CR Blog

A new identity for More4

Graphic Design, Music Video / Film

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 24 January 2012, 11:03    Permalink    Comments (63)

Digital channel More4 launched a new identity yesterday created by ManvsMachine and Channel 4's in-house agency, 4Creative. The graphic device is also carried across a range of idents featuring installations made up of 400 mechanical 'flippers'...

The redesign replaces the inaugural identity created by Spin for the channel's launch in 2005 and will be used in idents and across marketing material. Spin's design employed a graphic number "4" housing the word 'MORE' and (to my mind at least) resembled a stylised hand with one finger pressing a remote control. (More images of the previous identity are on Spin's website, here.)

"The original branding of More4 was very bold and uncompromising," says Chris Wood, 4Creative's head of on-air promotions for More4. "The colourways and graphic look gave the channel a unique 'grown up' look that worked perfectly with the original content and ambitions. However, over the years the content of the channel has shifted and with the plans to launch the upcoming 'scrapbook' service, it was felt it was time to redress the gap between the channel branding and channel content."

More4's original identity design by Spin

ManvsMachine's new identity moves away from the minimal approach of the previous design and incorporates 15 differently coloured triangular shapes, which also animate, again making up the numeral with the text similarly placed.

"We still wanted to create an identity that had a singular strong design feel, but one that had more flexibility and a lot more warmth and tactility," adds Wood. "In addition, in the back of your mind you have to ensure any new look can sit comfortably and hold it's own along side the other Channel 4 brands."

Here's how the new identity works on-air:

While the new graphic device is clearly an attempt to use something that has a bit more activity to it, the sense of movement is translated in a series of live action idents designed and directed by ManvsMachine in collaboration with art installation designers, Jason Bruges Studio, and students from Middlesex University.

Each one is made up of hundreds of mechanical 'flipper' units that, when set in motion, reveal a range of colours and patterns. These structures are placed within a series of different environments, such as a cafe, a staircase, on a tree, and on an abandoned boat on a beach in Dungeness.

"The new idents are definitely born from the new mark," says Wood. "We knew we want to create live action idents, initially ideas were too convoluted or grandiose, but as ManvsMachine developed how the logo would animate it inspired them to think about taking elements and breaking them out into the real world. After that, creatively, things pretty quickly came to the point at where the idents are now.

"However, the realities of designing, manufacturing, installing and transporting 400 flipper units was a challenge, but all those variables, the extra input and expertise we gained along the way, means we've ended up with something that is incredibly visually satisfying, is unpretentious, and has warmth and charm."

According to ManvsMachine's James Greenfield the flexible logo "morphs through a series of flips, folds and reveals [and so] the colour palette reflects the vibrant nature of interiors, food culture, fashion and other contemporary lifestyle programming." The typeface used is More4 Omne, a version of Darden Studio's Omnes Pro.

"A lot of More4's programming is about making things," Wood adds, "so we in turn wanted to physically build these idents, construct them and film them in real locations, rather than computer generating all the magic in post-production. I think the installations we eventually came up with subtly reinforce the new look but offer a satisfying spontaneity which, I hope, will make them continually watchable ."

Here's ManvsMachine's making of film for the idents work:

Creative Director: Tom Tagholm
Head of On air, More4: Chris Wood
Design & Creative: ManvsMachine/4Creative
Director: Mike Alderson/Tim Swift/Chris Wood
Producer: Louise Oliver
DOP: Daniel Trapp
Production Design: Jason Bruges Studio
Design Co-ordinator: James Greenfield
Editor: Jamie Foord
Post producer: Pete Winslett & Sarah Antrobus (Envy Post)
VFX: Marcus D. Dryden
Composer: Guy Connelly
Music: commissioned by Alice Godfrey at Channel 4, Pete Beck at Warner Chappell
Sound Design: Rich Martin (Envy Post)


I loved the Spin design and also love this. Excellent work all-round from idents to motion graphics.

That floating 'E' bothers me though
2012-01-24 12:13:44

I must admit I was kind of skeptical straight away when I saw the article title on my twitter feed, since I'm a fan of the old More4 on screen identity, however I really like this. Very interesting to look at, the animation works well and the new idents are certainly a step up.

