On this day in 1956, Granada Television began broadcasting to the North West of England.
Throughout its history, Granada Television used the logo of an arrow pointing northwards in idents, often accompanied by a tagline ‘from the North’. Sidney Bernstein wanted to present a northern identity. Granada Television was considered bolder than other franchisees and the BBC, and placed great emphasis displaying the northern style which distinguished it from them. Bernstein believed the north had untapped creative energy that needed cultivation.
In 1969, the famous pointed ‘G’ logo, incorporating the upward/Northward facing arrow used previously into a letter “G” was introduced. This was to be the corporate logo for the Granada Group as a whole (also seen as the logo for Granada’s TV rentals firm), so it was introduced to their ITV franchise as a matter of course rather than the ITV franchise choosing to adopt the new branding. This logo was originally white on a grey background (although occasionally seen as black on a white background) but after the introduction of colour, grey was replaced with blue (after a short period of using white symbol/yellow lettering/purple background), with the GRANADA name in white and the G symbol in yellow.
On 5 June 1989, Granada launched a look featuring a translucent pointed G, which rotated into place in time to the music against a natural scene.
When the first ITV generic look was launched, Granada refused to adopt it, because the logo was incorrectly inserted into the ‘V’ segment of the logo. The company used a version with its translucent logo shown at the beginning, before continuing with the generic ident and ending with the generic ITV logo.
On 4 June 1990, Granada, in the run-up to the 1990 franchise round, relaunched its on-screen branding to a blue stripe descending from the top of the screen, containing the pointed ‘G’, against a plain white background accompanied by the same music as previously. Variations were seen from which the stripe formed from a falling feather or was backlit. On 11 May 1992, the stripe descended to reveal a rainbow of colours before becoming the usual blue.
On 2 January 1995, the stripe theme was modified; the pointed ‘G’ was larger on the blue stripe against a computer generated multicoloured background and the ‘G’ was created by filming a large perspex ‘G’ with motion control photography. This ident was used, from a variety of angles, until 7 November 1999, by which point additional idents based on surreal surroundings, such as a fish blowing a bubble with a G inside, which floated to the surface, or a camera zoom into the eye of a housewife to reveal the G in her eye, were introduced.
All the idents were replaced on 8 November 1999 when Granada Television took the generic hearts idents. Granada Television kept the pointed G logo, made slightly thinner and placed in a box at the top of the screen. The dual branding of Granada Television and ITV lasted until 28 October 2002, when regional identities were dropped in favour of the new ITV1 channel brand.