Key leaves top BBC design job

Tony Key has resigned as head of corporate and brand design at the British Broadcasting Corporation and will retire from full-time design management in July.

The BBC was unable to comment on plans to replace Key as Design Week went to press, but the move leaves one of the most senior corporate design jobs in the UK potentially vacant.

Key has decided not to renew his contract after four years with the BBC, though the broadcaster was keen for him to stay on for “a couple of years”, he says.

“We [Key and wife Wendy, who leaves her job as head of advertising and campaigns for BT’s Global Division next month] decided ‘Let’s get a life’,” he says. “It’s time to leave room for the young Turks.” Key will continue to take on consultancy work, possibly for small businesses in Wales.

Key says he would urge in-coming BBC director-general Greg Dyke to maintain a high-level design post. “Every blue chip company should have a senior design manager,” he maintains.

Key’s deputy Catherine Ede, who is project co-ordinator of brand management, “will probably take over the branding and logo side”, he says.

Key has been closely involved in the BBC’s award-winning identity by Lambie Nairn. He previously worked at BT, introducing the telecom giant’s controversial “prancing piper” logo by Wolff Olins. Before that he worked at BAA under the then design management head Jane Priestman.

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