Ulster Television/UTV

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


UTV (formerly Ulster Television) is the ITV station serving the region of Northern Ireland. It was formed in 1958 and went on the air a year later. The channel renamed to its current name in 1993. On October 19, 2015, UTV Media sold the brand to ITV plc.

Ulster Television

1st Logo (October 31, 1959-1969)

Visuals: On a black background, seven white dots appear one by one at random places on the screen while they all slowly zoom in together. The first three dots are then connected by two lines - the first short, the second long - which appear simultaneously on the screen. The process is then repeated with the last three dots being joined. Then, two lines draw upwards from the third and fifth dots at the same time, connecting with the fourth dot at the top of the screen to create a “zig zag”. The words “Ulster” then “Television” slowly unfolds at the bottom of the screen.

Trivia: According to UTV's website, this was designed by Roy Irwin of Ballycarry as part of a design competition for the network. The dots in the logo are also supposedly meant to represent the seven major towns/cities in Northern Ireland (Strabane, Londonderry, Enniskillen, Coleraine, Armagh, Ballymena, and Belfast).

Variant: A shortened variant exists, along with an in-credit version.

Technique: A mix of cel-animation and live-action model work.

Audio: A rendition of the Irish folk song "The Mountains Of Mourne", played on a celesta.

Availability: It first appeared at the start of their launch on October 31st, 1959. The shortened version made an appearance on UTV’s 25th anniversary programme. The in-credit version can be seen on The Scandalous Parson and on British television archival sites like "TV Ark" and the "BFI".

2nd Logo (September 14, 1970-Summer 1988)


  • Station ID: An already-formed, still 2D image of UTV’s 1969 logo, similar to the previous design, only the lines have been made thicker and the dots have disappeared. A stylized television screen shape surrounds the new design. The words “Ulster Television” are underneath the logo. Both the oscilloscope device and text are in yellow against a blue background.
  • Accompanying clock ident: Throughout the ident's history, the clock would have different designs, though all of them have a yellow-on-blue colour scheme with the “Ulster Television” below the logo.
  • Early 70's: The clock would have a rather plain-looking design, with dots representing the hours.
  • Late 70's: The clock now resembles something like the BBC's early computer-generated clock, and the oscilloscope logo's added here along with smaller text. There also exists a Christmas version, with the red/white colour scheme and bells of the main logo.
  • 80's: The clock now resembles a tube shape, not unlike the regular logo, with cross-stitching along the entire thing and the "cardinal hours" represented in number form. The logo is also larger.


  • The logo in its early years was seen in a much smaller print.
  • For its early years or at the end of a programme, the word "COLOUR", "PRODUCTION", or "OUTSIDE BROADCAST" is seen below, along with a copyright in Roman numerals according to the type.
  • The logo is also known to have an animated version, with involved the logo being made by a line and scrunching up to form the logo, and the text flipping in below, but no video evidence exists of it other than a recreation here.
  • A B&W version was also used, which eliminates the “COLOUR" text.
  • A Christmas version exists, with the background in red and the logo in white. There are also some bells with a red ribbon, complete with a thick white outline, beside the logo.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: None.

Availability: Preserved by UK logo enthusiasts.

3rd Logo (October 31, 1980-Winter 1988)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a silver statuette (reportedly composed of melted film stock) made up of a stick with a cube roughly in the middle. On the cube’s four faces is the oscilloscope device featured in the previous logo etched into it, with a slight gold tint in the open spaces. The statuette rotates slowly for the duration of the ident, while light reflects off its silver surface. The words “Ulster Television” appear just below the cube part via a “wiping” effect.

Trivia: The entire design of the logo was set on a turntable and the background was merely a black cloth.

Technique: Live-action with computer animation (for the text).

Audio: An analogue synth ditty.

Availability: Last seen on TV Hell in the early '90s.

4th ID (September 7, 1987-1989)

Visuals: Against a grayish background, a silver 3D version of the oscilloscope design is seen, along with the words "Ulster Television" in white. The entire logo casts a shadow in the back, shining as it does, but then zooms out in the end.

Trivia: The logo was originally created during the launch of Six Tonight where the logo would fade into the show after the oscilloscope design zoomed back. The logo would merely freeze in later uses.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the 3rd logo.

Availability: Preserved by UK logo enthusiasts.

Legacy: The animation is quite basic and has not aged well.

5th ID (Summer-Autumn 1988)

Visuals: On a rainbow coloured background is the white text "SUMMER" up against a rainbow coloured scribble. The design from the previous logos in yellow is seen below. The text "on Ulster Television" is below everything else.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Presumably a continuity announcer.

Availability: Was only used for summer broadcasts from the era.

6th ID (January 1, 1989-June 4, 1993)


  • Station ID: On a cloudy gray background, the camera zooms up to the UTV oscilloscope device lying on its side, with the yellow “zigzag pattern” drawing itself within a blue “TV shape”. As the camera gets close up, it suddenly jerks back and rotates up as the logo rises up, revealing the entire thing. A silver CGI banner with the words “Ulster Television” flies in from the bottom right of the screen in a wavelike motion, settling underneath the oscilloscope.
  • Accompanying clock ident: On a grey background, a light grey ring with white spokes in it can be seen. Clock hands in yellow, light blue, and blue are seen, and the Ulster logo is seen in the top right corner, coloured with a blue gradient on the "TV" part.


  • A still variant was used at the end of shows.
  • During continuity sometimes, a cheaply cut-out version of the logo is seen with the banner below, on a much clearer version of the background.
  • A variant exists where the logo is on a sand like background, the “Ulster Television” text is in a different font and is on a cloudy banner. There is a shadow of a window opening, a kite and some butterflies fly on screen and then start flying around. At the near end, a red balloon then flies on screen. This was seen in the Summer of 1992 from a “Blockbusters” promo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A synthesized horn, piano, and drum fanfare.

