Researched by Doug Lambert, Tom Dearnley-Davidson and Mike Garrett
Opening Sequences Crossroads   was   one   of   the   few   serials   to   concentrate   much   of   its   action   at   one   location   -   a   motel   -   and   in   so   doing   it   had   a   chance   to   provide   a   more consistent   form   of   branding   across   the   whole   programme,   which   wasn’t   so   easy   to   do   in   the   other   serials.   From   the   opening   titles   down   to   the   name badges over the years Crossroads branded not only the programme the same, but also the motel too. The 1960s Crossroads,   like   many   programmes   of   the   decade,   didn’t   actually   have   any   regular   opening   titles   as such.   For   the   first   year   or   so   the   Crossroads   lettering   would   zoom   in   from   the   centre   of   the   screen   to the   bottom   middle   of   the   screen   as   if   to   be   'a   car   pulling   up'.   This   would   happen   over   the   first   studio scene or overlaid on a shot of a Kings Oak location, usually the outside of the motel. Later   the   zoom   was   dropped   from   the   opening,   and   commercial   break   bumpers,   replaced   with   the   less dramatic Crossroads text simply fading on and off. The   main   opening   and   closing   text   used   between   1964   and   1969   was   drawn   by   graphics   expert   Rex   Spencer   at   the   time   of   the   programme's   launch.   The font   therefore   is   a   unique   artwork   only   used   by ATV   at   the   time.   It   was   used   on   Crossroads   promotions   as   well   as   other   Midland   productions   such   as   news show ATV Today. The 1970s With   the   advent   of   colour   television   the   typeface   was   replaced   with   the   format   of   opening   the   episode remaining unchanged. It   was   around   1969   that   a   bit   of   dual   branding   worked   its   way   into   the   series. The   male   uniforms   had   an oval   badge,   which   used   a   similar   style   font   for   "Crossroads   Motel”   as   the   opening   titles.   The   same typeface was also used on the motel beer mats and embossed into the menu covers of this era. The   colour   for   the   main   series   typeface   was   yellow;   exceptions   were   made   to   the   closing   style occasionally   -   notably   at   Christmas   when   other   colours   were   used   such   as   light   blue   and   lilac.   These   festive   offering   would   also   often   be   accompanied   by seasonal graphics such as snowflakes or baubles. The 1980s - Part One The    ‘80s    is    the    decade    when    universal    branding    seemed    to    become    far    more    important    to    the programme.   The   designers   oversaw   the   introduction   of   logos   that   appeared   not   only   as   the   serials branding but also featuring as part of the actual fictional motel's identification too. The   exterior   of   the   motel,   from   1982,   became   used   regularly   to   open   the   series;   this   comprised   of   a number   of   live   action   shots   of   the   motel   driveway   with   the   'feather'   logo   on   display   taken   from   differing angles. There were even a couple of daytime  / night-time aerial views of the hospitality complex. The   opening   format   and   theme   tune   however   once   again   remained   unchanged.   The   typeface   -   which   had   been   updated   in   1980   -   continued   to   fade   on   and off over these fancy new shots or over the first in-studio scene. The 1980s - Part Two 1985   saw   Crossroads   gain   its   first   feature   length   opening   title   sequence,   a   full   45   seconds   long.   It   was   also   the   first   time   the   motel   and   programme   had fully   been   branded   alike.   The   Crossroads   Motel   logo   for   the   building   was   exactly   the   same   as   the   one   featured   in   the   opening   titles. Again   this   was   a   hand drawn logo. The Tony Hatch theme music was also modernised by Head of Music at Central, Johnny Patrick. The title sequence saw a red MG Maestro on its journey from Birmingham to Kings Oak. Local dealer PJ Evans provided the car to Central TV. The   titles   begin   with   an   overview   shot   of   the   A38   motorway,   the   long   demolished   Aston   ASDA   supermarket   can   be   seen   in   the   background.   Various   road shots   appear   including   a   turn   off   on   Alcester   Road,   opposite   the   Cross   and   Bowling   Green   public   house,   and   a   bend   in   front   of   the   East   Gateway   to Umberslade Hall. The titles end with the car arriving at the Crossroads Motel, which in real life is Penns Hall - now Ramada Sutton Coldfield. A more detailed look, including photographs, can be found on Destination Crossroads .
