BBC corporate head of design Tony Key has defended the corporation’s 5.1m, three-year implementation of its new identity, designed by Martin Lambie-Nairn.
Key says the identity – for which Rodney Fitch Design Consultants is producing corporate guidelines after winning a four-way paid pitch – will save the BBC money in the long run.
Key appointed Lambie-Nairn to the project a year and a half ago, shortly after arriving at the BBC from BT. At the time, Key denied, and still denies, that he was brought in specifically to mastermind a corporate identity revamp.
For evidence, he points to his other commissions, which have included Price McNiven’s design of the main reception area at Television Centre (DW 7 March). Event and Tilney Lumsden Shane are working on a BBC visitor centre, on exhibitions and retailing and cafÃ© areas respectively.
Price McNiven is continuing work on public areas, as is McNeece which won a three-way paid pitch. McNeece is also looking at external signage.
Key claims the expenditure will be repaid within seven years due to the simplicity of the new logo compared to the existing one, which dates from 1986. Key estimates savings of 750 000 per year.
In a video introducing the changes to BBC staff, Lambie-Nairn claims the BBC has “zillions” of logos and is generating new ones at a rate of two a week. With the BBC poised to launch a number of new channels, the BBC brand was being increasingly weakened, he claims.
The existing, slanted identity doesn’t work on screen, has a period feel and is expensive to print, claims Lambie-Nairn.
The new identity settled on is upright, boxed BBC letters in Gill Sans without the coloured bars of its predecessor. Lambie-Nairn describes it as “robust and elegant” and as solving “all the technical problems in one hit”.
The channel, directorate, regional and other names follow to the right of the logotype. “It all looks like it comes from the same organisation,” says Lambie-Nairn. The new identity will be seen by the public in the autumn.