BBC Two rebrands for first time in 20 years

The terrestrial channel has a new look and a new, animated series of idents, created collaboratively between an in-house team and branding consultancy Superunion.

by Kijek and Adamski

BBC Two has been rebranded by the BBC’s in-house design team BBC Creative, alongside design consultancy Superunion.

The new look is centred around a set of 16 new idents for broadcast and digital use, which do away with the previous theme of recreating the number “2” in different forms and materials.

Instead, the new idents – which have been produced by 16 different animators – present different interpretations of a curve shape, mimicking the curve of a number “2”.

The different idents include the curve constructed out of colourful felt fabrics, crystallised stalactites, large bubble shapes, and geometric, wooden blocks.

by FutureDeluxe

This new look marks the first major branding change for BBC Two in 20 years, and aims to reflect how the TV channel is “modern, contemporary and stimulating”, with an “eclectic channel schedule”, says the BBC.

The rebrand comes at a time when BBC Two controller, Patrick Holland, says the BBC is “working to reinvigorate BBC Two”, and adding to its programme repertoire.

It currently runs programmes including quiz shows like University Challenge and QI, documentaries, including those by Louis Theroux, history and science programmes, dramas and comedies.

The channel is also allegedly working with Black Mirror writer Charlie Brooker on a new series of programmes, according to The Guardian.

“The new channel branding reflects this constantly eclectic and stimulating mix of programming,” says Holland.

by David McLeod

The 16 idents have been created by animators including: Aardman, FutureDeluxe, The Mill, Kenneth Robin, Ari Weinkle, David McLeod, Helmut Breineder, Conlan Normington, Kijek and Adamski and Mainframe.

Further idents will be created in collaboration with more animators and in-house at BBC Creative, as well as by other artists, including sculptor and installation artist David Batchelor, with the series of idents constantly being “refreshed and expanded”.

The audio for the new idents has been composed by sound designer Alex Barnowski, who has focused on using the same two musical notes that “evolve” to “create an atmospheric journey” for each ident, says the BBC.

The project has been coordinated by BBC Creative’s executive creative director Laurent Simon and creative director Susan Ayton, alongside Superunion’s executive creative director Stuart Radford and creative director Katherina Tudball.

by David McLeod

Simon says: “The BBC offers such a large, public platform for creative expression and exposure. What’s also exciting is that it’s modelled to be iterative, refreshed and expanded by as many collaborators as we see relevant for the audience and channel.”

Radford adds: “Collectively, we’ve developed a new approach to channel identity that… reflects the breadth of emotions evoked by BBC Two’s stimulating content. Our diverse range of idents allows artistic freedom to our collaborators, all unified by the iconic curve of the [number] ‘2’.”

The new BBC Two branding launches on 27 September 2018, and will be seen across broadcast and online platforms, as well as marketing and advertising materials and merchandise.

by FutureDeluxe
Hide Comments (5)Show Comments (5)
  • Darren Page September 27, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Can anyone in the know provide what you call each one. I take it they all have ‘official’ names to identify each one?

  • REJM September 27, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful work. Graphic design has suffered badly in the mobile first, digital age where data informs every creative decision made. How wonderful to see imagination and inspirational creativity is back. And how I wish I could still do anything half as magical as this.

    • Mark October 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Amen. Completely agree with you. Great work that’s lovely to see.

  • Hannah October 9, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Nice to see some fluid, organic shapes for once. It seems calming and peaceful. Everything at the moment seems to be shout shout shout.

  • Sade May 11, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    i cannot look!The new designs and animation makes me feel physically unwell. Sets off my trypophobia every time i see it. Also not helped by the sounds.

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