All about the programmes...
In 1996, Carlton Television decided to relaunch the on screen look to fit their programming output. Again developed with Lambie-Nairn, their new look replaced the ‘people’ idents, with idents that focused on the programmes that were shown on the station. The next iteration of the on-screen identity became not about the people, but it came about the programmes. The logic was that you make the programmes the star.
"People were tuning in to see Coronation Street they want something that is about Coronation Street. [...] And so they put a flashing blue light on the side or on top of the logo, and it became a police car, with the right sound effects you’d get something that is redolent of the police. So you play around with the elements you’ve got, you create something more useful in a way, because you’ve got away from people, and you’ve got more action going on." (Eley, 2017)
The idents would feature animations of the typeface that would be symbolic of the upcoming programme.
"It was a feeling from the Carlton board that they wanted it to be a little brasher and more pacey. It was one of those instances where people were rebelling against the minimal style that Martin had given them. They wanted it to be more showy. ITV has always been more about showiness, it has always been strong on light entertainment, sport, popular programing. It’s not had the duty of the BBC to inform as well as entertain. It’s sort of been able to be racier." (Eley, 2017)
Frames from the Sport ident, which featured the 'O' in Carlton being bounced all over the screen before landing within the Carlton logotype.
A montage of Carlton idents from Martin Lambie-Nairn's book. Notable in the montage is the ident at the bottom, for Coronation Street, with the N character repeated to form a row of terraced houses.
Though the idents were taken off air before ITV was shown in widescreen, the production endcaps were still in use before they were replaced with the star versions, and thus widescreen versions of the Carlton endcaps can be seen on some programmes.
Central & WestCountry
Ultimately, this identity was exported to regional Carlton companies Westcountry and Central, with the name Carlton being substituted by Central and Westcountry in those regions.