The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) founded in 1922 is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation.
Nicknamed the 'bat's wings', it consisted of a rounded brass contraption with a tiny spinning globe in its centre, with large wing-like protrusions flanked by lightning bolts on either side.
For BBC Scotland, the globe in the centre was replaced by a lion. In the 1950s, the BBC began using logos to differentiate their channels from one another.
The BBC1 logo at this time was a circular clock with BBC1 in bubble letters below it.
On 30 September 1963, the BBC's globe logo first appeared. This was a striped line broken in the middle by a globe, with BBC1 in block letters below it. When it appeared, the continuity announcer would say "This is BBC Television." while the globe spun.
1964 saw the creation of BBC1 and BBC2 brands, with the distinctive horizontal stripes across the screen.
More now than ever, merchandise was being branded with the logo, as more productions were being sold via the BBC's American identity, Lionheart Television. Also, records and videos were now starting to be produced and a corporate identity was getting more and more essential to ensuring that the audience knew it was authentic and that the quality programmes they were watching could be attributed to the BBC.
The mirror globe began using a more ornate font in 1972. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, the BBC1 channel logo used several different fonts, but with each change the logo remained blue. At this time, BBC logos were mechanical models filmed by black-and-white cameras. Colour was added afterwards, electronically, rendering it simple to change the colour as needed. This logo remained in use until 1991.
In August 1988, the BBC produced yet another new logo. Since the last one was made, a consumer brand was becoming part of nearly every TV station and corporation at the time. The BBC needed a strong and unified identity, and a change of said identity was key.
Michael Peters was hired to design this all inclusive BBC identity for the corporation. They modified the then-current logo by sharpening up the parallelogram edges again and set them to an angle of 17 degrees without reducing the size of the spaces between the boxes. They also sharpened up the text to make it match the clarity of the logo itself. The typeface used was Helvetica Neue. Also, under-logo lines were added to the logo for the first time.
These lines were coloured blue, red, green to reflect the flags of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland respectively (an "English-bias" has always been a criticism of the BBC), as well as the three phosphors of colour television.
These appeared on the BBC national-region identities from the identities' debut in 1988 and its gradual television debut over the period 1989–1991. The rebrands of both BBC1 and BBC2 in February 1991 were also based on the then-current BBC corporate identity, when these two channels were given a total corporate look, unlike previous ways of branding the channels. Until its closure in 1998, BBC Radio Clwyd continued to use this logo.
1997–presentLambie-Nairn suggested that he look into the current logo choice and see what he could do, given that, the BBC at the time was also looking into the BBC brand as a whole.
What he noticed, was that the BBC had a system that meant that every service or department had a different logo scheme. It had a BBC logo and the name with character. Lambie-Nairn decided to address this when he took on the project, as with all these logos, the core brand itself was severely weakened.
It was also appropriate to look at the way the BBC was branded, as the BBC was about to take off in digital television and the internet, among other different ventures. After seeing a number of problems with the then-current logo, he decided that a new logo was necessary. The logo was technically unsuitable on-screen. When shrunk, it lost the lines underneath and the counters and also, when in colour on a colour photo, it again disappeared or parts vanished.
Technically, the logo never looked comfortable next to the brand and straight letters. Finally, it was expensive to print as stationery would always have four-colour letterheads, and alongside other BBC brands could mean anything up to ten-colour letterheads and stationery.
By straightening up the boxes and letters, it removed all the problems associated with diagonals and those associated with disappearing lines. This kept the boxes' shape, so that it would still be familiar with what people know about the BBC. The typeface used is Gill Sans, made by Eric Gill. It was chosen because, it was elegant, robust and has a timeless appeal: the typeface had been created 60 years before and so avoided the typeface looking outdated at a later date. This typeface also eliminated the disappearing counters issue, as the counters of the B's were much larger. Appropriately, some of Gill's statues adorn the exterior of Broadcasting House. The logo was also designed so that anything could be added after the BBC logo, be it department, corporate, brand, TV, radio, etc. Also, by using this system, everything looked like it came from the same organisation, and it was also easy to add new logos. This system also only used black and white letterheads, meaning a big cost saving to the BBC and the licence fee payer.
Lambie-Nairn's solution is the BBC logo that has been used on-screen since 4 October 1997. The current central logo of the BBC is still the BBC Blocks. It is the longest-used logo by the BBC, and as of 4 October 2018, it has been in use for 21 years.
BBC Coat of Arms
Shortly after receiving its first Royal Charter in 1927, the BBC was granted its own armorials by the College of Arms.
The British lion forms the 'crest' of the arms, and the thunderbolt it holds is a heraldic way of representing broadcasting. The eagles form the 'supporters', and represent speed, while the bugles they wear round their necks symbolise public proclamation.
On the shield is the globe surrounded by seven stars, which represent the other seven planets in the Solar System and hence reflect the scope and breadth of the Corporation. Finally, the motto, "Nation shall speak peace unto nation", is based on verses from the Old Testament (Micah 4:3 and Isaiah 2:4).
An updated Coat of Arms was introduced with the underlined BBC logo (see above) in 1988, retaining all the properties of the original arms but making them appear more defined.
- For other related logos and images see: BBC/Other
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