Dramatic, sinister and pretty 

30 July 2014 tbs.pm/5239

19680323 - Daily Mirror - new logosHere’s a lovely un-bylined non-story from the Daily Mirror from 23 March 1968.

With the new ITV companies gearing up to come on air in July and August, and TWW preparing to stalk off even earlier, their attention is brought to what the new idents will look like.

The as-yet-unnamed Harlech will have something typographic and like the recent Bond films, no doubt.

LWT’s graphics will be “something absolutely startling”, by which they meant “something absolutely tedious we’ll quickly replace because it looks too much like one of Thames’s two idents”.

But YTV will win with its fleur-de-lys (which is this if you have unicode running it says here).

No mention of what Thames would be coming up with – the skyline ident was the true surprise of the new companies (even if Howard Thomas, Thames’s MD, preferred the Harlech lines) – and Granada had already temporarily dropped their arrow for nothing at all instead.

And anyway, most of these idents would be redone a year or so later with the launch (for the small minority with new sets) of the 625-line colour service on ITV and BBC-1.

You Say

7 responses to this article

Ronnie MacLennan Baird 30 July 2014 at 1:14 pm

An illustration of the techniques deployed to ensure that there is always exactly enough news every day to fill the newspaper!

Russ J Graham 30 July 2014 at 1:34 pm

“All the news, printed to fit”

Alan Keeling 12 August 2014 at 8:37 pm

Living in ITVs Midlands region, we lost the great & varied weekend schedules from ABC TV, instead Midland viewers had to endure ATVs rather dull, unexciting programme schedules. It really was a disappointing “Goodbye to ABC”.

Kif Bowden-Smith 12 September 2014 at 12:28 pm

What it does show, as a piece of Daily Mirror feature news, is that it was taken for granted (and was true for the time) that the viewer had some genuine interest in the symbols and logos of broadcasting. The vestigial fifties idea that setting up and using a TV set was a bit of a “hobby” for the man of the house, was still there, surviving from the forties. A later, post modern-irony, more cynical age would soon appear though, in which it was thought that viewers didn’t actually care about this sort of thing, and that homogenisation into a mere “ITV” brand would be better. The symbols would supposedly become less important to the general viewer and would only be loved by “tv nerds”. But not quite yet…

Terry Christie 14 September 2014 at 5:51 pm

March 1968 when The Original ITV Companies with The Big Three,ABC-Rediffusion & T.W.W to be replaced by LWT-Thames,HTV & Yorkshire Television after 13 years on ITV.

Terry Christie,from Sunderland,Tyne & Wear.

David Heathcote 18 September 2014 at 12:24 pm

“Yorkshire TV… abstract letter Y with hints of fleur-de-lys. What a pretty and calming thought…”

Ironic then that, according to others, this ident was the one that provoked terror amongst young, impressionable souls.

Not me, but then I’d been able to watch the first episode of Dr Who from IN FRONT of the lounge settee!

Rob McCaffery 15 November 2018 at 5:18 pm

Few things bewilder me more than the story of those poor souls east of the Pennines being terrified by a piece of graphic art. I thought they were made of sterner stuff over there ;-)

So, is ‘Generation Snowflake’ really a 21st Century phenomenon?

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