16 November 2012 - 4:00pm | posted by | 5 comments

ITV's new logo: Hot or Not? Top design firms such as The Brand Union, The Partners and Elmwood give their verdict

As ITV's colourful new brand identity continues to polarise opinion, we ask the design community to give us their first impressions...

Creative Review: 

Jim Prior, CEO, The Partners

I rather liked the ITV identities as they were – a straightforward architecture with good use of colour that extended into the idents in a charming enough way – so my first question is "why change?" I have to say that I can't see an answer to that in the new work as it is currently presented. It appears to be nothing more than a whimsical and somewhat capricious reinterpretation. It reminds me of when I (unsuccessfully) pitched ideas for BBC One idents some years ago: for all the talk in the brief of bold strategic intent the real reason for change was that Peter Fincham had taken over from Lorraine Heggessey as Controller and was in the mood for change. They ended up with, amongst other things, hippos swimming in a circle. Now he's in charge at ITV.

None of this is to say that I think this ITV work is necessarily bad. I'm just not sure that it was necessary at all.

Jonathan Sands, chairman, Elmwood

First I have always thought it to be quite a cheap shot criticising work like this when you haven't seen the brief or the research of which I am sure there will be buckets. Adam Crozier after all led one of the country’s most respected ad agencies before leading ITV and so I am pretty sure it will have robust logic behind it.

Second... I really like it. Colourful, modern and contemporary which I guess is just what ITV want as a positioning. Frankly I wish we'd done it.

Toby Southgate, CEO, The Brand Union

From what I've seen of the creative so far I think it suits their programming, it just doesn't suit me. I find the creative unappealing, a little immature, the kind of thing that'll look dated quickly. I'm also not sure of the purpose of the broadcaster brand in this environment any more, with increasing numbers of people watching only the shows they want. You can avoid the drudgery of a night in front of the telly in multiple ways these days - OD channels, online, netflix - and fewer and fewer people, especially in younger demographics, use the TV screen as their single interface. So while they're 'watching' X Factor they're also on Facebook on their mobile, tweeting on their iPad and watching YouTube videos to find out who Kevin Bacon is and why their mum's getting excited that he's in a new TV ad.

Nick Ramshaw, managing director, Thompson Brand Partners

To be honest, I quite like it. Picking out colours from the image/subject enables it to be serious at times and playful at others. Given the range of ITV content, this will help to reinforce the strength of the brand and enable it to stretch at the same time. It does a good job of enabling the media brand to get noticed without fighting with the content brand.

Having said all that, we need to know how they are looking to position the brand going forward to really understand if the identity is going to help achieve this. But my first impression is good. The curviness gives it a softness and for me it feels very modern. In context, it looks great. I also think bringing the family of channel idents closer together (even though we haven't seen them yet) makes a lot of sense.

John Ramskill, creative director - London, BrandOpus

I don’t really watch ITV because of the programming, which in my opinion is slipping in quality. The identity redesign does nothing to reassure me that this has been rectified, further to that it is confusing.

Is it just me or is this the type of logo one would expect from CITV, the offering for a younger audience, rather than a leading UK broadcaster? The cartoon like shape, the colourway, and the way that it playfully flexes depending on the surface it is presented on… It all screams of fun and not substance.

The BBC identity may be a little staid and serious, but it creates and umbrella for the principles of quality and integrity that the organisation aims to maintain across a broad range of very different propositions in both TV, radio and beyond. Sky has also managed to strike a good balance between premium and entertainment in their adaptive identity.

I would be very interested to see how ITV work this new identity for their range of other channels, four at the last count. In the press release we only see a single execution. But at a glance I sense they may struggle to differentiate the identity to match the different personalities of the channels 1, 2, 3 and 4, whilst keeping a unified look and feel throughout the portfolio.

Patrick Harvey, creative, Love

People are frightened by change, so it's no surprise that the Twitter reaction has been typically OTT. But this is definitely an improvement on the super forgettable previous incarnation, which tried so hard - but desperately failed - to match the authority of the BBC blocks.

