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30 years ago today: the smokey globe and the 2s

CO
Cold Open Recently warned West Country (East) Points West
The smoky globe always seemed like a weird cop-out, and consequently I hated it on principal (despite it being aesthetically quite nice).

Either run with the idea that a stylised "1" numeral is now the channel's identifier rather than a globe, or don't! Rolling Eyes

Stings/bumpers/trailers etc featured a myriad of interesting 3D iterations of the new "1" symbol (which could easily have also been the basis of the idents) and not a trace of the globe. And yet the main ident had the new "1" rendered in plain old white and 2D, and slapped on top of a globe - the symbol which they could've ditched completely. The fact that the "smoky" design of this globe made it a bit obscure, and not necessarily that obvious that it was even a globe at all, meant that overall they had essentially all but completely ditched the globe in favour of the "1" but couldn't quite bring themselves to fully let the globe go.

It's weird to think that the whole "1" idea only lasted for a single revamp, with the very next revamp being the hot air balloon with a globe design on it (albeit with the "acid trip" colour scheme of yellow land and red water). The fact that the balloon was essentially an evolution of the globe, made it effectively as if the few intervening years of "1" had never happened.

I would advocate some sort of "1" symbolism being the replacement for what we currently have. Quite frankly, footage of real actual murder victims' bodies, with "bBc 1" scrawled on the floor/wall in their blood would be less of an abomination than W**kness is.
As one door closes, another one shuts.
LL
Larry the Loafer Granada North West Today
When I was younger and my interest in TV branding was little more than pretty shapes and ominous sound effects, I had no idea the 1 was actually enclosed inside a globe. That being said I think the numeral was a brilliant logo. Similar to the ITV logo at the time, it really gave a sense of authority needed for the nation's "main channel". But, like the ITV logo, it probably wouldn't fit the more cuddly image they want the channel to have nowadays.
BH
BillyH Founding member London London
When I was younger and my interest in TV branding was little more than pretty shapes and ominous sound effects, I had no idea the 1 was actually enclosed inside a globe.


Same here, I just saw it as a 1 encased in random swirling effects (and assumed it was all CGI until a year or two ago). It’s the visual equivalent of the mid-late 1990s Blue Peter theme, which I always heard as just random drum sounds and never realised it was meant to be vaguely based on the original theme.

Both these looks are the “classic” identities for me as I have no memory of the pre-1991 presentation. I still think of the balloon and later as the ‘new’ idents almost two and a half decades later.
Member since 26 May 2001
GL
Gluben Anglia (East) Look East
Being born in 1988, I had no real recollection of any previous idents like the COW globe, so by default, the smoky virtual BBC1 globe was part of my childhood and thus I'm quite nostalgic about it, even if I'm in the minority. I still think it looks good, especially on a winter's evening. Makes me feel warm and cosy. And those trailer stings and bumpers were great fun to see from 1993, pretty much as flexible as BBC2's were.
RU
russty_russ Anglia (West) Look East
Speaking of the 2's, I'm curious about them featuring in an overnight test transmission. I don't know if they featured the sound from the idents itself or just the tone but apparently they were shown prior to them launching 30 years ago today.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
Speaking of the 2's, I'm curious about them featuring in an overnight test transmission. I don't know if they featured the sound from the idents itself or just the tone but apparently they were shown prior to them launching 30 years ago today.

Is that where the recordings of the full idents with VT clocks come from? I remember reading something about that, that they were just shown overnight and someone managed to capture them. Unfortunately they're very low quality.

LS
LoganStuff Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Speaking of the 2's, I'm curious about them featuring in an overnight test transmission. I don't know if they featured the sound from the idents itself or just the tone but apparently they were shown prior to them launching 30 years ago today.


There was sound on the idents, but I believe they were broadcast without the BBC logo at the bottom. It's not really considered the 'official' launch of the idents though, since it was just an overnight test.
Yes, the next post certainly is dreaded.
DT
DTV Meridian (South) South Today
I agree with Cold Open about not liking the BBC 1 globe despite it being quite aesthetically pleasing. But for me it is because it just doesn't seem like a BBC 1 ident, more the kind of thing that would be suited to a BBC Four-type channel if it had existed then. As can be seen from the BBC 2 idents, by 1991 it was accepted that your ident should also demonstrate the 'character' of the channel, rather than being a mere identifier. But the smokey globe is just a bit cold and formal for BBC 1. Sure it would be fine leading into the news or a serious programme, but it would look out of place leading into Saturday night entertainment.
RD
Roger Darthwell London London
* *

Philip and Sarah introduce the new globe on Going Live: https://tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=127836
First showing of 'Paint' (with no BBC logo generator): https://tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=119844

The last traditional silent/looping globe, and the 2s that went on to be used on and off all the way until 2018. Happy birthday to these design classics, and RIP Martin Lambie-Nairn.

I consider this to be the absolute pinnacle of BBC TV branding, I hope that for the BBC's 100th anniversary next year these idents, alongside all the other old idents could make an appearance Smile
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
I'll stick up for the BBC1 globe - but more so for how they developed the concept from COW but more so for the whole package around it. Didn't appreciate it at the time but a single simple ident with a logo which had quite a different life outside of those idents provided for a decent overall package.
I remember being really disappointed by the new 2 idents on the first day, they just seemed so cold and a bit poncy - even more so than the one they replaced. My impression of the first one I saw was its just a 2 with a blue line across the screen. It took a few days to appreciate them and realise that there were a variety of idents.

Now you say that I remember feeling exactly the same about a numeral 2 with a ribbon seemingly in front of it.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
SP
Spencer Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Speaking of the 2's, I'm curious about them featuring in an overnight test transmission. I don't know if they featured the sound from the idents itself or just the tone but apparently they were shown prior to them launching 30 years ago today.


There was sound on the idents, but I believe they were broadcast without the BBC logo at the bottom. It's not really considered the 'official' launch of the idents though, since it was just an overnight test.


I’m sure it’s been said on here before that it was broadcast for the regions to record and add their own identifier at the bottom. I’ve no idea how true that is though.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
There definiely was one overnight period around late 1990 where during closedown several (maybe all?) of the 2 idents were broadcast, complete with VT clocks. Whether that was for the purposes of getting regions to record them or not, I don't know.

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