Channel 4 debuts ‘room within a room’ concept for updated idents

Subscribe to NewscastStudio for the latest news, project case studies and product announcements in broadcast technology, creative design and engineering delivered to your inbox.

Along with completing the rollout of a network-wide rebranding, Britain’s Channel 4 has also debuted a series of new idents that combine the work of 17 different creatives in a continuously-looping theme that draws inspiration from the concept of “rooms.”

“Our idents reach 50 million people in the U.K. every month, so we wanted to represent all of us, the rich diversity of our nation, our communities, and our passions. This is not only a representation of Channel 4, this is the most viewed piece of public art in the UK, that will be seen for many years to come, so it was important to us that it spoke to everyone. Whoever you are, we hope you will find something that speaks to your heart,” Channel 4 ‘s chief marketing officer Zaid Al-Qassab said in a statement.

The initial series of idents have 25 distinct scenes designed to be used in groups of five. 

The network showcased all five versions in a single showing to mark the debut of the new idents on June 14, 2023, between “Hollyoaks” and “Channel 4 News.”

This version featured specially commissioned words from British writer John Joseph Holt, who also provided the voiceover for the spoken-world style vocals.

The Channel 4 rebranding that began rolling out in 2022 relies heavily on the concept of spaces that the network dubbed “rooms” — which are created using a combination of gradients in a fresh color palette to form a slightly abstract interpretation of a physical space.

The new idents, which Channel 4’s in-house studio 4creative developed with production company Art Practice, build upon that concept by imaging the lower left square segment of the redrawn Channel 4 logo as a “room” for the 25 unique scenes to play out in.

Advertisement

Combining live action with computer-generated art, the scenes are meant to showcase the modern diversity of daily life in Great Britain. 

“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. Rooted in authenticity, the casting process resulted in real families, couples, and groups of friends featuring in the majority of scenes,” Executive Creative Director Lynsey Atkin said in the statement.

While some of the scenes take the concept of a “room” quite literally — there are also vignettes that take place outdoors or in imaginary spaces.

A continual theme, however, is that at some point the Channel 4 logo appears in each scene as the viewport rotates to the lower left square to reveal the next scene.

Some of these scenes feature the logo as a 3D object seemingly floating in the middle of the screen, while others are more abstract, with the logo created using objects such as items for sale on store shelves or containers moving around a warehouse.

Other scenes incorporate tuck the Channel 4 logo into the on-screen elements, such as making it appear as if it’s been partially buried in sand or set ablaze.

The visual style of each scene varies from hyper-realistic to ones meant to simulate various art mediums. Filters and other effects are used to give some scenes different feelings, ranging from a home video from 1982 to a grainy black and white nighttime scene. There’s also a scene with an almost storybook-like illustrative style. 

Live action was filmed over four days in and around Glasgow, according to the network.

Many scenes feature diverse visuals representing a wide range of customs and practices, people living with disabilities and spectrum of social groups and sexual and gender identity. 

Advertisement

Given the concept of “rooms” of different themes and scenes, it’s also easy to see how this concept could be expanded to include more variations in the future, as well as topical ones for new trends, special occasions and events.

In addition to 4creative and Art Practice, Time Based Arts, String and Tins, Optical Arts, Bafic and The Line also contributed various creative and production services to the project.

