The art of television promotion — why are logos, promos, idents and trailers so important?

15 Nov 2012 15:03:25.290
Television promotion and design has grown into an art form in its own right, spawning trailers and channel idents that are as memorable for their creative genius as TV programmes themselves. Researchers at The University of Nottingham are examining the processes behind the development of these promotional short-forms — and working with industry experts to foster a broader public understanding of the industry that makes them.

Academics in the University’s Institute for Screen Industries Research (ISIR) are working with the British Film Institute, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and industry experts to explore how and why promos and idents are made — and how creative decisions set the tone for shows and the channels they’re aired on.

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A panel event to be held at BFI Southbank on Wednesday 28 November will illuminate the art of promotion, giving members of the public the chance to learn more about the processes and decisions involved in promotional design. They’ll also have a chance to question the experts in these areas — including key broadcast producers and branding specialists.

From the latest BBC drama to the London Olympics, TV promotion surrounds us — ‘The Contemporary Art of TV Promotion and Digital Design’ panel event will explain the creative process behind the promotion of television and media events. Red Bee Media and Crystal London, two leading broadcast and digital design companies, reveal the work behind the trailers, idents and digital animations that make you want to watch the latest TV. Illustrated with examples, from Sherlock and Doctor Who to the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics, this panel event will illuminate the hidden art of contemporary promotion and design.

Illustrated with rarely seen gems from the archives the second panel, ‘Pioneers of TV Promotion and Ident Design’, will bring together producers, designers and continuity announcers who were responsible for creating iconic programme trailers and channel idents for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. 

“By examining the history and creative challenges of promotional work, we can develop a better understanding of how these unique forms influence the way we watch and remember television,” said Paul Grainge, Associate Professor of Film and Television Studies at the ISIR. “The UK is home to some of the world’s best producers of this type of promotional material and it’s important that we give the industry the recognition it deserves.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia; according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2012, ‘Of all the British universities, Nottingham has embraced internationalism the most.’ It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

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Story credits

Dr Paul Grainge, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 4944,; Dr Catherine Johnson, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8118,    
Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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