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BBC Logo Branding

In defence of the new CBBC logo

By Charles Rowe, head of design

March 15, 2016 | 3 min read

The new CBBC logo reflects the eclectic taste of children and the fun way in which they view the world. It’s unpretentious, flexible and playful. It gives a much needed independence to the CBBC brand and has been designed with all devices in mind, whether big or small.

There is no doubt it’s adaptable, vibrant and designed to appeal to both ends of their target age spectrum. The upper age range of the CBBC audience particularly want to feel more grown-up, so housing the new logo device within a structured BBC box gives the channel a more sophisticated feel and helps them stay connected to the BBC family. For the lower age range the box acts as a canvas for creative play, bursting to life with a vibrant spectrum of colour when animated, without being restricted to the confines of the box boundaries.

Logos are there to define brands and create associations within the viewer's mind. Think Coca-Cola, Google, and Nike, and from a broadcasting point of view, think of Channel 4, E4, and ITV – what do you instantly picture in your mind? Their logo, it's how we perceive them as a brand. Great logos will never allow people to forget about the brand, it’s what prompts them to choose one product over an alternative. There has certainly been much thought beyond the new branding just being a visual identity because its versatile, fun and mischievous. It’s clear that the BBC has invested a lot of money on the rebrand – not to mention a great deal of emotional effort.

My only small quibble with the new identity would be that it reads BBCC rather than CBBC. There are abstract Bs with the C, but they’re definitely not instantly recognisable. But maybe they don’t need to be?

Let’s not forget that times have changed – children now grow up on the internet. They’re always mobile and always connected, multi-tasking has become their nature. Comparing it to the original green logo designed in 2007, they didn't then have to factor in children viewing it on different devices and to perform on a diverse set of digital platforms. Today the way to engage with these digital natives is to add some value, provide utility and most importantly, entertain!

The channel’s controller Cheryl Taylor said: "Our new logo is not overt, it doesn’t scream 'children’s TV' but its various iterations are fun and unpredictable and have broad appeal." In my (humble) opinion, CBBC has created a logo that stands out from the clutter. It’s easy on the eye and less one-dimensional. We can only predict what fun the BBC will have with it on children’s iPad’s and smartphones.

All in all, it's a device-friendly logo and in my opinion, a great building block for the future of the CBBC.

Charles Rowe is head of design at Doner London

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