There has been a bit of a brouhaha on social media and across the news lately about the new BBC3 logo. To be frank it’s all a little unnecessary. More often than not, of late when a new logo is revealed for anyone the internet seems to take great pleasure in knocking it down. So it seems with the new BBC3 identity.
In February the BBC are stopping television broadcasts of their ‘youth’ channel, BBC3 and are going to a 100% online service. I agree that such a switch does require new branding as the content, the media, the devices, and the viewing habits will now all be changing. The channel may still have the same name, but it will be a very new entity.
So, they have a new logo. In my opinion it is a perfectly good design, it reflects their brand and will work with their target market. It’s good but not brilliant, and I don’t have a problem with that. Over the decades the BBC have produced far worse designs.
As far as I can tell one of the objections to the new design is that it looks like a version of a BBC logo in the comedy show W1A. Now I’ve not seen this, so can’t comment on the similarity. However I am minded that the logo isn’t awful, it’s suitable and it meets the brief, so what does it matter if it looks like a design in a comedy show?
The other main gripe seems to be that the three vertical lines appear to be two lines and an exclamation mark. Making the logo literally for BBC II! Although there is an element of truth to this a logo with three lines and an exclamation mark could look like, and would attract criticism for, being too similar to a design for BBC4. The use of the third line as an exclamation mark doesn’t bother me and there have been far worse misuses of punctuation in logos over the years.
The idea for the logo is sound, there are three letters I BBC and three lines, reflecting if not actually being the Roman numerals for three work well as a concept. The colour is bright and appropriate for the target audience. As is the exclamation mark. Excitement and alternative use of language can easily be ascribed to the ‘youth’, and BBC3 is the youth channel after all.
As the channel is now going to be 100% online, and now more and more internet traffic is flowing through mobile devices, it is imperative that any logo for a brand like this works clearly on small screens, social media and as buttons on apps. This new design fits this element of the brief beautifully. It is clear, easy to spot, will scale wonderfully, and can stand alone. Well played to the BBC for considering the main areas where the logo will be viewed.
So, is it perfect? No, no its not. It is a good logo but not excellent. The spacing is slightly peculiar. The gap between the BBC letter blocks and the three vericals appears to be the same, but the gap between the point at the bottom of the exclamation mark and the extender seems too narrow by comparison. Meanwhile the choice has been made to have the vertical bars narrower than the letter blocks above. It seems odd not to have them the same width, forming a simple, visual grid, or if choosing a narrower measurement to make them clearly thinner with wider spacing
All that said the new logo is not offensive, serviceable and better than a great many media logos. The social media and news feed response seems both over the top and lazy at the same time. Still I guess it was ever thus.