British broadcast designer behind iconic idents dies

Martin Lambie-Nairn, a well known British broadcast industry designer, has died.

Lambie-Nairn created the original Channel 4 animated block ident in 1982.

He was also behind the original BBC globe balloon idents that feature a large red and orange hot air balloon that appeared to be flying over scenic and city landscapes.

Other work for the BBC included numerous idents for BBC Two.

Lambie-Nairn was 75 and died Dec. 25, 2020.

He founded agency Lambie-Nairn in 1976. It would become part of WPP in 1999 and its namesake would depart that in 2007, going on to found ML-N. In 2010, he joined Heavenly as creative director, but shifted to a creative consultant in 2011 to revive ML-N.


In 2018, BBC Two dropped the use of the numeral “2” as its logo, instead opting to spell it out — and along with that came a series of new idents from a collection of agencies and designers.

Idents, which is short for “identification,” are also known as “IDs” and serve as a way for a network to reinforce its branding (or “identity”) while also, in some cases, promoting upcoming programming.