Only real problem I can see is that in these mocks the channel logo in the top left corner during programming appears to remain in colour in the first video. I can see that becoming very distracting.
2012-01-24 12:17:14

I wasn't sure about this when I first saw it, but it's a grower for sure.

The attention to detail, and the consistency of the identity throughtout the idents I think works fantastically
2012-01-24 12:18:52

Excellent re-brand. Spin did an amazing job with the first branding which should not go unrecognised.

Nice to see the old channel 4 colours coming back though. Really nice subtle ideas used and the animation is beautifully executed.

Seems to have a much more slick and modern feel than Spins original. Was not sure at first but now am totally convinced.

Lastly its nice to see the same idea applied through the whole project as most brands these days seem to have a nice idea for their logo but the idea is only 'Skin deep' which is a real shame.

2012-01-24 12:21:25

sorry preferred the original. this smells like reverse engineering an existing idea and shoe-horning it to fit. the idea that More4 is about 'making things' doesn't feel broad enough for the content. still, these branding jobs are a nightmare so fair play to all for getting past the finishing line.
2012-01-24 12:28:17

I can't quite decide on this one.

I like the breakdown and the movement of it but it's a little fiddly for me - I think if the bottom was squared off and a square was introduced for the E then it would solidify it a bit more. A bit clunky perhaps but it kind of needs it because the elements and colours are so delicate.

Overall though - a good creative design - Channel 4 always leading the way in idents.
2012-01-24 12:33:51

I Like it!
Simon Winnall
2012-01-24 12:43:29

Why is the E flappin' around in limbo?
2012-01-24 12:48:35

The logo reminds me of the snake Rubik's toy of the 80's?
2012-01-24 13:26:45

It's a very quick grower, got my vote!

Really strong, without being overpowering, but agree with dp, the continual ident needs to be more subtle.
HTDL Design Agency
2012-01-24 14:01:41

Spin did a great job on this and MVM have continued a strong identity, agree with everyone about the 'e' but still great work guys!
2012-01-24 14:02:13

Spin did a great job on this and MVM have continued a strong identity, agree with everyone about the 'e' but still great work guys!
2012-01-24 14:02:42

it's nice I think, isn't it?
nick elliott
2012-01-24 14:03:17

I loved Spin's original branding, the mark and the styling, but I always thought the subsequent animations (which I believe were done in-house at 4Creative) were a bit ugly. They were however, at least, dynamic.

These look like they were conceived and designed on paper (note all the design luvvies piping up...) and are spectacularly boring.
Matthew Ingram
2012-01-24 14:04:43

Fantastically good with a subtle homage to the original Lambie-Nairn blocks logo. Love the colour palette, love the animation, love the installations... in fact I love everything about this!
Simon Palmer
2012-01-24 14:10:08

I love everything about this - except for how it displays overlaid on programmes top left on the tv.

The translucent channel identifier looks messy and gets lost very easily up there.
James Keane
2012-01-24 14:11:22

I really like this, it feels progressive but appropriately reflective and the use of practical effects in the installations provides a nice real world contrast to the CGI.
Richard Baird
2012-01-24 14:11:25

Fabulous work - very creative!
It looks as though this was an expensive procedure.
2012-01-24 14:13:47

Really interesting; I too was quite skeptical at first, but it is growing on me. Consistent as a whole. I especially appreciate that the colours relate to the original Channel 4 patchwork idea.
2012-01-24 14:19:10

the old one was far more incisive.
2012-01-24 14:27:07

Timing is a bit frustrating for those of us doing the Channel 4 D&AD Student brief. One of the logos I was developing is just about similar enough to now look like I have copied this. Back to the drawing board....
2012-01-24 14:40:43

Like the silly. Need more silly. Good because of it. Reminds me of 70s sweets somehow.
Willie Ryan
2012-01-24 14:41:49

— It's amazing how dated it makes the old identity look.
Mark Boyce
2012-01-24 14:43:20


How the bug displays is out of our hands and down to how you watch the station. What you see via a Skybox will be different for Freeview for example.
James Greenfield
2012-01-24 14:45:22

Brilliant - a bit of the old and plenty of the new.
2012-01-24 15:16:48

I agree - clearly a degree of homage is paid to the original Channel 4 logo, with a modern twist. The fact the symbol has potential to come alive is also intriguing. Now they just have to change the E4 logo. As more and more branding becomes 'moving', it's an exciting time to see it all within digital environments!
Stephen Plaster
2012-01-24 15:51:30