For me, though, More4’s January rebrand handily beats it. That work feels fresh and fun, and still manages to capture a gravitas befitting a broadcaster that the twee and scribbly analogue approach lacks.

Richard Scholey, creative director, The Chase

When a brand as close to the nation's heart as this one launches its new identity it is always going to get a rough ride. Add that to the fact that an unfortunate side of human nature (and even more so 'designers' nature') is that they would always rather criticise than praise then I reckon this logo is going to come in for as much of a battering as the Olympics did.

So, without knowing the brief or without seeing it applied, can you say it is:

Friendlier – yes
More lively - yes
More current – yes
But also
Less legible – yes (utv? wtv?)
Slightly childish – yes
Likely to date quickly - yes

Better than what they had before? - certainly (not the highest of benchmarks)
A design classic – I very much doubt it

Yes there are several comments online concerning bums and Ann Summers but that probably says more about those writing the comments than the logo itself.

Who would be a designer?

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Comments

16 Nov 2012 - 17:34
harry94432's picture

My mother won't even notice when she sits down to watch Corrie later.

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19 Nov 2012 - 10:48
darre15859's picture

I like the identity as a whole, but feel it is totally inappropriate for the brand. Feels too playful and is more relevant for CITV. I am sure it will date very quickly, being so overtly stylised. The current Channel 4 identity is still the benchmark for me.

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19 Nov 2012 - 11:57
Spottswoode's picture

Barmeno on valium.

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19 Nov 2012 - 12:01
tomfa61458's picture

As we know, the dominance by apple in revolutionising the way we think of and consume the humble computer (in its many guises), has established innovation, brand and design as important to the service and product itself, as the hardware within.

Indeed, ‘i' has become synonymous with all things cool, modern, innovative, forward facing and importantly when considering technology, good.

Television remains the most used communication medium, but for how much longer? Smart TV will most probably ensure that its dominance in the domestic setting at least will continue to flourish, and ITV's recent rebrand to accentuate it's ‘i' is, one could say, a stroke of genius. An increadabley simple stroke, but a stroke nonetheless. One that will surely help the longevity of its brands. No longer does each broadcast, they interact.

At last, we now have itv. A far cry from the institutional and ‘faceless' ITV. And even further from its next door neighbour, BBC. What a difference letting go of ‘Shift' can make.

ITV is dead, long live itv. And I like it.

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20 Nov 2012 - 19:22
Lippy21009's picture

There is one thing that really puzzles me about the TV channels in this country. Why do they feel the need to constantly keep updating their image and logo? I refer to ITVs recently unveiled new image. Ok its ten years or so since the last one, but changing any branding surely just smacks of a lack of confidence in your product. One only has to look across to the United States to see that changing a TV channel logo just isn't necessary IF you are confident about your product and what you stand for. The three main networks have kept their idents and logos for many many years. Yes they have made slight alterations over time; updating for colour and HDTV, but the CBS "eye" has remained unchanged for over 60 years. NBC have now had their current style Peacock logo since the 80s and similarly for ABC.. look at film company logos. The Warner Bros, Columbia, Paramount, 20th Century. Apart from updates for colour and widescreen, they have kept pretty much the same. But then we don't have to look at just the film and TV worlds. Rolls Royce still has the same branding, as does Harrods. Like the US TV logos these are confident companies who stand for quality and the pubic know that. These companies believe in themselves. I just fear that yet again ITV is searching for an identity. Who are we? what are we? I guess we will see yet more dull nonsensical live action idents on screen come the relaunch. But Why?? The excuse for these re brands always seems to be that ....we need to reflect on the ever changing market place and our viewers. Are viewing trends and changes NOT happening in America then?? There tv stations don't feel the need to change their identity and I think the viewers come to respect them more and trust them. That may not be popular with Brand Identity companies and image consultants in the UK who rub their hands with glee every time a TV company mentions the word REBRAND. Just have a great logo and stick with it. You might just find the viewers will stick with you too. Of course not many of us like change, but change for the sake of it ? Sorry.. NOT ME.

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