BBC Cricket gets a fresh new look

London agency Happy Ending created a new identity and design system that would reassert the broadcaster as the “home of multiplatform cricket coverage”

There has been an ongoing concerted effort to rejuvenate the image of cricket in the UK, namely with the launch of a new, shorter tournament format in 2021 called The Hundred, which was created to draw younger audiences to the sport.

But when brand and communications studio Happy Ending was asked to help the BBC attract new generations to its cricket coverage, it had the added challenge of speaking to core cricket fans at the same time.

Not only that, the identity would need to hold up against all of the different tournament types – from T20 to ODI (One Day Internationals) to Tests – across both men’s and women’s cricket, and work seamlessly on TV, online, iPlayer, and social, too.

The agency responded with a flexible design identity that brings “bucketloads of personality”, according to Happy Ending creative director Ross Popejoy. “Our solution was a bright, bold identity with a foundation in traditional scoring iconography brought to life within a modern graphical world.”

The identity places an emphasis on purposefully glitchy motion design and technical motifs, drawing on the use of characters in the vein of ASCII art. Rigid angles and harsh lines are everywhere, but they’re layered and freely distributed across the designs. Its bright blue and acid green palette is a particularly energising touch.

“Every layer of the identity focused on embedding the design language within the cricketing world, allowing us to make everything from cool ASCII 3D textured models to multi-layered motion assets all connected through one DNA,” explains lead designer Ioan Davies. “From a technical aspect it was also important to make everything super lightweight, allowing the teams at BBC Creative and BBC Sport to create content quickly and efficiently.”

The new designs debuted during England’s drama-addled clash with Australia at this year’s Ashes, and will continue to roll out for other cricket events in the future.