TV trademark was worth only £370 to designer who created it

Rex Ripley (left) receiving the prize cheque of �370 for his logo design from Yorkshire TV managing director Ward Thomas in 1968
Rex Ripley (left) receiving the prize cheque of �370 for his logo design from Yorkshire TV managing director Ward Thomas in 1968
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The history of perhaps Yorkshire’s most familiar trademark has been unearthed on the eve of its 50th anniversary.

The chevron-shaped arrow that appeared at the beginning and end of every Yorkshire TV programme was designed by graphic artist Rex Ripley, who had entered a contest organised by the station before it went on air in 1968.

In an era in which the musicians who composed the jingles that accompanied such designs were paid a fee each time their work was heard, Mr Ripley, now 87 and living in Garforth, Leeds, was paid just £370 10s.

He said: “It was a lot of money in those days. I used it to buy a new car.”

Production costs have escalated to such an extent that when the BBC commissioned a new logo 10 years ago, it cost £550,000.

In a forthcoming documentary about Yorkshire Television’s half-centenary this August, Mr Ripley – who was a guest of former staff members at a 50th anniversary reunion in Harrogate last week – says: “I had considered using the Yorkshire white rose but that seemed too complicated, so I went for the Y shape. I’m proud that they used my design.”

The independently-made documentary, Made In Yorkshire, is being financed by individual donations through the website www.kickstarter.com.

Its director, Stuart Ramsay, said: “Yorkshire Television was a true giant of broadcasting – it was home to the first purpose-built colour studios in Europe and its programmes were watched across the globe. It really put Yorkshire and Leeds on the map.”

YTV’s studios on Kirkstall Road, Leeds, which are still is use as the home of Emmerdale and Calendar, were commissioned after the Independent Television Authority decided that the county should have its own service.

Programmes had been broadcast for the previous 12 years from Manchester, by Granada on weekdays and ABC TV at weekends.

The BBC, which had resisted having a Yorkshire outpost, decided to compete by mounting a separate news magazine for the region, which went on air a few months before YTV made its debut with a show called First Night, hosted from Leeds University by Bob Monkhouse.