At 6am on Thursday 27th September 2018, BBC Two awoke from a few hours rest with a brand new look. This was the most significant change to the channel’s identity since 1991, when Lambie-Nairn introduced the familiar ‘2’ logo. Although that particular identity underwent a couple of evolutions – first in late-2001 and again in early 2007 – it re-emerged in its original form, following the channel’s 40th birthday celebrations in 2014. The channel’s updated branding sees the ‘2’ numeral replaced by something a little less obvious – a curve which suggests a ‘2’.
The BBC’s in-house agency BBC Creative teamed up with brand agency Superunion to create the new channel identity. The project involved collaborations with various other agencies, including The Mill, Mainframe and FutureDeluxe.
Speaking about the rebranding project, Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, said: “We have been working to re-invigorate BBC Two, making it the home of the most urgent documentaries, the most brilliantly crafted dramas, the most mischievous comedies, the most eye-opening history and science.
“The new channel branding reflects this constantly eclectic and stimulating mix of programming and I am so excited to see it help define this next stage of the channel’s evolution.”
Laurent Simon, executive creative director, BBC Creative, said: “This project is one of those gift briefs that not only allow for the best art and design minds in the country to come together – but also has an immediate effect on popular culture with millions of eyes seeing it every day.
“Only 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 – upcoming, diverse or long established – as we see relevant for the audience and the channel. It’s constantly stimulating.”
Mark Tierney, BBC portfolio head of marketing, specialist mainstream: “BBC Two exists to bring complex subjects and stimulating content to big mainstream audiences. The branding challenge is how to package that content, in all its wonderful diversity, in a consistent and memorable way that helps audiences understand what BBC Two is.
“This set of new idents wraps all our programmes and our trails in clear, distinctive and flexible yet consistent branding which can adapt all the time to reflect the variety of our content.”
For Superunion, Stuart Radford, executive creative director and Katherina Tudball, creative director, issued a joint statement: “It’s been a privilege to work with the BBC on one of Britain’s most iconic TV brands. Collectively we’ve developed a new approach to channel identity that continuously and seamlessly reflects the breadth of emotions evoked by BBC Two’s stimulating content. Our diverse range of idents allows artistic freedom to our collaborators (much like the channel does for its programme creators), all unified by the iconic curve of the numeral two.”
Idents – Standard Set
The titles listed here are those used by the BBC, unless otherwise indicated.
- Absorbing was first broadcast on Wednesday 28th November 2018 at 8pm.
- Authoritative Neutral was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 9am.
- Authoritative Filography was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 12.15pm.
- Bold was first broadcast on Wednesday 10th October at 9pm (though it had been aired the previous evening on BBC Two Northern Ireland).
- Captivating (Version 1) was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 6.30am. This ident was originally referred to as Captivating Pleasurable.
- Celebratory Lively was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 4.45pm.
- Charged Challenging was first broadcast on Saturday 13th October at 3.30pm (though it had been aired on BBC Two Northern Ireland on Tuesday 9th October at 10pm).
- Dark Challenging (Version 1) was first broadcast on Sunday 30th September 2018 at 12.35am (TBC).
- Escapist was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 7.15am.
- Feel Good Pleasurable was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 6am.
- Gripping was first broadcast on Thursday 8th November 2018 at 1.45pm.
- Gritty was first broadcast on Saturday 6th October 2018 at 10.50pm.
- Offbeat Non-Conformist was first broadcast on Friday 28th September 2018 at 4.45pm.
- Reflective Neutral was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 11am.
- Revelatory Eye-Opening was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 8am.
- Sharp Irreverent Non-Conformist was first broadcast on Saturday 27th October 2018 at 10pm.
- Silly was first broadcast on Saturday 3rd November 2018 at 6.30am.
- Thought-Provoking was first broadcast on Friday 28th September at 11.05pm.
- Visceral Lively was first broadcast on Saturday 29th September 2018 at 10am (TBC).
- Wonder Fascinating was first broadcast on Thursday 27th September 2018 at 3.45pm.
NOTE: all first broadcast dates and times relate to BBC Two Network.