Big Ben clock face gone from ITN graphics


British television network ITN has dumped the graphical images of the Big Ben clock face from its graphics package and virtual set.

More details, commentary and a video of the network’s old look are after the jump.

The new look is a somewhat subdued mix of gray and yellow (at least in the morning) with a world map outline becoming the main graphical element. There appear to be some subtle hints of the Big Ben clock face remaining in the graphics and virtual set.

The new design is based around freestanding rectangular elements that are used to display large images. This theme can be found in both the opens and virtual set, used in such a way that creates a nice feeling of depth.

The virtual set departs a bit from the old look, seen in the video clip below, in that it’s more structural and therefore doesn’t come across on screen quite as well.

One of the reasons the old “Big Ben” style virtual set worked well was that it very clearly was not something that could be easily built in the physical world, if at all, so there was more leeway in what could be used. Things that didn’t really look realistic didn’t have to since the whole idea was to create an environment that looked ahead of its time.


The new look, however, tries to mimic walls and other scenic elements that have a much more hard scenery look. This makes it hard to get way with a virtual set since people’s eyes are used to seeing elements such as walls and therefore aren’t as forgiving. The faux lighting on the new set is especially bad and is obviously computer generated.

TV Live has a collection of screen grabs from the morning program.

The move was made in order to make the network more appealing outside of London.

Here’s a look, also from TV Live, of the old graphics being used for the last time Oct. 30.