents, even the “Coffee Stains” ones everyone else hates. But what of the new set?

Well, I’ve decided I like them – they’re clever, different and, more to the point, original. And because they’re original they work as idents. They bring up “Channel 4” in my mind.

However, as commentators, we often forget the primary function of an ident. Most idents work. Even the BBC One “Rhythm and Movement” ones that I am not keen on do – whenever a new one is launched, you still recognise the red and the music and “BBC 1” pops up in your head.

So what makes the Channel 4 ones special? What makes them different to the dancers? After all, they’re both abstract concepts with a couple of characteristics to identify the channel – on the BBC it’s red and movement, on Channel 4 it’s careful camera work and floating blocks.

Easy – the BBC ones are bland and simplistic. Nothing clever about them at all. The Channel 4 ones have taken thought and effort to get to air, and once again stretch the boundaries of the 23-year-old logo.

I used to think that the best idents were those of the past with a simple form-up and a fanfare. Now I’m not so sure. Well done Channel 4.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Kirk Northrop Contact More by me

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