ITV Central, previously known as Central Independent Television, Carlton Central and ITV1 for Central England (usually abbreviated to simply Central), is the ITV regional variant (previously franchise) for the Midlands. It went on-air for the first time on 1 January 1982, replacing the previous Midlands franchise holder, Associated Television, which were criticised for not focusing on the region enough.
This was designed in 1981, but it ended up only used as an pre-launch logo.
Monochrome version (1982) , mostly seen on startup slide.
Central's first logo was a shaded sphere, first used for prelaunch promos in late 1981. 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.
Erbar Neo Mini
The ident logo was later replaced by an updated version. The new ball was white and shaded with the colours of the visible spectrum. This logo was also used from January 1, 1982.
In 1985, 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, before the cake became the company's only and official logo. This logo sometimes came without the "CENTRAL" lettering.
In March 1987, 20% of Central was bought by Carlton Communications, being the first time that the company owned a terrestrial TV network, after a failed attempt at buying Thames Television in 1985 (although it would replace it at the start of 1993). Carlton Communications would buy the remaining 80% of Central in January 1994.
In 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 in London at the time.
The idents feature the letters of the logo animating cleverly on the screen. The words Carlton and Central incidentally contain almost the same letters, so several of Carlton's idents could be easily adapted to fit Central.
In September 1999, Central was renamed Carlton Central 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.
On-screen logo. (2002-2003)
ITV1 for Central England
On 28th October 2002, the ITV network franchises (including Carlton Central) began using the common ITV1 name in an attempt to finally unify its branding.