An Ident is a way for a television channel to identify themselves between programmes, or for a film production company to identify themselves before you begin watching your main feature, or a games production company to remind you who created your product before you play. For example, the bouncing desktop lamp we all recognise from Pixar, the magical castle of Disney or the drum roll and trumpet fanfare we associate with 20th Century Fox. Sight and sound combine and we instantly know who accommodated us with what we are about to experience. We, as an audience, recognise these brands as we are shown them every time we sit down to watch a film, play a game or watch television. We see them from a young age and will continue to see them as we grow, being constantly reminded as to where the content you’re watching comes from, what channel you’re watching or who provided you with what you’re about to play.
Different Idents are created for different purposes. Some are there to inform us and give us a taster of what we will be presented with if we tune in to a certain channel, on a specific day at the given time and some are there for entertainment purposes, to introduce you to what you are about to witness. Here are two different examples of Ident, the first to inform the audience and the second to entertain.
Information led Ident : CITV - Christmas Village by Bottletop Design
As an Ident created for a childrens channel, it has to remain entertaining to keep the young target audiences interest but this Ident is information led. We are shown what to expect from this channel over the Christmas season. The Christmas village is created in a cartoon animation, very brightly coloured and fast paced with seasonal music in the background, which will appeal more to the target audience than something designed to be shown on a channel such as Dave or Sky Living.
Entertainment led Ident : Kerrang! Live Life Loud by Nicholas Bentley
This Ident was created for an alternative music television channel. This would be used between different programmes to announce was coming next and the voice over would cut before the explosion. We are revealed the target audience in the Ident itself. Kerrang is a channel which is male dominated and aims towards the 14-25 age range, and older or younger, depending on your musical preferences. Rock music is typically associated with going against the norm, being on the edge and being dangerous, the explosion and the rebellious behaviour of the young boys in the Ident embody the stereotype perfectly and therefore, reveal themselves with a bang to their audience, to remind them who the channel is and what they stand for.
Idents are often changed, to repackage the same box depending on what’s within the parcel. For example, Summit Entertainment change their Ident often to appeal to the specific audience watching different types of films and to make the Ident flow more smoothly into the opening of the film. Here are two examples of the Summit Entertainment logo within different Idents for two different films.
Summit Entertainment logo for The Twilight Saga : Eclipse
Summit Entertainment logo for The Hurt Locker
The sepia toning of the Ident for The Hurt Locker goes with the location the film is set in, the sand, dirt and dusty terrain of Iraq. The opening scene of Eclipse shows us Riley walking of a cafe and into heavy rainfall.
Idents are adaptable, to change according the film they’re being used for, the game, the channel, a specific programme, a season, a school holiday etc. Idents need to change, expecially on television as we see them so often, you don’t want to bore your audience with the same Ident for years on end, to do something new and fresh can give the channel a new, clean image and refreshes the audience with who they are.