© Crossroads Fan Club
Opening Sequences Crossroads   was   one   of   the   few   soap   operas   to   mainly   concentrate   its   action   on   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. A case of fact blurring into fiction. 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   is   believed   to   have   been   created   by   graphics   expert,   for ATV,   Rex   Spencer   at   the   time   of the   programme's   launch.   The   font   therefore   is   a   unique   hand   drawn   piece   of   artwork   used   only   by   ATV   on   Crossroads   and   similar   promotions   for   news programme ATV Today. The 1970s With   the   advent   of   colour   television   the   typeface   was   replaced,   however   the   format   of   opening   the episode remained 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   version   of   the   opening   titles   font   for   "Crossroads   Motel."   The   same   typeface was also used on the motel beer mats and embossed into the menu covers of this era. The    title    colour    for    the    logo    was    yellow,    however    exceptions    were    made    to    the    closing    style occasionally,   usually   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 This   is   the   decade   when   universal   branding   seemed   to   become   far   more   important   to   ATV,   and   later Central. There   was   much   more   of   an   effort   to   have   the   same   logos   that   appeared   as   the   serials   branding also being part of the actual fictional motel's identification too. The   exterior   of   the   motel   was   in   1982   became   used   far   more   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      /nighttime   aerial   views   of   the   motel complex. The   opening   format   and   theme   tune   however   once   again   remained   unchanged.   The   font   continued   to   fade   on   and   off   over   these   fancy   new   shots   or   over the   first   in-studio   scene.   The   typeface   was   updated   at   the   same   time,   the   producers   opting   for   a   more   traditional   text   style   which   had   previously   been used on Emmerdale Farm in the early 1970s. The 1980s - Part Two 1985   saw   Crossroads   gain   its   first   full   length   'proper'   opening   titles,   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   on   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   modernising   of   the programme   and   the   eventual   loss   of   the   Crossroads   Motel.   First   it   was   rebranded   as   the   Crossroads   Country   Hotel   and   then   finally The   Kings   Oak   Country   Hotel.   The   Johnny   Patrick   version   of   the   theme   music   was   also   tweaked   to   co-incide   with   the   change   from Crossroads Motel to the new branding. The   major   change,   the   biggest   in   the   shows   history,   came   in   September   of   1987   when   a   whole   new   set   of   titles   were   introduced   - with   a   brand   new   theme   tune.   The   Tony   Hatch   mainstay   music   was   ditched.   These   opening   sequences   were   filmed   mainly   from above   the   village   of   Tanworth-in-Arden,   which   had   doubled   as   Kings   Oak   since   1970,   and   its   surrounding   area   for   countryside scenes. Most people describe them as "very Emmerdale Farm" - although actually these pre-date the similar Emmerdale style titles. The   idea   was   to   rename   the   series   'Kings   Oak'   in   1989   however   before   this   last   titles   had   even   aired   Central   pulled   the   plug   on   Crossroads   Kings   Oak   in   the summer of ‘87. The progression into a Kings Oak series never got further than the 'Crossroads: Kings Oak, phase 2' of the development.
The 2000s - Part One In   2000   the   company   which   had   bought   up   Central Television   Carlton   decided   to   re-launch   a   new   version   of   Crossroads   to   fill   the   slot   left   by   Home   and Away which   had   been   poached   by   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   Granada   bosses,   who   were   pulling   the   strings   at   the   network   HQ.   Insiders   suggest   a   long   grudge   against   Crossroads   by   Granada   (from   the   days   when the   ATV   soap   was   battering   Granada's   Coronation   Street   in   the   ratings)   may   be   to   blame.   Others   find   a   more   realistic   answer   -   the   closure   of   Central Television   and   Carlton   Productions   was   behind   the   'decision   to   remove   Crossroads   from   the   schedules   -   along   by   coincidence   pretty   much   everything   else made at the Carlton Central Studios in Nottingham. In   2003   Crossroads   underwent   an   un-needed   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   to   close   the   production   centre   then   it   worked. All   the   effort   put   into   the   production previously by Carlton to give Crossroads a successful image and status over the two years previous 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.   Crossroads   finally   had   every right to be a television joke, unlike never before. The logo was a hand drawn design. The graphic theme to the sequence was hearts.
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. In   the   first   year   or   so   of   Crossroads   this   text   would   zoom   into   the   centre   of   the   screen   as   if   it   was   a   car   arriving   at   the   motel.   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