Channel 4

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

1st ID (2 November 1982-10 October 1996)


Bo Gehring reel variant


  • Station ID: Eight blocks of different sizes but matching colours: blue, purple, yellow and green, with a single red bar, form the number "4" on a black background. There are several animations on how this happens:
    • Round And Back: The logo, already formed, spins around, the blocks, in turn, spinning before setting back into place.
    • Interlock: Hundreds of little blocks fly in from the top right of the screen. The camera pans across as they go off the bottom left and sets in the middle, where the blocks form the logo.
    • Implosion/Explosion: The blocks spin onto the screen from various places, setting and forming the logo in the center. The latter name refers to a reversed version of it, mainly used for closedowns.
    • Space Trip: The logo, already formed, breaks apart into hundreds of blocks that fly off the bottom left screen. They reappear from the top right and set back to reform the logo.
    • Space Squad: Hundreds of multicoloured blocks fly in from the right side of the screen, flying past the camera in some cases. The camera shifts around to reveal the blocks forming the logo.
    • A still image of the formed logo (retired in November 1992).
  • Accompanying clock ident:
    • The hours are represented by white bars for each hour, with the second, minute, and hour hands being yellow, red, and blue respectively. A flat 2D version of the Channel 4 logo can be seen in the top right corner of the screen.
    • Starting in July 1994, the clock was given a hazy grey ring around the hour hands, and the logo is also pushed further into the corner as well.
    • In the Christmas of 1983 and 1985, the clock is superimposed on the backgrounds of the programming menus.


  • The logo was designed by Robinson/Lambie-Nairn and animated by the defunct Los Angeles-based CGI company Bo Gehring and Associates, as there was no computer at the time that was able to animate the logo in the UK.
  • At the time, "Fourscore" was the shortest musical piece to be copyrighted, and a full version, originally played on launch day, was released as a single on vinyl records. The album's reverse side also featured a calmer, synthesized version of the jingle (not related in any way to the 1992 version), also composed by David Dundas, called "Fourscore II". This version was used to accompany stills where there was a technical fault and was also used to fill up the time allotted for commercial breaks if a region's ITV franchise had not sold enough commercials to fill the timeslot.
  • During the 1980s, back when there were no rules about advertising tobacco products on TV in the UK, an advert for Hamlet's cigars aired that was a parody of the 4 ident, though it was still produced and animated by the same company behind the standard logo.
  • This ident was also reused on 28 December 2020 as a tribute to Martin Lambie-Nairn, who had died on Christmas Day.
  • Similar to the above, the ident was also reused (specifically the "Round And Back" variant, though it slowly zooms in as well) throughout the day on 22 January 2021, alongside other '80s era presentation animations, to promote the show It's A Sin. The on-screen bug and break bumpers seen during shows were also modified to show this logo's colours.

Variants: There are various versions of this logo. Below are some examples:

