On its 40th birthday, Channel 4 has aired a new ident, featuring what appears to be the original version of its iconic ‘4’ logo.
In 2018, the ‘4’ logo underwent a minor modification, with the introduction of additional spacing between the blocks.
The new ident features a white version of the ‘4’ logo animating and moving about in the foreground. The background animates through a range of colours that appear to be a nod to the colour scheme of the original 1982 logo.
It’s unclear if the new ident is related to the birthday celebrations or if it’s a more permanent addition to the standard ident set.
Or, is it perhaps part of transitional phase prior to the introduction of a new branding strategy?
Earlier today, Channel 4 released a statement detailing a new branding strategy, which it says will help viewers navigate the new digital world.
The press statement says its on-demand service All4 will be rebranded ‘Channel 4’ and “Channel 4’s entire portfolio of channels will also align with the ‘Channel 4’ brand.”
It’s unclear what exactly this means. In the immediate aftermath of the statement, some news outlets speculated that it would mean the end of existing channel brands such as E4.
RXTV said it had received confirmation from an official source that the E4 brand would not be disappearing.
One school of thought is that the statement relates to Channel 4’s portfolio of music channels, most of which display no obvious relationship with their owner (e.g., The Box, Kerrang, Kiss and Magic).
The full Channel 4 press release:
“Channel 4 today announced that from next year it will bring all its channels and services under one ‘Channel 4’ brand to help audiences better navigate the abundance of choice in the digital world and find their favourite Channel 4 shows wherever and whenever they choose to watch content.
“‘All 4’ will change to ‘Channel 4’ as Channel 4 becomes the first UK broadcaster to adopt one brand identity across its digital and linear channels as audiences increasingly no longer distinguish between digital and linear content. Channel 4’s entire portfolio of channels will also align with the ‘Channel 4’ brand.
“The brand transformation follows Channel 4’s commitment to prioritise digital growth, place viewers at the heart of its decision-making and renew its relationship with young audiences as part of its Future4 strategy launched two years ago.
“For 40 years Channel 4 has cultivated a strong brand identity which is synonymous with bold, purpose-led programming. Viewers know when they see the iconic ‘Channel 4’ logo that it is a destination for different shows which represent the rich diversity of the UK, challenge the status quo and will entertain them with its unique irreverence and mischief!
“Zaid Al-Qassab, Chief Marketing Officer at Channel 4, said: ‘As Channel 4 turns 40, we’re responding to the challenge of an increasingly crowded content market by using our most powerful asset, the Channel 4 brand. The creation of a singular brand vision will better serve our viewers and help futureproof the channel to make sure we’re able to continue to take creative risks for the next 40 years.
“‘We want to become the viewers’ North Star in the digital world. A valued curator to help them navigate to a destination full of entertaining and thoughtful content they know they can trust.’
“New idents have been commissioned as part of the brand transformation. Working in collaboration with a number of British artists and filmmakers, Channel 4’s award-winning 4creative will seek to represent the UK, its culture and mentality to present an unexpected and daring portrait of Britain retold.
“The brand transformation will begin from spring 2023.
“Channel 4 is a trusted curator of digital content for young people with four out of five of all 16-34-year-olds in the UK registered with Channel 4’s streaming service – and 11bn views across 25,000 pieces of content served by 4Studio to young people on their favourite social platforms last year. The recent launches of Channel 4.0 focused on reaching 13-24 year-olds and the news strand Untold will further support Channel 4’s enduring connection with young audiences.
“Channel 4’s free streaming service remains the UK’s biggest and last year its huge library of distinctive content drove record-breaking performance. The service hit 1.5bn views in 2021 – an increase of +21% year-on-year. Supercharging its success, development is under way to further improve product reliability and the user-experience.”Channel 4 Press Release
UPDATE: a full-length version of the new ident played out in the 9pm junction on Sunday evening.
PICTURED: Channel 4 ident. COPYRIGHT: Channel 4 Television Corporation.