Nevermind: TWW 

24 May 2004 tbs.pm/1971

Proposed TWW logo

Russ J Graham on an ident used on-screen that never really took off

Whilst TWW comfortingly stuck with the same ident for a very long time, they were otherwise remarkably casual in the way that the letters ‘TWW’ were referenced.

TWW symbol

Various typefaces and layouts of the letters could be seen on any one night. The belief seems to have been that the letters themselves were powerful enough as they stood without a standard symbol or typeface to get in the way.

Modern branding wouldn’t allow this type of variation. If the same (usually off-the-shelf) typeface isn’t being used for everything – no matter how disparate – then the viewer is apt to be come confused. Modern design would have us believe that avoiding this confusion is best achieved by making sure that as many channels as possible are using the same typeface, and, if possible, logo.

But such considerations didn’t bother TWW. The Bristol and Cardiff station, and its London managers, clearly believed that their presentation and programme quality was high enough to carry the station forward against competition from neighbouring RTE, Westward, ATV/ABC, and Granada/ABC.

This symbol made its debut as a promotions bumper in 1966, but was gone again a few weeks later. Given TWW’s habit of using several formations of their initials, it could have been a simple – if very unusual – variant, to be used and forgotten like the rest.

But perhaps not. Could TWW have been considering a relaunch? If so, this was ideal – a ‘swinging’ and fab-for-1966 ident featuring lower case lettering – a daring fashion statement that would become acceptable – in Title Case Only – thanks to British Rail’s rebranding in 1964, before becoming the norm in the late 1990s as internet addresses, generally lacking capitals, became the height of fashion.

Because of the limited use – less than a month – of this symbol, we’ll probably never know its true derivation. Its use on Teledu Cymru as well as the General Service could mean everything or nothing. Never mind – it would have been a good 1966-style ident whatever.

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