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.

View full version on Giphy

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.

Sign up for NewscastStudio's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest broadcast industry news to your inbox including new debuts, case studies, thought leadership and broadcast gear updates.