Great job MVM. It's completely ownable and endless what fun you can have with this.
Guy Stradling
2012-01-24 15:59:42

Great job MVM. It's completely ownable and endless what fun you can have with this.
Guy Stradling
2012-01-24 16:02:53

Very well executed - particularly the live action idents. I think this identity brings a less 'elitist' feel to the brand, which was obviously a goal of the project. I will miss the confidence and simplicity of the original design though.
2012-01-24 16:03:09

Very well executed - particularly the live action idents. I think this identity brings a less 'elitist' feel to the brand, which was obviously a goal of the project. I will miss the confidence and simplicity of the original design though.
2012-01-24 16:27:30

Award winning!
2012-01-24 16:30:11

Hmm... Despite all the colourful flapping, all I can see is the final, lonely, awkward little E being unveiled and wondering why that was left out in the cold. Still – branding that ignores a quarter of the characters in the logo – edgy.
2012-01-24 17:25:33

2012-01-24 17:30:38

About flipping time, the channel was definitely ready for a freshen up!
Harrogate Graphic Design
2012-01-24 19:28:18

I loved the old more 4 branding as it displayed simplicity in a fine form, and wasn't too sure if the new ident would work as well as it seems to have too much detail. After viewing several times I now think MVM did a great job, the motion work really is top notch.
Aswad Charles
2012-01-24 23:18:36

Not as good as the original Spin identity. The Logo itself is quite nice on grey, but the idents feel too far removed for me and a bit vague, they built it up too much, showing the static logo some months ago with the caviate that we shouldnt judge it until we saw come to live in motion. Also the logo doesn't hold up on the corner of the screen during programmes.
2012-01-25 01:17:01

Congratulations to the design team. Not only have they created a seemless design, but they have rebranded it to reflect the variety and users of the More 4 channel.
Well done.
Lauren Kelly
2012-01-25 01:38:18

"a subtle homage to the original Lambie-Nairn blocks logo"

2012-01-25 07:57:14

I really like it. It fits in with the identity of more 4 very well. It shows a diverse range of colours, which can relate to the different range of programs available to viewers on more4.
2012-01-25 08:57:29

I think a great deal of work has gone into the design and then into all the peripherals that will make this work. However to me the new branding does not connect with the content or the demographic as well as it should, for example if this was showing an older back catalogue of programs then I think the new branding would work well and connect and communicate with the audience what the channel was about but the I don't believe the is true with the finished product.
Darren Bowden
2012-01-25 09:21:41

Really lovely work here as ever from Channel4.
However there does seems to be a major issue they have overlooked.
Non-HD digital picture quality isn't always the best and unfortunately the detail and amount of colour in the logo creates a lot of compression artifacts around the logo as it animates. Quality is also poor on the static top left channel logo as it uses various shades of white overlayed.
Basically it looks like the ident was tested in perfect on screen conditions and not in the real world of digital TV.
2012-01-25 09:50:40

Those flippers eh...
Stern John
2012-01-25 09:59:52

According to ManvsMachine's James Greenfield the flexible logo "morphs through a series of flips, folds and reveals [and so] the colour palette reflects the vibrant nature of interiors, food culture, fashion and other contemporary lifestyle programming."

I love the smell of post-rationalisation in the morning. Smells like victory.

2012-01-25 10:45:26

Can't help but feel a bit sorry for the E who doesn't really get a home but overall it a fun, engaging brand.

Love the colours and movement and have always been a sucker for the main Channel 4 'logo in real life' spots so I really enjoy the flicker books on the stairs and tree etc. Also like the subtle details like the colour block used as a page turn on the menu screens.

Think there is more to come from this so will be interested to see how it develops.

Sam Osborne
2012-01-25 10:46:54

Such beautiful concept and execution (even with little 'e' breaking the rules-thats what we love to do right!?!)

