Take it from someone who's had to rebrand a radio station with new imaging, logo, signage and font and is currently working on updating the look of a national charity, it is a long process but can and should be done.
After a while brands and looks become fragmented and disjointed and, sometimes, it's best to start with a clean slate and look at things again with a fresh pair of eyes - especially if there are many hashed examples or bad practices of a look which water down the core 'brand'. I quite understand why people are saying 'the current brand is recognisable, if we change it x percentage of the audience will leave' but you have to balance that up with an ever competitive market and whether the look represents a. the audience you're targeting or want to target, b. where you want the product to sit in the market and c. the future vision of the product, in this case News.
Yes, the average viewer might not notice the BBC News box being the 2008 design on BBC Breakfast's and South Today's titles rather than the 2013 version, Look East using Helvetica on its logo instead of Gil Sans and has a strange titles end wipe on the Cambridge edition instead of a fade - or Newsnight using pre-2012 NBH style astons - but do you see this level of inconsistency replicated across any other national broadcaster? I can't say I have. And it's these inconsistencies which weaken and damage a brand as everything is a hotchpotch of bad practices and brand guidelines not being adhered to. Would you really have someone at ITV say 'do you know what, I think we should use Arial on Anglia Tonight's graphics instead' - no, is the answer.
If BBC News was to drop the red colour palette and say go for a blue and ditch the globe for a different property, will it automatically cause people to switch over to the other side? Probably not, because the core product, the news, the presenters etc are still the same. That is also a fundamental part of a brand which people often overlook.
I will say though, that some of the stuff MediaBoy (Chris Cook) has been working on, such as the revamp of the SportsDay bulletins have been very good and well implemented.
Listening to the Sam Taylor podcast (a guy, actually, who I do admire as he's had to make some difficult decisions for the News channel but has also introduced some good presentational elements) he said something along the lines of refreshing the look of news channel is a bit like changing the tracks on a railway line. It never stops, so you're having to do things on the move all the time. But really, every news channel gets to a point where they need to look at the whole thing again.
I wish the BBC would be a bit more daring and actually look to build their channels and brands to be representative of 2018 and not resting on old habits or looks from 1992 (BBC Two) and 1999/2008 for BBC News. Yes, money probably plays a part as does the worry of being accused of wasting money by the tabloid press, but at some point somethings got to give. I love the BBC, may not agree with everything it does, but it does deserve to look it's best brand wise and sadly at the moment, it doesn't.
Last edited by Worzel on 10 June 2018 1:09am - 3 times in total