Ahead of the launch of new streaming service ITVX, ITV’s channels have been given a fresh look, with new channel branding, on-screen presentation and idents launching across all on air channels, from today.

ITV Creative and DixonBaxi have partnered on the work that goes live today, as well as the creation of the new brand identity for ITVX, which launches officially on December 8th.

The name and branding for ITV’s new streaming service was produced by DixonBaxi, using an X in place of in the more commonly used +.

ITV’s chief marketing officer Jane Stiller said: “We are using the launch of ITVX this Autumn as a moment to give ITV’s broadcast channels a modern and fresh update too. This is all driven by a future where both broadcast and streaming will be equally crucial parts of how viewers engage with us.

“Viewers will see what we do in broadcast and streaming as much more joined up and we will be able to seamlessly cross promote across the platforms enabling greater content discovery. Everything will look and feel modern and relevant, with each platform or channel having a simple twist. This approach will flow into our new idents too, which are created to reflect and connect with modern Britain.”

Jed Carter, Design director, DixonBaxi said: “It’s been an amazing experience working with ITV Marketing and ITV Creative on this ambitious refresh. A single coherent design system – bursting with personality – unites ITVX and ITV’s channels. A unified approach to logos, colour, typography, voice and motion connects the family of brands to create one connected brand experience while allowing each brand to express its own unique personality.”

Motion principles and digital gestures inform the new on screen presentation across channels, thematically linked but all individual, in keeping with the channel personalities. A bespoke suite of typefaces were created by DixonBaxi in collaboration with type studio F37 Foundry, for ITV’s channels and its new streaming service, ITVX. In addition a bold new suite of channel audio beds were crafted by London music and sound house The Futz Butler to be used across all channels to further continue a consistent brand experience.

As part of the refresh, ITV returns to ITV1, to give more equal footing to broadcast and streaming, with ITV1 and ITVX as ITV’s key viewer destinations.

A new idents system also launches today and in a broadcasting first, will be network wide.

ITV Creative ecd Tony Pipes said: “With everything we’ve done with the On Screen Presentation, we’ve tried to make sure it’s one brand-with a twist of personality for each channel or service. With the idents, we’ve done the same, creating an ITV Multiverse, where depending on what channel you view it on, you see the same scenes but with a different view. This gave us the chance to reflect each channel’s tone, using specially shot scenes, animation and CGI and give the viewer a new surprise depending on where they view the idents. A simple device that is full of creative potential.”

The concept for ITV’s new idents spans the entire network, rather than just one channel. Shot in five archetypal locations across the UK, each channel’s logo ‘swipes’ our viewpoint, leading the viewer to that channel’s own spin on the scene.

Whether it’s at the corner cafe, in the beautiful countryside, at the train station, looking over a city skyline or a day at the seaside, every channel takes ownership of the location with its own unique personality and different twist. The ‘swipe’ motion of the channel logos is a device reflected across all of the refreshed on-screen presentation, creating a cohesive feel for our channels.

Three locations launch on November 15th, Cafe, Train Station and Rural, and then Cityscape will follow in early December, along with several Christmas Idents for ITV1. The final location, Seaside, will launch in early January.

The ident scenes feature a range of contributors from across the UK, including Solo Donne an all female HipHop group formed in lockdown, who appear in the ITV1 version of the Train Station ident, former students from the Riding A Dream Academy (for talented young riders from diverse communities) who appear in the ITV4 version of the Cafe ident, Tandem Trekkers, a West Yorkshire-based specialist user-led cycling group that caters for blind and visually impaired riders, who appear in the ITV4 Seaside ident, and The Giant Seagulls, a roving performance group with the international street theatre company, Surreal McCoy, who appear in the ITV2 Seaside ident.

Each ident received a custom track created by Echoic to fit the tone of the channel and the creative idea.

The new refreshed branding and idents go live today, ahead of the launch of ITVX.

ITV’s previous branded programme promos and idents were all generated on Pixel Power systems, including the highly automated trailer production, jointly developed as Project Phoenix. The refreshed identity is built on the same core technology, relying on expertise from the Pixel Power creative services team, which has been working with the broadcaster over recent months.

Charlie Cooke, senior Graphic Designer at Pixel Power says: “We worked with them to realise their concepts as dynamic graphic templates for the Pixel Power platform. This involved us in creative discussions to ensure the vision is completely captured, ensuring the graphics can be delivered with all the impact they require.”

The big challenge with these graphics was defining the large amount of graphic logic. Each type of graphic needs to update based on the channel name and programme information determined in the schedule whilst also maintaining the brand guidelines. Once this logic is in place, the collaborative team could move on to the vast number of graphics to be realised.

The various ITV channels can each retain their own distinctive look and feel within the new brand, delivered reliably and automatically through smart templates.

“Pixel Power has always given us efficiency and ease of use,” said Mark Dietz, Broadcast Graphics Systems Operator at ITV Creative. “A scheduler simply adds the programme information like title, time, and a promo image, and then a whole suite of clips is automatically generated and dropped into the right places in the appropriate playlists. It is a simple and reliable process that we are very comfortable with.”


Pippa Considine

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