The BBC is updating its longtime logo design and adding a series of distinctive sub-brands for each of its major services. The redesign, which launched in October, has its roots going back to 2017 when the broadcaster announced it had commissioned a custom bespoke font for its use – BBC Reith – named for one of the key figures in its founding. BBC Reith began showing up on air in the organizations’ various broadcasts, including news graphics and promos. It was also introduced on sub-brands – such as being used in ‘One’ and ‘Two’ for the logos used to distinguish between channels. ‘News’ and other similar labels were also switched over. The organization has been defending the change logo, after a wave of social media backlash noting that it looks extremely similar to the previous one.
Not surprisingly, the BBC is now going all in with Reith – switching the letters in its logo to the font. At the same time, the scale of the letters is being adjusted down slightly, making them fit better within the squares. In some ways, the move is similar to ABC’s redraw of its longtime logo that included more generous spacing and closer attention to how the letters are drawn. Part of the BBC’s redesign was driven by internal research that said audiences thought some of the broadcaster’s services looked old fashioned, according to Kerris Bright, the broadcaster’s chief customer officer.
In addition to use in the primary logo, the three-box concept has been reimagined in a series of icons that represent various services the BBC offers. Each service gets a unique color and icon that’s made of three rectangular or square shapes meant to evoke what the service provides. “Over the coming months, we will be modernizing all aspects of our services so the experience feels coherent wherever you access our content. We’ll join the dots between the different bits of the BBC through simplified layouts and graphics,” explains Bright.