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Channel 4 launches new idents reflecting ‘life in modern Britain’

New C4 idents

The recent branding frenzy at Channel 4 continues today with a new series of idents which “authentically reflect life in modern Britain.”

Created by Channel 4’s multi-award-winning in-house creative agency 4creative, in collaboration with Art Practice and Love Song, the five new idents feature scenes including an urban fox taking refuge in a decaying telephone box, a group of teenagers on the last day of school, a frozen moment of a Friday night and a celebration of Zoroastrian New Year. The 25 unique looping scenes create a tapestry of modern British society today as seen through the eyes of a diverse group of 17 independent creatives, artists, and filmmakers.

Following the broadcaster’s brand transformation in May, the idents “draw on the concept of ‘4’ as a traveller which acts as a companion for viewers through limitless worlds of content.” The iconic Channel 4 logo is the central axis of each film as the camera continually loops through the logo itself to show thought-provoking and dramatic scenes that form a part of Channel 4’s ‘Altogether Different’ reflection of the UK.

The latest branding exercise at Channel 4 seems certain to raise eyebrows in the industry at a time when the channel is making dramatic cutbacks across its programming. Shows including SAS Who Dares Wins, Escape to the Chateau, Rescue: Extreme Medics and The Last Leg have all faced cancellation or cuts to their runs and formats, and more cuts are rumoured to be on the way. Channel execs also agreed to defer this year’s bonuses and scrap pay rises as the broadcaster looks to cut costs amid the cost of living crisis.

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New C4 idents
New C4 idents

Consisting of a combination of live-action, animated and full CG (computer generated) films, the scenes were developed from an open brief that invited the creators to interpret one of five themes: Identity, The Land, System, Release and Love. Culminating in over 500 initial ideas, the brief encouraged diversity of expression within a system that allows for endless creative outcomes – all unified by the consistent camera move, the cube motif and the Channel 4 logo.

Zaid Al-Qassab, chief marketing officer at Channel 4, said: “Our idents reach 50 million people in the UK every month, so we wanted to represent all of us, the rich diversity of our nation, our communities, and our passions. This is not only a representation of Channel 4, this is the most viewed piece of public art in the UK, that will be seen for many years to come, so it was important to us that it spoke to everyone. Whoever you are, we hope you will find something that speaks to your heart.”

New C4 idents
New C4 idents

Lynsey Atkin, executive creative director at Channel 4, said: “The Channel 4 idents have a long history of visual excellence and as a marker for British creativity. We hope that this new set builds on this legacy and delights viewers many times over, with everyone finding a loop that feels like home to them. The idents at their purest represent the unbreakable spirit of Channel 4 – of diversity, challenge, and creative risk – and it has been a true labour of love bringing these idents to life with so many brilliant and varied directors and artists. We can’t wait to see them out in the world.”

Featuring over 70 faces cast from across the UK, the idents reflect Channel 4’s commitment to representing the different stories and people that make up British society. The casting process resulted in real families, couples, and groups of friends featuring in the majority of scenes.

New C4 idents

Filmed across four studio days as well as four days on location in Glasgow and the surrounding area, Channel 4’s idents represent the broadcaster’s values and public service remit to take creative risks, inspire change, champion unheard voices, and celebrate the diversity of the UK.

The new films will launch on Channel 4 on Wednesday 14th June at 6.55pm, between Hollyoaks and Channel 4 News, with a one-off film containing all five idents looped together, accompanied by the specially commissioned words of British writer John Joseph Holt.

Channel 4 Idents

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