Established in 2000, BBC Sport is, as its name clearly implies, the sport-focused department of the UK’s BBC. Without its own specific channel, BBC Sport broadcasts through the BBC’s main TV channels, radio stations, and through a dedicated, comprehensive website. Working with BBC Creative, BBC Sport marketing, broadcast and UX&D, London-based Studio Output has designed a new look for BBC Sport.
Reflecting a new strategy of ‘Sport as a Service’, we created a simple but consistent system for locking up the new BBC Sport logo with network partners, events and regions. The warmer ‘Sport yellow’ is more harmonious with BBC portfolio partners and supported by a bright palette of neutral colours, bringing BBC Sport out of the darkness into a fresher, flatter and more contemporary space.
BBC Sport is the first brand to introduce the new BBC font family, BBC Reith. To implement it with consistency, we applied BBC GEL grids across all platforms, including broadcast. The new system creates a cohesive presentation for the first time across broadcast, app and responsive web.
The old logo, like many things BBC and UK, used Gill Sans and was fine but forgettable. The new logo is also fine and forgettable, which is not a problem, as it’s really just a utilitarian device to remind you that you are on the BBC and that you are watching sports — not a device to start a party or buy a new brand of soup. Typeset in the new BBC Reith type family, designed by Dalton Maag, the new logo looks a lot better, mostly because I personally dislike Gill Sans (which I know is kind of heresy). The new yellow is a much better choice, with a warmer hue that makes the logo less jarring. Lastly, the smaller size of the BBC logo is an improvement.
The boldest graphic element of the identity is a thin shadow cast over the right side of the logo, implying a layering effect of transparent panels. The loop above is quite satisfying and it’s only a simple motion and depth behavior.
The transparent paneling and subtle shadow become the basis of the broadcast graphics, with the logo anchoring the different compositions and basically serve to set up simple gridded and boxy layouts that let the new custom type family do the heavy lifting. I particularly like when the logo is small and the shadow fades upwards into the footage; it’s not a “WOW, OMG” kind of design solution but it’s enough to be noticed and appreciated.
Unlike recent projects like Sky Sports and Eurosport + Olympics which had some bombast to them — in a good way — this redesign has none of that and isn’t meant to be a life-affirming, sports-is-everything design solution but rather a quiet, functional one that extends the BBC-ness of the BBC.