Few can claim to have created a new communications genre but the designer Martin Lambie-Nairn, who died in December, is one who could justifiably have done so, had immodesty got the better of him. Television channel idents had existed for decades before he came along in the 1980s and transformed them, but the difference between pre and post was so extreme that his version really merited a new term.
Before: a listlessly rotating globe atop a BBC logo, accompanied by a plummy voice informing you that you were tuned in to the nation’s broadcaster, was about as interesting as things got.
After: a big, metallic ‘2’ is disrespectfully doused with blue paint that hurtles in from the side – one of a series of brilliant executions to reawaken ‘stuffy’ BBC2.
Lambie-Nairn idents were the lovechild of advertising and graphic design. They weren’t exactly TV commercials but worked like the best of them, combining wit, surprise and iconoclasm to prompt re-evaluation of familiar brand entities.
Source: Marketing Week