Titles and Branding
The 1980s - Part Three In   early   1987   the   end   of   the   titles   were   reworked   to   say   Crossroads   Kings   Oak.   This   was   part   of   the   ongoing   modernisation   of   the programme   with   the   eventual   loss   of   the   Crossroads   Motel.   First   the   storyline   introduced   the   Crossroads   Country   Hotel   and   then finally   The   Kings   Oak   Country   Hotel.   The   Johnny   Patrick   version   of   the   theme   music   was   also   tweaked   to   coincide   with   the   change from Crossroads Motel to the new branding. The   biggest   revamp   in   the   shows   history   came   in   September   1987   when   a   whole   new   set   of   titles   were   introduced   -   with   a   brand new   theme   tune.   This   opening   sequence   was   filmed   mainly   from   above   the   village   of   Tanworth-in-Arden,   which   had   doubled   as Kings   Oak   since   1970. The   surrounding   Warwickshire   countryside   also   featured   in   shots.   Most   people   describe   the   ‘87   titles   as   "very Emmerdale Farm" - although actually these pre-date the similar Emmerdale style titles by two years. The   idea   was   to   rename   the   series   'Kings   Oak'   in   1989   with   all   references   to   Crossroads   confined   to   history.   However   before   the   titles   had   even   aired Central pulled the plug on Crossroads two months earlier in the summer of ‘87.
The 2000s - Part One In   2000   Carlton,   the   company   which   had   bought   up   Central   Television,   decided   to   re-launch   a   new   version   of   Crossroads   to   fill   the   teatime   slot   left   by Home   and   Away   which   had   switched   to   Channel   5.   The   revamped   Crossroads   Hotel   was   a   corporate   complex   from   building   to   titles.   The   entire   lot   was branded together, with glossy orange effect graphics showing random parts of the hotel and its staff. The production also saw the return of the Tony Hatch theme, all be it a re-recording by Tony Flynn, which proved popular with fans.
The 2000s - Part Two While   a   lot   of   people   in   television   circles   lampoon   Carlton   Television   for   being   of   little   substance   the   company   proved   with   the   first   reboot   of   Crossroads they   could   deliver   a   glossy   strong   brand   and   sophisticated   image   with   Crossroads.   Unfortunately   according   to   some   Carlton   staff   Crossroads   didn't   sit   well with   the   network   HQ.   Insiders   suggest   the   closure   of   Central   Television   and   Carlton   Productions   was   behind   the   'decision   to   remove   Crossroads   from   the schedules’ - along with, by coincidence, pretty much everything else made at the Carlton Central Studios in Nottingham. In   2003   Crossroads   underwent   its   unneeded   re-brand,   which   managed   to   take   it   from   the   most   watched   daytime   programme   on   the   network   to   the   worst rating   programme   on   terrestrial   television.   If   the   ‘camp   revamp’   was   designed   to   close   the   production   centre   then   it   worked.   All   the   effort   put   into   the production previously by Carlton giving Crossroads a successful image and status was undone within 20 seconds of the new titles airing. The   Tony   Hatch   theme   was   once   more   reworked   while   the   graphics   looked   like   something   more   suitable   for   Children's   BBC.   The   logo   was   a   hand   drawn design with the whole sequence based around hearts, maybe the visual department creating them thought they were for Blind Date…
Typefaces A   quick   run   down   of   the   typefaces   used   on   the   opening   titles   across   the   years.   The   first   from   1964   to   1969   is   a   unique   hand drawn logo as is, we believe, the 1985-1986 version. The 2003 logo is also a special creation for the series. The   1969-1980   typeface   is   called   Grotesque.   The   1980-1984   font   is   entitled   Boulevard.   From   1986   to   1988   the   logo   used   Poor Richard for its text creation while the 2001-2002 typeface is entitled Humanst521. Break Stings For   most   of   the   1960s,   70s   and   early   1980s   the   End   Of   Part   One   and   Part   Two   text   was   simply   overlaid   onto   the   last   or   first   scene   of   that   part   of   the   show. By   the   mid-1980s   regular,   more   artistic,   break   bumpers   were   devised.   The   new   version   of   Crossroads   isn't   included   here   as   that   production   re-used segments of the main opening titles into and from the commercial breaks.
Related Pages: Motel Branding Series History Locations