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Channel 4 brings iconic blocks back together for single brand streaming future

Channel 4 is boldly bringing all its digital, social, and linear channels together under one single brand as All 4 becomes ‘Channel 4’, elevating the broadcaster’s streaming-first commitment for the digital age.

Audiences will enjoy a more seamless and connected viewing experience across all of Channel 4’s services and platforms. Whether they choose to stream or watch live, viewers only need to navigate to one single destination ‘Channel 4’ to easily find and watch the very best free entertainment available in the UK.

Channel 4 commissioned design consultancy Pentagram to collaborate with its award-winning in-house creative agency 4creative to develop a new cohesive brand identity.

Amidst an increasingly crowded digital world of available content, this innovative and entirely new design identity stretches across all of Channel 4’s streaming and linear services to help audiences easily recognise and find their favourite content and programmes from the channel.

As a starting point, Channel 4’s iconic blocks have been brought back together after eight years apart, placing the channel’s iconic Lambie-Nairn ‘4’ logo back at its heart.

Pentagram and 4creative have reimagined the 4 as a companion to viewers to guide them through Channel 4’s ‘Altogether Different’ content universe. The brand’s touchpoints are anchored by a vibrant green ‘4’, reflecting the alternative spirit of the channel, which navigates the viewer through a wider colour system of immersive gradients and worlds that reflect the rich diversity of Channel 4 content. A new iconographic language featuring a set of ‘4mojis’ has also been devised to help give the brand a sense of mischief in even the most functional of communications.

All new brand assets are underpinned by behavioural principles that flex to enable Channel 4 to retain its creative spirit in communications. These principles join a newly defined brand architecture and a sharpened articulation of Channel 4’s distinctive personality and tone of voice. Together, they provide a guiding framework for the broadcaster’s future creative evolution with unlimited scope for new ideas, stories, and imagery.

Lynsey Atkin, Executive Creative Director at 4creative, said: ““It has been a privilege to work with the team at Pentagram to create a new identity for Britain’s most visually progressive broadcaster. Bringing back our iconic logo and putting it front and centre, amongst a modern and vibrant system made distinct through colour, motion, and typography, gives us the consistency necessary in today’s visually noisy world, whilst still allowing us the creative spirit inherent within the Channel 4 brand. After many, many months of work we’re delighted to see it out in the world, helping us be Altogether Different now and into the future.”

Luke Powell, Partner and Creative Director at Pentagram said: “The ask to work on a brand that is inherently rebellious and unapologetically creative, but also in need of cohesion and clarity across its channels and platforms, could seem contradictory. However, embracing this duality, the masterbrand system we’ve created unifies where it needs to, but encourages expression the rest of the time. Channel 4 is now set up with a principles-based system that can guide outputs across all of their shows, channels, collections and partnerships today, as well as preparing it for a rapidly evolving and unpredictable future.”

To help deliver Channel 4’s new look, 4creative and Pentagram worked with motion design specialists Found, and digital experts Stink Studios to bring the brand identity to life across all of Channel 4’s platforms. To complement the visuals, a new audio identity has been created by Factory and SIREN.

Continuing Channel 4’s brand transformation, the broadcaster will soon unveil a series of brand-new idents later this summer. Using an infinite loop, they are designed as an inclusive system that welcomes diversity of expression – a reflection of modern Britain and a tapestry of how we live now. BCS Bureau

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