Weareseventeen devises BBC Nordic identity inspired by light refraction

Taking influence from how light travels through a prism, Weareseventeen created an animated graphic asset and a palette that spans from warm to cool tones.

BBC has launched its latest linear channel BBC Nordic, with a brand identity that follows the principles and behaviours of light by Weareseventeen.

Since BBC Studios was looking for a motion-first approach, it made sense to commission a moving image partner who understood branding, according to Weareseventeen. The studio has a long-standing relationship with BBC and says it was initially consulted on the feasibility of the project, as everything from strategy to delivery had to be done in six months.

Using insight from BBC Nordic’s Scandinavian audience, Weareseventeen sought to capture “the multifaceted nature of the channel” through the brand idea “The Bright Side”, says the studio’s strategy director Craig Wood. Light’s colours and behaviours are used in different ways and point to three different brand principles.

“Warm Connections” aims to “celebrate the affinity that exists between the UK and Scandinavia”, says Wood, while “Illuminating Moments” highlights the channel’s documentaries. “Cultivating Contrasts” is the final principle, which seeks to illustrate how “contrasts accentuate the emotional appeal of BBC Nordic’s spectrum of programming”, he adds.

The studio’s executive producer and associate company director Jade Annaw talks about how the motion design within the identity “injects surprise into light” while keeping in alignment with the strategy. Taking influence from the way light refracts through a prism, separating into a spectrum of colour, Annaw says the studio used this to inform its colour palette and “Prism Edge” graphic motif.

This core asset for BBC Nordic is a diagonal stroke which refences the central line in the letter N. The line acts as an “angular Prism Edge”, radiating and transforming light in motion graphics, Annaw adds. The channel’s video-on-demand offering Nordic+ also uses the motif, where the angled edge appears in the negative space of the “+” mark.

Using the prism edge as “a lens for light”, Annaw explains how Weareseventeen created “specific light treatments” for BBC Nordic to “reflect various behaviours or create a particular tone linked to time, sentiment or mood”. Varying in speed, aesthetic, movement and choreography, Annaw says the edge serves as a “a singular point of focus” that can flex to represent different brand attributes.

“It can become the curious nature documentarian hunting for the best shot in nature, or through its passionate and intense light emission it can raise up and highlight contrasting opinions”, she adds.

Drawing from the colours of refraction, the studio chose teal and orange for the brand’s primary palette. This allows the brand to flex across “contrasting ends of the spectrum” from warm to cool tones, says Annaw.

She adds that the channel’s logo appears in green, nodding to the “Nordic Landscapes and classic muted tones found within Scandinavian design”.

While working with the BBC came with “strict guidelines” which some might find to be limiting, Annaw says it helped the design team to “think harder” about how to develop an identity compatible with BBC masterbrand but also “unique, contemporary and caters to a Nordic audience’s taste and needs”.

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  • Monty April 25, 2023 at 9:43 am

    That negative space N! The entire thing based around the N’s diagonal!


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