TV’s search for new logo over 

29 March 2021


Central Somerset Gazette masthead

From the Central Somerset Gazette for 15 October 1981

TELEVISION South West’s search for a new logo or emblem to launch the new ITV station for the region is over.

Landscapes and palm trees (two elements suggested by many people who entered the company’s special competition) have been employed in a new abstract design.

But none of the entrants will be getting rich quick. The £1,000 [£4,350 in today’s money, allowing for inflation] prize will be split between 80 people from around the West Country who all had similar ideas.

Mr Kevin Goldstein-Jackson, Joint Managing Director and Programme Controller says “TSW had many, many thousands of entries for the competition and the judges had a difficult decision to make because many of the entries were outstanding.

“What were we looking for? Basically, something which was popular, would not be datable, and which was not tied to a specific location. For example, to have chosen St. Michael’s Mount or Dartmoor would, perhaps, have offended those counties not involved. We had to have something which represented the region as a whole.”


TSW Production endcap

Courtesy of Dave Jeffery


He said that it was decided after some deliberation to combine the most popular suggestion with another which was also recommended by a number of people.

“More than 50 people suggested variations of a landscape and many recommended palm trees – pointing out their symbolism of life and growth and their ability to thrive in the South West.

“We took these two elements and Paul Honeywill, a graphics designer with Westward and TSW produced the new logo.”

Mr. Goldstein-Jackson said no one suggestion had led to the design and therefore, under the rules of the competition, the prize monies were being amalgamated to form a £1,000 prize fund out of which each person who suggested either a palm tree (but not any sort of tree) or a landscape (but not a landscape scene such as St. Michael’s Mount or Dartmoor) would receive a share of the prize.

The cheques for the winners will be sent in the next few weeks. Unless accompanied at the time of the submission with a stamped addressed envelope, entries will not be returned.



The following section is commentary from Transdiffusion's expert writers

Russ J Graham writes: Very abstract logos – as shown by Ulster’s ‘oscilloscope’, Border’s ‘chopsticks in a bowl’ and TSW’s ‘Kermit’s bra’ – quickly attract fan theories as to what they represent and with it the type of weird nicknames mentioned a moment ago.

The actual realities are always much more prosaic. It’s not the foundation garments for a green Muppet (nobody thought is was), it’s not shape of the region (because it’s not the shape of the region), it’s palm trees looking like rolling countryside of the type the southwest is famous for. That’s almost… boring in comparison, but there we go.

It may have a boring meaning, but TSW’s animation of the ident was anything but. Rather, the whole sequence is completely mad, with no rhyme or reason to any of it. 1981 technology is used, so it’s startlingly computer composited (if not actually computer generated) but that leads to the animation staggering as it enters its final form-up at the end, which seemed to have bothered nobody at TSW at the time but always set my teeth on edge.

Mind you, when an animation is so utterly strange as TSW’s ident was, its technological deficiencies should be the least of our concerns.

You Say

3 responses to this article

Nigel Stapley 29 March 2021 at 11:05 pm

Wasn’t it the case that only viewers in the SW of England got the full, gloriously bizarre ident? On the rare occasions where TSW had programmes shown on the wider network, a shorter version was used (about 8 seconds long as opposed to about 12 seconds). The jarring point of that version wasn’t the clunky animation (although clunky it certainly was), but the fact that the trombones at the end were horrendously flat.

Jesse J. Tripp 31 March 2021 at 9:21 am

The TSW logo is one of my favorites; in December of this year, it’ll mark 15 years since my obsession with British television history began, during that time, I became an on-again/off-again fan of British culture; took time to learn more about that world.

I saw some clips of the TSW Opening Show in late-2006/early-2007, and I know things weren’t 100% at the beginning, but that happens a lot. It just takes time.

There were some difficulties at the beginning; same with Central and ITV companies at their early days, between 1955 and 1962 (the last one, WWN was given to TWW, due to financial problems, the exceptions in 1982 were TVS and TSW, as they were ready to go. TVS was ready for action and TSW had bought Westward Television and, in a way, started early) but before long, things were going well… until they are forced to end their respective contracts.

Oh, and the same happened with TV-am!

Television South West got a much better logo in 1985, to their end on 31 December 1992, when it was replaced by Westcountry Television.

Bruce McCready 17 April 2021 at 2:02 pm

I always liked the TSW ident and the music that went with it. When they switched to the “seasons” idents towards the end I missed the old logo and music. Then later we ended up with Westcountry, who had little imagination. After TSW’s bright, friendly approach, Westcountry was just… dull…

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