Waterfall watermark 

8 February 2019 tbs.pm/68276

In 1969, Transdiffusion’s Kif Bowden-Smith wrote to the still-new Harlech Television asking them about their opening music.

They replied, because in those days television companies always replied. And the reply came direct from Harlech’s Head of Presentation, which was unusual because most companies had a correspondence unit that replied to such queries.

We got the name of the the piece of music – it was on a De Wolfe LP, which were not available to the public, natch – on this wizzy notepaper.

This paper is a good, thick – 120gsm? – quality foolscap notepaper. It would be normal at the time to have had it specially made with a watermark running through it. This was very expensive – the process for making watermarks is complicated, requiring the paper to be pressed twice whilst being made, risking more tears and uneven quality; it is very hard to keep the watermark lined up with where you’re cutting the paper, so putting a logo in a specific place is basically impossible unless you want to pay immense amounts for hand-trimming… not practical for a company that would, in those pre-email days, go through dozens of reams of paper every day.

Harlech clearly wanted a watermark, and wanted the watermarked logo to be in the same place on every piece of paper. The cost would’ve been astronomical. Fortunately, someone there had an ingenious plan…

You Say

3 responses to this article

David Heathcote 8 February 2019 at 1:45 pm

A lovely piece to camera! You have a talent for television (who said that first??! 😜 ) More please!

Russ J Graham 8 February 2019 at 1:46 pm

Flattery will get you everywhere.

Richard Jones 9 February 2019 at 2:55 pm

everywhere…? (trips over halo)

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