Cannes Lions

Radically modernising a loved British icon

WOLFF OLINS, London / BBC / 2022

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Together with BBC Creative, BBC UX&D and the BBC Brand team, we set out to deliver an experience upgrade like no other. The BBC hadn’t had a design update for over 20 years, and having grown organically over decades it was made up of lots of individual systems for different brands. Research showed that audiences thought BBC services looked out of date and people wanted a modern BBC that is easier to navigate and reflects their tastes. We designed a BBC for every dimension: fit for every genre, lifestyle and medium.


At the heart of the new experience was the idea of ‘Design for every dimension’: We amplified the BBC’s iconic ‘three blocks’, making them the cornerstone of the identity and symbolising the ‘multidimensional’ nature of the BBC - serving multiple communities with a multitude of choices. Through the injection of more motion, colour and sound, we shifted the BBC from feeling corporate and static to dynamic and interactive. All of this creates an experience that’s unified, not uniform. It elevates and drives attribution to the BBC as the ‘creator brand’ but makes room for multiple genres and personalities. This is an identity that has been designed to demonstrate that the BBC offers amazing value across a multitude of platforms. This is an identity that has been designed for every dimension.


The BBC’s brand equity has been built over 100 years. It’s iconic. So it was important to build from what everyone knows and loves about the BBC brand and add what’s missing. That’s why we chose to amplify the BBC’s ‘three blocks’, making them the cornerstone of the identity and symbolising the ‘multidimensional’ nature of the BBC. We created a suite of block-inspired service identifiers to help you quickly navigate to News, Sport, iPlayer, Sounds, Weather and Bitesize content. They’re intuitive, immediate, and legible and they make the BBC’s digital services feel like a suite, helping people to navigate the portfolio. These identifiers elevate the BBC’s digital services and help people to navigate the portfolio whether that’s from posters, TV, apps or social media.


Over 28 million people come to the BBC for evening entertainment on an average day. By building one, central design system for the whole BBC (that can shaping the total experience), we have enabled the BBC brand to become:

More valuable - because the BBC’s brand is prominent end-to-end (from poster to playback), creating greater attribution to the BBC as the ‘creator brand’.

More efficient - because we built a solution that joins up the experience from street to screen; one ‘total design system’ shaping the experience means it’s more efficient to maintain and upgrade than a myriad of sub-brands.

More relevant - because it closely aligns the BBC with a huge diversity of original content, making the BBC feel like a brand for people from all walks of life, rather than a distant corporate monolith.

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