  • These logos had unique variations for certain programmes, such as American football (the blocks forming an American football player wearing a helmet) and Football Italia (a football strikes the formed logo, turning it into the colours of the Italian flag).
  • A Christmas tape from 1985 had it stylized after an old B&W film print, complete with a deteriorated version of Fourscore as well.
  • Christmas idents:
    • Christmas 1982: The animation of the logo is superimposed on a background of a shiny Christmas bauble with several glowing lines. A 2D still variant with snow piled on the logo was also used as well.
    • Christmas 1983: Like in 1982, the animation is superimposed on a background, although this time consists of a starry sky.
    • Christmas 1984: On a dark blue background with a snow floor, there is a snowman in the shape of the Channel 4 logo. Snow constantly falls.
    • Christmas 1985-1986?: The animation goes as usual. However, the logo eventually gradually turns from multicoloured to frozen at the end.
    • Christmas 1987: Essentially, the same ident, with just a Christmas version of the Fourscore theme.
    • Christmas 1988: There is a metallic version of the Channel 4 logo, while the screen constantly shows different glowing curves and lines appearing. Some glow appears in sync with the Fourscore theme.
    • Christmas 1989: On a murky dark red/black background, a blue cup is seen on the bottom, glowing furiously and giving off mist. This mist shows the Channel 4 logo in a ghastly shade of blue, with most of it disappearing from the lack of it.
    • Christmas 1990: A clear prism version of the logo is seen on a whiteboard, where the light shines and shifts through it. The Fourscore theme is also given a new arrangement with a female chorus and twinkles, giving it a heavenly-sounding video.
    • Christmas 1991: The screen fades through three different close-up shots of the logo, where various colourful imagery of patterns flashes on it. The logo then fades to the logo tilting into position, with the main centerpiece of this year's theme (a 4-pointed star with a test card-like pattern on the back, also covered in various colourful images) faded into the background.
    • Christmas 1992: The logo is rendered in a stained glass-like look, with a colourful pattern of squares surrounding it and the black square, and it features it zooming out and shining. The theme is also a medieval-styled version of the 1992 theme.
    • Christmas 1993: Going with the "Christmas in New York" theme, the logo starts with a different shot of NYC around Christmas time. The shot then defocuses, revealing the Channel 4 logo in white. The sounds of the city, as well as a reverse cymbal crash and ding when the logo forms, are heard.
    • Christmas 1994: Like a revised version of the 1985 variant, the logo freezes over in a thin layer of frost, with rotating sparkles on the inside. Freezing sounds and sparkles are also heard.
    • Christmas 1995: A metallic version of the logo, along with a star on top, is seen before the logo slides in on itself. The star grows as well and flashes with the colours of the logo, radiating off its lights of it as well. A modified version of the logo, mirrored on both sides to resemble a Christmas tree, slides out of itself and starts rotating. A mysterious-sounding synth tune plays throughout.

Technique: CGI animation.


  • 2 November 1982-1 November 1992: A bombastic four-note fanfare called "Fourscore" composed by David Dundas, who also composed the regional ident music for ITV. Various versions of the jingle were used. The still version was silent aside from the continuity announcer.
  • 2 November 1992-10 October 1996: A new fanfare was introduced, based on the original one. It would feature various reprises of the same basic tune, usually accompanied by four chimes, and also features a loud gong at the end. This version was brought in to replace the original jingle, as it was costing the channel too much to keep in use - David Dundas was paid £3.50 every time the original jingle was used, amounting to him earning around £1000 a week.

Audio Variant:

  • On Bo Gehring's 1982 animation reel, a different synth tune is heard. This tune is taken from the production libraries of Dallas-based jingle company JAM Creative Productions.
  • When an important person (e.g. a member of Parliament) died, a more somber version of Fourscore was played in memoriam.

Availability: Seen on Channel 4 from it's interception until 1996.

  • It partially returned for Channel 4's 25th birthday in 2007, on some adverts on C4 and its sister channel E4 as well.
  • It has also made sporadic appearances since then.
  • The clock as a whole was used from 1982-1994, but also reappeared on 22 January 2021, for It's A Sin.

2nd ID (11 October 1996-1 April 1999)

Visuals: Footage of live-action places which suddenly blur, and four circles are quickly formed on the screen, one of which contains the Channel 4 logo from before. They are arranged in various ways.


  • Other idents had a softer transition. The footage blurs as the four circles land on it, with several waves coming from the circles.
  • Christmas Idents:
    • Christmas 1996: The footages centre around Santa, who is treated like a standard English citizen. The animation of the circles is intact.
    • Christmas 1997: On a white background, a lot of baby blue circles (with one containing the Channel 4 logo) are flashing. They sometimes turn purple, or get cut by white lines.

Technique: 2D computer animation superimposed over live-action footage. Produced by Tomato.

Audio: The noises of the live-action footage ending in either a whoosh or a bunch of synth sounds.

Availability: Used by Channel 4 until 1999.