Project credits

  • Client: Channel 4
  • Agency: 4creative
  • Production company: Art Practice
  • Executive Creative Director: Lynsey Atkin
  • Creative Directors: Mike Skrgatic, Daniel Wolfe, Lynsey Atkin, Bafic
  • Directors: Saman Aminzadeh, Optical Arts, Bafic, Mike Battcock, Will Dohrn, Daniel Eatock, Mike Skrgatic and James Allen, Verity May Lane, Maria Lax, The Line, Louis McCourt, Justyna Obasi, Elliott Power, The Romantix, Dan Tobin Smith, Daniel Wolfe
  • Voice and words: John Joseph Holt
For 4creative
  • Executive Creative Director: Lynsey Atkin
  • Managing Director: Katie Jackson
  • Executive Producer: Louise Oliver
  • Senior Producer: Lauren Holden
  • Production Manager: Hope Sutherland
  • Junior Producer: Jazz Stradling
For Channel 4
  • Chief Marketing Officer: Zaid Al-Qassab
  • Marketing Director: Amber Kirby
  • Head of Brand Transformation: Matt Berry
  • Marketing Lead, Brand Transformation: Simi Murthy
  • Marketing Executive, Brand Transformation: Lana Camp
For Art Practice x Love Song
  • Creative Director (Art Practice): Mike Skrgatic
  • Creative Director (Love Song): Daniel Wolfe
  • Executive Producer: James Guy
  • Producer: Bonnie Anthony
  • Production Manager: Julia Guignabel
  • Production Coordinator: Shirley Crawford
  • Production Assistant: Katie Reid
  • Directors of Photography: Daniel Landin, Eponine Momenceau
  • Moco Supervisor: Simone Tartaglia
  • Moco Operator: Tomi Keeling
  • 1st Assistant Director: Rob Blishen
  • Production Designer: Arthur De Borman
  • Art Directors: Matthew Fraser, Imogen Grant Toner
    Casting Directors: Kharmel Cochrane, Claire Catterson, Found Casting, Belinda Norcliffe
  • Costume Designers: Hannah Edwards, Bratsk Collective, Ella Lucia
  • Hair & Makeup: Lu Hinton, Ainslie Currie
  • Editor: Fouad Gaber, Trim Editing
  • VFX and Post Production: Time Based Arts
  • Audio Post Production: String and Tins
For Time Based Arts
  • Producer: Chris Aliano
  • 2D Supervisors: Stephen Grasso, Leo Weston, Miguel Wratten
  • CG Supervisors: Mike Battcock, Sam Osborne, Nick Smalley
    2D Team: Manolo Perez, Jamie Crofts, Olivia O’Neil, Lucy Lawrence, Valeria Scalamandre, Eleonora Laddago, Bernie Varela, Chris Fraser, Dan Cowley, Tom Robinson
  • CG Team: Ben Cantor, Nigel Timms, Bethan Williams, Ian Baird, Jordan Coles, Maxime Ponsart, Joe Ibbett, Teodora Retegan, Quentin Corker-Marin, Stephen Ross
  • Grading: Max Ferguson Hook, Simone Grattarola
For String and Tins
  • Audio Post Production: String and Tins
  • Sound Supervisor: Will Cohen
  • Sound Designers: Lawrence Kendrick, Culum Simpson, Jim Stewart, Kaspar Broyd, Adam Smyth, Joe Wilkinson, Adam Hare, Will Cohen, Mike Bamford
  • Music Composers: Will Cohen, Culum Simpson, Adam Smyth, Jim Stewart, Kaspar Broyd, Miink, Cal Swingler, J. Caesar, Matthew Watson, Daniel Freeman, Anthony Moore
  • Music Supervisors: Laura-Leigh Smith and Mike Bamford
  • Audio Producers: Laura-Leigh Smith and Rachel Hough
For Optical Arts & Dan Tobin Smith
  • Founder / Creative Director: Dan Tobin Smith
  • EP / Studio Director: Hannah May
  • Creative Directors: Fabrice Le Nezet, Martin Pryor, Joe Jackson
  • CG team: Nicolas Damour, Flora Macleod
  • Creative Assistant: Minna Griffiths
  • Production Assistant: Stephanie Skarbek
For The Line
  • Directors: Tim McCourt, Max Taylor
  • Executive Producer: Laura Breaden
  • Producer: Macarena Gaset

Subscribe to NewscastStudio for the latest news, project case studies and product announcements in broadcast technology, creative design and engineering delivered to your inbox.