Five favourite television idents

Ahead of the BBC2’s 50th birthday (on 20 April) Lisa Hill, managing director of Lambie-Nairn, which developed BBC2 idents from the 1990s onwards, tells us about her five favourite examples.

BBC Two Christmas Ident 1995 Wallace & Gromit, by Aardman

The BBC Two ident was a simple idea, and at its heart was its ability to become appropriate to a season, related to a programme or relevant to an audience.
It is absolutely the responsibility of creators of any identity to allow it to be authored by others and who better than Aardman? Wallace and Gromit are so much a part of my memories of Christmases past – Smashing!

Channel 4, by Channel 4

With its roots firmly in our agency’s history, the scale and boldness of the Channel 4 live action idents are a masterclass in a channel really knowing its brand and understanding its audience’s mindset. While other channels were busy making flashy, fast-paced animations Channel 4 produced these considered and enticing surreal films, which build to a fleeting reveal of their famous ‘building block’ logo. Genius – my favourite has to the ‘Block of Flats’.

MTV Moon Flag, by­ Candy Kugel at Perpetual Motion pictures

The original MTV idents pioneered the idea of user-generated content, although many were produced by small, independent animation houses. Driven, it is said, by a lack of funds the channel also invited its audience to submit their own creations. Inevitably some were fabulous and some were truly less than fabulous, but for a channel built for a new youth culture they were bang on.

BBC Three Blobs, by Lambie-Nairn and Aardman

And now for one of ours: the BBC Three Blobs. The brief was to devise something more irreverent and subversive than might be considered normal for the Beeb – just like the channel.  Many hours were spent down in the bowels of the BBC archives searching for a collection of extraordinary, real-life audio clips, which were put into the mouths of the characterful Blobs. And so my winner is BBC Three Blobs ’with this pair of glasses I can do terrible damage to you’ – what on earth was that interview all about?

ZDF’s Kulture, by ­Luxlotusliner, Munich

And finally, ZDF’s Kulture idents; they are bonkers but then again, one man’s art is another man’s antimacassar. I love their wild, free thinking combined with beautifully simple, impeccably-styled German typography. A perfect juxtaposition. At the end is ‘Alien, Crab-Like Man Thing’.

Lisa Hill is managing director of Lambie-Nairn.


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