3rd ID (2 April 1999-30 December 2004)

Visuals: Although varied, most of the idents featured a moving background made from a bunch of rectangles. Then, the "4", now on a white square, is formed in a sort of way on the right. The animation continues while the announcer is present.


  • April-December 1999: These idents were created by Spin, and mostly featured the rectangles on same colour tones, while the square with the number "4" was formed by a scanning pulse. Other versions had different fast-paced footage of places showing while the rectangles are moving.
  • December 1999-December 2001: These idents were created by STATIC. The lines now feature more different shades, has the Channel 4 logo shown in different ways rather than just being "scanned". Like before, fast-paced footage can be seen, although this time in the same shades as the rectangles.
  • January 2002-30 December 2004: Another ident set created by Spin. This time the animation was focused on different ambiances, rather than just the rectangles. The Channel 4 logo still has different ways to appear. Starting in May 2002, the Channel 4 URL "" is added below the logo.
  • Christmas Idents:
    • Christmas 2000-2003: While the bars are barely seen, a lot of snow is falling to the right. The same square appears but shows a tree at first, then shows the Channel 4 logo. Red and light blue versions are known to be used.
  • South Park Idents:
    • Eric Cartman: On an orange version of the lines background, Eric Cartman stands to the right, facing the camera while holding a box of Cheesy Poofs in front of a brick wall and some snow-covered mountains. Cartman looks to the left before looking shocked and facing the camera fearfully as a dark orange line races towards him and falls over on him on contact, which angers him. He tries to push away the line only for more and more lines to race forth and fall over on him, causing him to throw a screeching tantrum and shake his Cheesy Poofs box in rage, causing it to emit a cloud of cheesy dust each time. The last line passes through and wipes the scene away to reveal the Channel 4 logo.
    • Kyle Broflovski: On an indigo version of the lines background, Kyle Broflovski stands to the right, holding a tan box in front of and in-between Main Street's long red and small olive green buildings. The lid of the box begins to shake, which Kyle notices, and Mr. Hankey flies out and waves his right arm. He then jumps onto and all around the indigo background, leaving fecal smears as he does so and causing Kyle to stare at the camera in concern. He then jumps back over to Kyle to leave a smear on the olive green building before going back into the box and the indigo background wipes away the scene to reveal the Channel 4 logo.
    • There are two idents featuring Kenny McCormick:
      • On a similar background as the Kyle ident, to the right is Kenny McCormick standing at the Bus Stop. He looks to the left and up for a moment before looking back at the camera and tightening his hood out of fear as a dark blue line races towards him. The line briefly stops, squishing his head as it does so, before proceeding to move and crushing his head, leaving a thin bloody line. The Channel 4 logo wipes in.
      • Another ident plays out similarly to the above, but this time, the line decapitates Kenny, and his head shakes and falls to the ground before his neck spurts blood once.
    • Stan Marsh: On a teal version of the lines background, Stan Marsh is to the right, at the Bus Stop. He then hears Wendy Testaburger greet him, which makes him vomit green barf in front of him and to both his sides in bursts. He then continues vomiting in bursts, which eventually fills his area with vomit nearly to the top of the screen, and the Channel 4 logo wipes in as he does so.
    • Chef: On a blue version of the lines background, Chef is to the right, in a grey room in front of a door that has a yellow "IN" sign above it. A dark blue line races towards Chef, exciting him, and when it reaches him, he hugs it and rubs his hands up and down it before tilting it to the left and smiling. He then tilts it to the right and begins kissing it before straightening it and rubbing his hands on and kissing it again before the blue background gradually wipes away the scene and the Channel 4 logo wipes in.

Technique: 2D computer animation done by British design agency Spin.

Audio: It depends on the variant shown.

  • April-December 1999: The music theme was a remix of the track Upstream by d*note. A loud sound is heard when the Channel 4 logo is formed.
  • December 1999-December 2001: Different kind of tunes focused around a calm theme.
  • January 2002-30 December 2004: Different sort of synth tunes.

