BBC Two rebrands – and there are no fluffy numbers in sight

The channel has unveiled a set of new animated idents, all designed around the “iconic curve” of the number two

By Kijek & Adamski

The films range from paper-cut stop motion to digitally generated imagery and Op Art-style black and white stripes. In-house agency BBC Creative and Superunion worked together on the rebrand, collaborating with animators around the world to design the idents. A film by Aardman is set to be revealed as the BBC adds to the films over time, and the channel is also working with several British artists, including David Batchelor.

It’s the first rebrand for the channel in 20 years, and according to BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland is intended to “re-invigorate BBC Two” and reflect its “constantly eclectic” collection of documentary, drama and comedy.

By FutureDeluxe
By David McLeod
By Mainframe. All images courtesy of BBC

The rebrand comes at a time when TV channels are increasingly under threat from streaming channels such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and when audiences are perhaps more drawn to individual series than particular channels. In a recent interview with the Guardian, Holland confirmed there would also be a shake up of BBC Two’s programming, with the channel working with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker on new shows. It will also be airing an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

The new look for BBC Two lacks the personality and charm that its classic ‘2’ characters once inhabited, and is arguably a little reminiscent of Channel 4’s styling in places. Yet its simple approach, and the elegant use of the 2 shape is clearly flexible and offers the opportunity for multiple interpretations. Whether it is enough to stand out in the increasingly fierce battle for viewers’ attention remains to be seen.

BBC Creative
ECD: Laurent Simon
Creative director: Susan Ayton
ECD: Stuart Radford
Creative Director: Katherina Tudball
Designer: Erik Brattested