Backlash as BBC changes its logo

New design has smaller text and is placed in blocks with slightly bigger gaps between them

A new BBC logo has been launched with stark similarities to the outgoing design, leading to a wave of criticism.

The backlash came from media rivals and the public, but the BBC said the redesign helped to make its content “instantly recognisable” and was cost effective.

The stars of W1A — a BBC comedy set inside the BBC and named after the postcode of the BBC headquarters in central London — hinted that the new logo may have similarities with one of its ideas.

For the uninitiated, the new design on a red background has the BBC channel, for example BBC ONE, but the text used is smaller than previously and is placed in blocks with slightly bigger gaps between them. It is also in the BBC-owned Reith font rather than Gill Sans.

Viewers on BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, BBC Scotland and BBC Alba will see the new logos and graphics from Wednesday.

Hugh Bonneville, star of W1A, was among those having a laugh at the corporation’s expense and tagging co-star Jason Watkins.

“No yes I mean I don't know if Fun Media have any sort of copyright on what they pitched us way back when but I'm sure Timmy's legal eagles can put up a pretty robust you know defence that it's an entirely different and indeed new logo.”

Viewer Ben Gillam wrote: “How many millions of £s of the licence fee did the @bbc spend on the new logo that looks exactly the same as the old one to anyone other than [a] graphic artist.”

Viewer Jamie Mellings also weighed in on the new look.

Kimberley Wickham was also unsure.

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain, host Richard Madeley led the charge against the new design.

“Can you imagine a designer going to the BBC exec and saying, 'I think you’ll like this' and them going, 'oh my God, that was worth half a million'. Didn’t anyone look at someone else in the room and say “they’re going to laugh at us?”’

The BBC defended the new look to “join the dots” between different arms of the corporation.

The logo changes are also being made to BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds, with new logos made up of moving dots and blocks, and changes to BBC News, Weather, Sport and Bitesize will soon follow.

“Over the coming months we will be modernising all aspects of our services so the experience feels coherent wherever you access our content,” said BBC chief customer officer Kerris Bright.

“We'll join the dots between the different bits of the BBC through simplified layouts and graphics. For example, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds are already evolving to help our audiences discover more of what's available.

“There are plenty of little changes, designed to make a big difference and we'll introduce them gradually across our services.

“In time, when audiences browse iPlayer and Sounds, watch TV, read the sport headlines online or check the news app, they'll see a new, modern and distinctive BBC across TV, online and mobile, that's easier to use. It will be unmistakably BBC, just like our content,” she said.

Updated: October 20th 2021, 12:37 PM