Availability: Used by Channel 4 until near the end of December 2004.

4th ID (31 December 2004-28 September 2015)

Visuals: There is an area or a part of the environment. Around the middle of the ident, the Channel 4 logo will form for a split second, made up of various objects depending on the variant.


  • The Simpsons Homer ident was a unique animation commissioned by 4Creative, and was produced by Gracie Films and animated by Film Roman and Rough Draft Korea. The animation from this ident was worked into the couch gag for the season 25 episode "Specs and the City" with some alterations (rather than the original hammock scene, Homer is watching the Super Bowl and discovers that Bart threw the pack of Duff onto the power lines outside, leading into the animation from the ident), and whilst the lighting effects during the power outage scene were altered to remove the giant 4 logo, it can still be clearly seen in the street outlines if one looks closely enough. After the 2015 rebrand, this episode is now the only way to see said ident broadcast on TV.
  • The Rollercoaster variant was entirely filmed at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.
  • The Abbey ident was filmed at Bayham Old Abbey.
  • During April Fool's Day 2011, all idents used on-screen were edited to remove the Channel 4 logo completely.

Variants: There are many idents:

Original 2004 set:

  • Bowls: There is a group of people playing lawn bowls outside as hedges in the shape of the Channel 4 logo parts fly around. Most of them don't notice, but one elderly lady on a bench turns around to see the sights in front of her. The Channel 4 logo is briefly made out of the shadows of the levitating hedges. This ident was often used to introduce live cricket coverage live tests and highlights. There is also a shorter version of this ident, which was only shown before a Deal or No Deal episode aired on 21 September 2009.
  • Diner: The Channel 4 logo is briefly formed during the panning of an American diner/motel. This ident was often used to introduce the news.
  • Flats: The screen pans through the balcony of a dark and dreary apartment complex (usually referred to as 'flats' in the UK), with the Channel 4 logo briefly forming from parts of the surrounding buildings. This ident was often used to introduce The Land Before Time (1988 film).
  • Dubai: The camera sweeps across the Dubai landscape, showing lots of buildings under construction, and the Channel 4 logo forms from the various buildings.
  • Hay Bales: The screen pans across a landscape of fields with hay bales dotted around, with the Channel 4 logo forming from levitating hay bales, one of which is on fire.
  • Pigeon: There are some pigeons flying onto Trafalgar Square in London, the capital of the U.K., and walking on a large Channel 4 logo on a plinth. The logo then squeezes itself and retracts, causing some of the pigeons to either fly away or die (not visibly).
  • Market: The camera walks through a busy street market, with the Channel 4 logo briefly coming into view overhead formed from various market stands and carts.
  • Pylons: The camera is situated in a car driving down a country road surrounded by large electricity pylons when it pans to the back of the car to reveal the Channel 4 logo briefly appearing from pieces of the pylons.
  • Taxi: There are various taxi cabs in an American city, swerving around the road whilst the camera focuses on levitating blocks overhead. The blocks briefly appear to form the Channel 4 logo.
  • Roadworks: The sequence starts inside a car driving down a motorway, with visible floating roadworks signs in the distance. A car in front swerves to the left and the Channel 4 logo appears formed from roadworks signs.
  • Alien: A woman and a man donning a cowboy hat are stuck worried in a car as mysterious metal objects fly around them and form the Channel 4 logo twice.

In 2006 and 2007, extra idents were added to the set:

