Marina Willer and her team at Pentagram designed the visual identity, series of idents and promotional assets for the campaign, which was launched around a month ago to mark 100 years since the first women were granted the vote in England.
Pentagram pitched for the project, Willer’s first with the BBC, at the institution’s request. “They approached me personally because they were creating this programme that would give voice to women at different stages in their lives from teens to later in life,” says Willer. “The season celebrates the voices of women working in all kinds of areas, and their relationships with what it means to be a woman in our times.” She adds, “we came up with a look and feel that was very much about that voice, with lips as the background of the graphic language”.
The designs had initially been erring more towards a “quite activist”, Barbara Kruger-inspired aesthetic, which was then pared back slightly as the brief was modified to encompass a broader remit. “As it became a bit more mainstream and had to appeal to more ages and backgrounds, we made it more colourful and optimistic,” says Willer.
The team photographed a number of people in the Pentagram studio including staff and models to create the mouth imagery used across the campaign. “It was meant to be like stop motion, not just a film,” says Willer. The typography for the identity was chosen to reflect a sense of “modernity and energy”, she explains.
“I know the BBC uses a lot of Helvetica for its supporting typefaces, so we tried to use what they had and make it more celebratory and strong. We wanted to avoid things like pink, or just being girly, so we weren’t reinforcing stereotypes of what it means to be a woman.”
The identity is used across the BBC’s online platforms and television broadcasts as adverts and small stings, and across social media and other promotional materials.
The Hear Her series encompasses new BBC commissions across TV, radio and online including documentaries, discussions, short-form pieces, digital and educational content. Filmmaker Vanessa Engle is also directing promotional films to celebrate the season.
See more on the Hear Her season here