Central's first logo was a shaded sphere. In the first on-screen idents, the ball would start out "eclipsed" with a corona appearing. It would then open to reveal brightly sparking lights before closing again and ending up slightly shaded with the word "Central" written underneath. The identity was developed with the help of Minale Tattersfield, who had also designed Thames TV's famous skyline ident.
- Transdiffusion: Andrew Wiseman watches the development of Central's on-screen identity
- Transdiffusion: Ident
On 5 August 1988, Central started using a computerised version of their logo before regional programming. In this version, the ball had become a circle-shaped plate which was divided into twelve blocks. This logo was named the "aspirin" and was also given its more familiar nickname, the "cake". The cake and the ball were used alongside each other for several years in the eighties and the nineties, before the cake became the company's only and official logo. This logo sometimes came without the "CENTRAL" lettering.
On 20 April 1998, the cake was abandoned and Central got a new look, designed by Lambie-Nairn. The logo simply became the word "Central" written with capital letters in Gill Sans.
The new look was based on the look used by Carlton TV at the time since 25 November 1996, back then. The idents feature the letters of the logo animating cleverly on the screen. The words Carlton and Central incidentially contain almost the same letters, so several of Carlton's idents could be easily adapted to fit Central.
On 6 September 1999, Central was renamed Carlton after its parent company. The Central name did however remain for certain purposes, such as regional news. After ITV plc was formed in 2004, the Carlton name was no longer used and the Central name was brought back.
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