  • Containers: The camera pans through a shipping port with various containers and other mechanical devices. The Channel 4 logo briefly appears formed from containers and distant structures.
  • Tokyo: The camera walks through a busy street in Tokyo, before turning around to reveal the Channel 4 logo briefly forming from neon signs and building parts.
  • Stage: The camera starts at the top of a music stage and slowly pans down into the field below, with the Channel 4 logo appearing from various speakers, lights, and a cart.
  • Rollercoaster: The Channel 4 logo is briefly formed during a first-person rollercoaster ride. There is also a shorter version of this ident, which was only shown before The Rugrats Movie.
  • Rocks: The back of a large rock peeks out of the ocean, and the camera pans around it to briefly reveal the Channel 4 logo made up of lots of rocks.
  • Homer: Homer Simpson puts a pack of Duff beer on his hammock, but the force created by him lying on it causes the cans to fly up onto the electrical lines. He screams and falls off the hammock, and climbs up a tree to try and retrieve the cans. However, every time he tries to grab them he gets electrocuted. Night falls, and he tries one last time to get the cans. The shock causes one of them to open, and he tries drinking the can and gets electrocuted at the same time. The screen pans out from the Simpsons' backyard to reveal that every time he drinks, a power outage briefly flashes and forms the Channel 4 logo.

In 2010, more idents were added to the set. Some idents, such as Roadworks and Alien, were removed from the lineup.

  • Junkyard: The screen pans across a junkyard to see a forklift grabbing some broken cars. A stack of junk and the forklift itself briefly form the Channel 4 logo. This ident originally aired as part of Channel 4's '3D Week' in 2009, before joining the main lineup in 2010.
  • Blackpool: The sequence starts on the sidewalk as various people are walking down the street. The camera pans up and around to reveal the Channel 4 logo, formed from buildings, signs, and part of the Blackpool Tower.
  • Airplanes: The camera pans through a largely deserted area full of old aircraft, before panning up into the sky to briefly reveal the Channel 4 logo formed from said aircraft.
  • Abbey: The screen pans through the old ruins of an abbey, with bunnies running away from the camera, as it pans out to reveal the Channel 4 logo.

Technique: CGI animation incorporated into live-action footage, produced by The Moving Picture Company.

Audio: Depending on the logo variant shown.

Availability: Seen on Channel 4 right up until 2015.

5th ID (29 September 2015-30 October 2017)

Visuals: One of four different surreal footages (which are shown in different lengths). The Channel 4 logo is not directly seen; instead, its parts are seen scattered across the idents.

Technique: Live-action. These idents were filmed by renowned music video and commercial director Jonathan Glazer.

Audio: An ambient tune composed by Mica Levi for each ident.

6th ID (29 September 2015-29 April 2023)


  • Station ID: Several blocks bash about on a coloured background, each block being part of the Channel 4 logo.
  • Accompanying clock ident: The clock makes a return for the first time in 20 years, being a large pile of blocks. The blocks are seen around 2 invisible clock hands, which bounce in real-time with the ticking. There are also several different colour variations.


  • A Simpsons variant is aired before episodes of The Simpsons, although not all the time. In this one, the blocks, all coloured yellow, keep moving toward different parts of the blue background, along with a pair of circular shapes resembling eyes with small black pupils. Although new bumpers were introduced on 19 June 2017, this one is still used in one way or another, either still being used before an episode, or as a bumper between episodes.
  • Another ident is used for the coverage of Formula 1 motor racing, with red blocks on a blue background.
  • Beginning on 19 June 2017, all new break bumpers were made, this time actually showing the logo being formed in some matter before being thrown about.
  • In the event of a death in the Royal Family or other emergency matters, a more somber, all-grey bumper will be used instead. The background has a unique shimmer to it as the blocks silently move slightly in the lower-right corner.

Technique: CGI animation. These idents were animated by DBLG.

Audio: The Simpsons variant uses several loud saxophone notes that play in time to the blocks on screen moving.

Availability: With the exception of the variants, this lasted until 2017 when the next ident came along, its variants continued until 2023.

7th ID (31 October 2017-14 June 2023)

Visuals: As with the previous idents, there are numerous different versions that run in different lengths. All idents feature a large metal construct that resembles a man, built out of the various parts of the Channel 4 logo.


