In 1999, various regions adopted a new generic network ITV identity, known as "Hearts", which contained such homely images as damp knickers drying on a washing line. Carlton opted for its own controversial re-brand for its three regions (Central, Westcountry & Carlton London) once again designed by Lambie-Nairn. The original logo was retained, but with a star attached. These idents were to remain in use until Friday 25th October 2002. The overall graphic design was reminiscent of what one might have seen on a Waitrose carrier bag at the time, as many Carlton staffers commented. But the music and graphics were executed brilliantly. They certainly made viewers sit up and take notice.
Lambie-Nairn's website stated the brief from Carlton's marketing director Fran Cassidy as follows: "to raise visibility of the group by uniting all its media brands; to harmonise the branding of their three ITV networks (London, Central & West Country) to make one single brand statement; and to reflect more strongly their relationship with the ITV positioning of 'the heart of the nation'".
A testimonial from Cassidy went on to dismiss the old Westcountry & Central idents: "Having commissioned Lambie-Nairn to create a new identity for Carlton, we were completely satisfied with the outcome of the re-branding exercise. The research showed that the awareness of the old brand identity in both Central and Westcountry had fallen dramatically after only a couple of months. The consumer very quickly associated their new local provider as Carlton."
1999 Identity (16:9 Aspect Ratio)
01/07/2000 was the date on which ITV and Channel Four began transmitting in 16:9 aspect ratio. TV ARK presents a complete set of the 1999 idents, with dual ITV branding, in clean audio and 16:9 format.
Three versions were made of each, known as '3+27', '5+25' and '30 Hold'. The '3' and '5' relate to the duration of the animation preceding the logo. These clips feature the '5+25' versions. The idents are referred to by their proper names, as used in the transmission schedule.
Since the 1999 idents were deployed across the whole Carlton mini-network, you'll find them in other sections of TV-Ark. A full set with ITV1 branding, introduced on 11th August 2001, may be seen on the pages for Carlton Westcountry.
When ITV1 rebranded on October 28th 2002, these idents became a part of TV history. London no longer has its own unique on-air identity, for viewers in the region receive the main ITV1 network feed. Carlton, LWT and LNN continued to make programmes for London weekdays and weekends until 2003, when Carlton merged with Granada and a single ITV company was formed. From 2005 onwards every programme was known simply as an "ITV Production".