I'm a little bit in love with the whole design, across all platforms and yay with a big salute to Rebecca for her installation, but a big yay to ManvsMachine for producing a gorgeous piece of work too. I can't wait to see more of it (I just keep coming back to take another look!) More fool me for not knowing who Rebecca or ManvsMachine was until I read this article. Thanks for sharing CR-another lush post! x
2012-01-26 13:50:59

LOVE THE MARQUE - especially when in a state of change
(hate the type – the rogue letter 'E' is annoying!)
2012-01-26 20:04:12

love it!!! it's new....fresh. I like the way it has a movement and a kind of knock on effect. I think it stands out in it's own unique way :)
adam wilkes
2012-01-28 01:00:03

Andi Rusyn
2012-01-28 15:32:51

I LOVE it too. So many dull identities around at the moment.
john Amy
2012-01-29 18:19:31

@ Bob & Stern John.

I believe Alec Moors use of flip clocks pre dates Rebecca Baumann's by five years so your point falls a little flat.

Both were contacted and asked to be part of the project. Neither chose to take that option up which we were fine with.
James Greenfield
2012-01-30 10:11:39

@James Greenfield

So you saw their work. Thought that's nice we'll use it. Contacted the artists. Then got turned down. Then ripped it off.

How big of you. My point is still valid though. Perhaps you could find an argument someone else made previously and ask them to use that.

Saves you having to tire yourself out with original thought.
2012-01-30 14:39:07

I really like the design and the concept, but as a designer working in broadcast, the idea does seem a little reverse engineered in terms of the logo. I'm really struggling to fully see the logos clarity on television. I don't think the letters are very legible, and I can see they must have struggled to find a way to work it work. However still a nice execution on the films
2012-01-31 19:56:46


Not quite like that. More like discuss making the logo move, think of flip clocks, draw out the idea for units that move in unison, research flip clocks, discover artists work online, contact them to work with us, not interested, so we then design from scratch.

Like most projects you will always find someone has done something similar if you investigate hard enough. Hence me showing Alec's work, is Rebbeca's null and void because he did it before? No of course not, now how about you stop hiding behind an online persona and I can take you through it further if you want?
James Greenfield
2012-02-01 15:07:31

I love it! The new logo is full of depth, richness and character, translating well on as a moving image. The quality in the natural-looking films is clear - giving an obvious removal from usual CGI effects. I agree with some comments above though that the characters of the word in the logo aren't that clear, and yes, it must have been a struggle to get it to work with the idea - using lots of colours like that in a logo is tricky. Overall thought 10/10 from me.
2012-02-02 07:21:52

Lovely, lovely work. I've somehow totally missed any talk of More4 being rebranded so it was a nice surprise to see this appear on tv last night. Caught my attention immediately and I agree with a previous comment that it's instantly dated the original.
I don't see a problem with the floating E although it does look like it's missing on the top left bug - is that deliberate?
Talk of ideas being pinched is plain daft. It is interesting to seeing influences though.
So the real flipper units you had made, James - were they used for all the graphics or just the idents? Was anything built in CG?
Nicholas Maroussas
2012-02-03 16:49:54

I really like the visuals in this ident but the one thing I cannot get my head around is why More4 keep adopting trendy logos.

Their initial logo was very much based on trends and, so is their new one. Yes it looks nice now but they will be rebranding again in another 5 years. Bit of a waste of money in my opinion.
Steve Perry
2012-02-20 09:01:09

the logo is very nice and modern, the only flaw is that it is very colorful and nuanced, and difficult to reproduce on paper or printed on any objects.
GADget personalizzati
2012-02-20 10:13:32

Stunning, the palette reminds me of Bridget Riley, but that is to take nothing from this new design. Outstanding.
Edward Baker
2012-03-05 15:44:37

Christina Krygier
2012-09-23 15:12:36

Hello I need the music i cannot find it i want it for a uni project ((( please where can i find them ?
2013-05-28 17:47:31

@James Greenfield
Hi my name is Alec Moors and I didn't have anyone get in contact with me as regards to working on the logo.
I made the flip clock piece as one of my uni pieces in 2003.

Keep up the good work.
Alec Moors
2014-04-12 23:45:29

Reference the Alec moors etc being contacted. He wasnt. Shame as you just have to put it into google for his contact details.
2014-04-13 12:39:13

Well said! Not difficult to track down Alec moors, but far easier I guess just to rip off his creation and claim the credit.
Well done you
2014-04-16 21:48:13

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