Audio Variant: On the summer variant, the theme to “Blockbusters” plays.

Availability: Preserved by UK logo enthusiasts. The still variant can be seen in their shows from the time.


1st ID (June 4, 1993-October 1996)

Visuals: On a blurry shot of a waterfall, several different pieces in purple and yellow zoom out. They soon rotate towards the screen to form the new UTV logo, looking completely different from the oscilloscope-based designs. A mostly-purple plate with a yellow slab on the side is seen, with a yellow "U" (except the part touching the yellow slab, which is purple) appearing on it in Times New Roman. "TV" is also seen on the yellow section in Condensed Futura. The background then brightens up a bit.


  • To mark its new logo look, a shot of the 1989 Ulster logo, waving like a flag, was shown. It then blew away to reveal this logo.
  • Sometimes after the logo finishes playing, it "ripples" away.
  • Sometimes, after the logo finishes playing, the "U" shrinks, and the words "IS YO R TV" ( the blank space being filled in by the "U" logo ) wipe in.
  • Very rarely, the logo contains live action elements at the end, often showing people passing by or manipulating it.

Technique: 2D animation, sometimes combined with live-action.

Audio: A calm orchestrated theme.

2nd ID (1996-2000)

Visuals: In front of a shot of an Irish landmark, the camera quickly zooms in towards it. It then blurs and distorts as parts of the UTV logo emerge, forming in at the end. Distortions emerge from it until it ends.

Technique: Computer animation, combined with live-action.

Audio: A soft theme, varying from each ident, with an announcer usually.

3rd ID (2000-2001)

Visuals: On a black background, a large strip filled with clips of Northern Ireland is seen slowly moving along, as different effects play in it and several translucent squares fly pass the screen. After a bit, the strip slowly turns a flurry of colours as the UTV logo emerges via a different effect. Several aftershadows may appear.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A remix of the 9th logo's theme.

4th ID (2001-2002)

Visuals: Footage from around Northern Ireland is shown. A transparent box then slides in to the right, and then the footage goes by quicker as it forms a square with the letter "U" in it, which itself turns into the new UTV logo, which consists of a purple rectangle with the letter "U" on the left, and a smaller yellow rectangle inside that with "TV" in red. The footage then turns into a yellowish, purple or red background with a rotating transparent box inside.

Technique: Live-action, with computer animation for the UTV logo.

Audio: Another remix of the same jingle.

5th ID (2002)

Visuals: A person touches the screen, which ripples into a transparent version of the UTV logo from before. The background turns black.

Technique: A mix of computer animation and live-action.

Audio: A calmer remix of the same jingle.

6th ID (2002-2003)

Visuals: Like the then-current generic ITV1 ident, there is a montage of various ITV1 personalities, which ends with a shot of the UTV logo from before. The logo zooms toward the camera a bit.

Christmas Variant: The Christmas versions feature a snowfall on the UTV logo.

Variants: The regional variants used for local UTV programming featured various UTV personalities, and the national variant featured various ITV personalities.

Technique: Computer animation, as well as live-action. The idents were filmed in the UTV studios at Havelock House in Belfast.

Audio: A jazz-like tune, or a guitar tune. This is sometimes accompanied by a continuity announcement.

Availability: Seen on programming from the era.

7th ID (2003-2006)

Visuals: The camera scrolls through a location in Northern Island. A black border on top displays white text that tells us where the location is which moves slowly to the left, while the bottom has a banner where the UTV logo appears from the left.

Technique: Mainly live action.

Audio: Originally used the ITV1 ident soundtracks used at this time, but sometime later the idents gained their own soundtracks based on the UTV jingle.

8th ID (2006-2011)

Visuals: On a black background, yellow bars form live action footage, with the UTV logo forming on the right. As with before, the text on top describes the place where the footage was filmed.

Later Variants:

  • In 2007, the slogan "It's all about U" (with the U bit being part of the UTV logo) was added below, and the location name was removed. This version was used in tandem with the next one until 2009.
  • In 2008, the background was changed to white.
  • In 2010, the background was changed to blue, and the slogan was removed.

Other Variant: On the days leading up to the celebratory programme UTV Rewind, the Northern Island footage was replaced with older UTV idents.

Technique: 2D computer animation, combined with the live action footage.

Audio: Mostly the same soundtracks as before.

9th ID (2011-2012)

Visuals: There is a video of someone doing something around Northern Ireland. At the left, we see the "U" from the previous logo and a word describing what the person is doing in the video next to it. The word fades out, causing the "TV" banner to appear. The name of the place where the video takes place at appears at the bottom right.

Technique: Live-action mixed with 2D computer animation.

Audio: Unknown.

10th ID (2012-2016)

Visuals: The UTV slogan "Part of U" appears in the middle of a video of something around Northern Ireland, it then closes into the UTV logo, and the name of the place of where the ident of filmed appears on the bottom.

Technique: Mainly live action.

Audio: Unknown.

11th ID (2016-2020)

Visuals: Same as the 2013 ITV logos, but the logo is now the new UTV logo and fades in as one piece. The same "U" is next a circle with the "TV" part of the ITV logo in it.

Technique: Live-action, mixed with computer animation effects.

Audio: Same as the current ITV idents.

Final Note

As of April 2020, UTV's national branding was replaced with the standard ITV branding and their own announcers. This was originally a temporary measure caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but was later announced in November 2020 to be permanent. The UTV brand continues to be used on local programming and news.

ID (1989)

Note: This ident was not used on air, likely because the logo was misrepresented.

See ITV for description.

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