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BBC 1997 rebrand - the unsullied era

Who wishes it would come back?

JO
johnnyboy Founding member Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
The pinnacle of BBC branding, in my opinion...

• The BBC1 balloons and the first time the ident ever had musical accompaniment
• The much varied BBC2 idents (the new one is good but the 2001-2008ish idents were awful)
• BBC Choice with their play on the number 3
• BBC News 24 with the flags (and the flag-type visual motif for Radio 5 Live)
• The old BBC virtual studios and the music with the new BBC logo on it
• "LOGO + Service" horizontal logos centred in the screen, not in boxes to the left or the right with the safe area
• Centralised listings across all channels on promos (shared with UKTV)

The whole thing was ruined first with the "BBC NEWS 24" logo being on two stories and placed within the centre of the screens.

Worse was to come with the BBC2 idents with the purple box.

The final straw was getting rid of the balloons.

Which idents or ident era do you miss?
OFCOM's queen bitch
MarkT76 and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
GL
Gluben Anglia (East) Look East
I miss it, but I think it's too late to bring it all back. It's probably better to reform the current era to match it somewhat, especially BBC1 to act more like BBC2.

Also, not sure I liked having centralised listings. I think left-aligned works better.
AlfieMulcahy and Kunst gave kudos
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
Get this in now while I can.... The 1997 look hung around in one form or another until 2015, and our old faithful, The Learning Zone, which was the last bastion of that look long after everything else had dumped it.



(the ident first appeared in the late 90s and aside from being updated to widescreen was by and large the same to a large extent)
KU
Kunst World News
I think there's too much nostalgia with rose tinted glasses

While the era was indeed very good, it was very good for its times, bringing it all back wouldn't work (first of all because it'd be absolutely seen as cheap, and rightfully so)

I never have been a fan of BBC Two bringing the "1997" idents back in the mid-2010, for instance

I also think particularly endboards weren't particularly exciting, at that time

I agree though now it's all looking quite chaotic, and that we should finally get rid of the box!
RD
Roger Darthwell London London
I miss it, but I think it's too late to bring it all back. It's probably better to reform the current era to match it somewhat, especially BBC1 to act more like BBC2.

Also, not sure I liked having centralised listings. I think left-aligned works better.

Good point, although I have to say that johnnyboy has never wrote that he wants to bring it all back though...but then again in 2022 the BBC will be celebrating it's 100th anniversary and...I don't know maybe they could dust off 1 or 2 old idents for the occasion
RD
Roger Darthwell London London
The pinnacle of BBC branding, in my opinion...

• The BBC1 balloons and the first time the ident ever had musical accompaniment
• The much varied BBC2 idents (the new one is good but the 2001-2008ish idents were awful)
• BBC Choice with their play on the number 3
• BBC News 24 with the flags (and the flag-type visual motif for Radio 5 Live)
• The old BBC virtual studios and the music with the new BBC logo on it
• "LOGO + Service" horizontal logos centred in the screen, not in boxes to the left or the right with the safe area
• Centralised listings across all channels on promos (shared with UKTV)

The whole thing was ruined first with the "BBC NEWS 24" logo being on two stories and placed within the centre of the screens.

Worse was to come with the BBC2 idents with the purple box.

The final straw was getting rid of the balloons.

Which idents or ident era do you miss?

I think that this and the 1991 idents and branding are the best
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Presentation needs to move forwards, not backwards, although the balloons were certainly the best of the post-globe era and IMO should have survived to live alongside the red box for a few more years.

I wonder what TV Forum would have thought at the time of the 2's surviving - I remember initially they looked quite odd with the BBC TWO text logo.

I wasn't a fan of the trailer style to be honest - great it was all uniform but understandable why they bought in the colour boxes a few years later to make it stand out much more what is on what channels. Today though with the tendency for full screen channel branding at the end of trailers they'd probably work better.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
SC
scottishtv Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
I loved the balloons as much as the next person, but I do remember that some of them were used in quite high rotation so they definitely wouldn't have lasted much longer without starting to date.

I loved it when the balloons changed for Christmas 1999 and Christmas 2000 (they got the year wrong on their website) in particular.

However, some of the later balloon idents weren't good. They were generally other scenes with a balloon flying in the background somewhere (often badly added). It was probably right things moved on. Whether they went in the right direction is of course debatable.

Some of the dance idents were okay, I guess.
OM
Omnipresent London London
One driver behind the 1997 rebrand was adapting the BBC for the digital age, eg by changing the BBC logo so it was better suited to display on digital screens. (It was also claimed that changing it to black and white saved a fortune in printing costs.)

This was at a time when the BBC had confidence and certainly in its future, and it know how to promote itself, eg with Perfect Day and the 75th Anniversary promos.





I remember former Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt speaking at an event shortly after the rebrand and mentioning how terrible some of the BBC local radio logos were before a uniform logo was introduced.
BBC TV Centre and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
AN
all new Phil Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I like uniformity, but in this case it was far too simplistic, bordering on dull. Also, CBBC was absolutely terrible in the yellow and black era I thought.

There was a lot more energy back then though and everything flowed better. Because the style for logos and text was so regimented, the design standards of everything else was much better. That’s what is missing so badly now - uniformity of logos, trailer endboards etc.
KU
Kunst World News
Yes, I think the current logos are much better than the 1998 ones, I just would like a certain more "conformity" on certain things, like cross-channel promotions, and getting rid of the block also on Four, News and Parliament (etc.)

I also don't get why Parliament has to look so "rainbowish", the previous look, which put it naturally close to BBC News , was so much better
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
Kunst posted:
I also don't get why Parliament has to look so "rainbowish", the previous look, which put it naturally close to BBC News , was so much better


Parliament lives at the back of the queue for rebrands, it always has done. Occasionally somebody will remember they have a Parliament channel and it'll start looking like BBC News with bells and whistles, but they soon drift out of sync look wise. It happened last time.

Of course it might have more to do with the fact the service has next to no budget to do anything by itself aside from relay Parliament feeds with new graphics, and I dare say that situation isn't going to change any time soon.

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