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, the idents draw on the concept of ‘4’ as a traveller, acting as a companion for viewers through limitless worlds of content. The iconic Channel 4 logo is the central axis of each film, with the camera continuously looping through the logo itself, showcasing thought-provoking and dramatic scenes that form a part of Channel 4’s ‘Altogether Different’ reflection of the UK.
Consisting of live-action, animated, and full CG (computer-generated) films, the scenes were developed from an open brief that invited the creators to interpret five themes: Identity, The Land, System, Release, and Love. Over 500 initial ideas were generated, fostering diversity of expression within a system that allows for endless creative outcomes. The consistent camera movement, cube motif, and the Channel 4 logo unify all the idents.
Zaid Al-Qassab, Chief Marketing Officer at Channel 4, expressed the importance of representing the rich diversity of the nation, communities, and passions through the idents. With a reach of 50 million people in the UK every month, Channel 4 aimed to create a piece of public art that spoke to everyone. Al-Qassab emphasized that the idents are a representation of not only Channel 4 but also the most viewed piece of public art in the UK.
Lynsey Atkin, Executive Creative Director at Channel 4, expressed hope that the new set of idents would continue the legacy of visual excellence and serve as a marker for British creativity. Atkin emphasized that the idents represent the unbreakable spirit of Channel 4, celebrating diversity, challenge, and creative risk. She acknowledged the labor of love involved in bringing the idents to life with brilliant and varied directors and artists.
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. Real families, couples, and groups of friends were involved in the majority of scenes, ensuring authenticity and a genuine reflection of the nation.
Filmed across four studio days and four days on location in Glasgow and the surrounding area, Channel 4’s idents embody the broadcaster’s values and public service remit. By taking creative risks, inspiring change, championing unheard voices, and celebrating the diversity of the UK, Channel 4 continues to push boundaries and provide a platform for meaningful storytelling.
The new films are set to launch on Channel 4 on Wednesday, 14th June at 6.55pm. Viewers can expect a one-off film containing all five idents looped together, accompanied by the specially commissioned words of British writer John Joseph Holt.