  • One ident features the construct running alongside a group of Paralympic cyclists. It's eventually unable to keep up with them and stops by the side of the road, tiredly wheezing out the Fourscore tune, and collapses into pieces.
  • Another ident features the construct walking up a mountain path that overlooks a distant town. It stands out on one of the peaks, facing the town, and blares Fourscore, the sound and force of it causing havoc in the town, knocking a cyclist off their bike, causing animals to cry out, making a couple put on protective headsets, a person closing their window, and a man along with a group of schoolchildren trying to stand against the force of the blast. The construct eventually stops, chuckles, and it cuts back to the kids toppling over in unison.
  • Another ident features the construct playing in the middle of a street with a group of kids, kicking a football around. After a while, the construct kicks the ball wide, which ends up breaking the window of a nearby house. The angry occupant shouts at the group, giving chase as they all run away, the construct quickly playing the Fourscore tune.
  • The fourth ident features a kaiju-sized construct submerged in the ocean, barring the top of its head, upon which a group of people (who appear to be immigrants) are sitting. It emerges from the water as it approaches the white cliffs of Dover, allowing the people to dismount from it atop the cliffs. Once they are off, it walks back towards the sea, turning around to wave at the group as it blares Fourscore.

Trivia: These idents were filmed in Liverpool, the Peak District, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

Technique: Live-action with CGI animation. As with the 2004 idents, these were also produced by The Moving Picture Company.

Audio: The background music for each ident is a simple guitar track that borrows thematically from the channel's famous "Fourscore" tune from the first logo. The construct itself blares out the jingle at the end of every idents, sounding akin to a foghorn.

Availability: Used by Channel 4 until 2023. In it's final years, the 8th ID and its variants were used in tandem alongside it.

8th ID (2 November 2022-)

Visuals: On a green/blue cube background, the blocks of the Channel 4 logo grow and spin, forming the logo. The background moves and changes colour throughout the ident, while the 4 changes positions to match with the background.


  • These are the first idents since 2004 to feature the full "4" logo for longer than a split second.
  • The 2023 Channel 4 rebrand, including this logo, won two Bronze Clios at the 2023 Clio Entertainment Awards.


  • On 3 May 2023[1], to help promote the Channel 4 corporate rebrand, the ident was updated to feature a more dramatic jingle, different soundscape, and replaced the white Channel 4 logo with a neon green logo.
  • On 7 May 2023[2], a new ident was created to promote the Channel 4 streaming service. This ident opens with a living room containing a television displaying a home screen reminiscent of the Apple TV home screen. After the Channel 4 app is opened, a collage of shows available on the streaming service is panned around the screen.

Technique: CGI animation by 4Creative and Pentagram.

Audio: A calm 4-note jingle (not a rendition of Fourscore in any way for the first time since 2017), followed by ambient synth notes mixed in with whooshes. Composed by Anthony Moore at Factory Studios.

Availability: Seen on Channel 4 since 2022. In its first year of use until 2023, it was used in tandem with the 7th IDs until 2023.

9th ID (14 June 2023-)

Visuals: The camera pans around various scenes depending on the variant with the Channel 4 logo from before in white with a cube-shaped portal to the next scene.


  • Like before, these are also the first idents since 2004 to feature the full "4" logo for longer than a split second.
  • The 2023 Channel 4 rebrand, including these idents, won two Bronze Clios at the 2023 Clio Entertainment Awards.

Technique: Live-action mixed with 2D and CGI animation, made by 4Creative, Optical Arts, Art Practice, and Love Song.

Audio: Ambient sounds with whatever is happening in every set of idents.

Availability: Used by Channel 4 since 2023.

Unused Idents

ID (1991)

Visuals: On a black background, there are three CGI rectangles coloured blue, red and yellow stretching and rotating in various directions, eventually forming a simplified "4". It stays still for a few seconds before rotating and stopping again.

Technique: CGI animation by award-winning designer/director Matt Forrest of Snapper Films.

Audio: A dramatic drumbeat with a ethical flute sound and a crowd shouting "FOUR!". The music ends with a powerful hit and it's followed by an announcer spiel.

Availability: It was never transmitted on the main channel, as it would still use the 1982 ident.


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