Many organisations reach a point where their branding no longer reflects their services and mission statement. It is in situations like these where a re-brand can help to turn around the fortunes of an entire business.

A recent example of this has emerged from the BBC, which has undertaken a digital rebrand of its sports content, featuring new graphics and a revamped logo. The rebrand, first seen on Football Focus with the launch of the Premier League season on the 12th August, has reportedly been developed for eventual roll out across all online and digital content.

The new yellow colour and custom-developed ‘Reith’ font is the first update for the BBC Sports brand in 7 years. One of the reasons given for the update is to create a more uniform identity across the BBC’s digital and television platforms.

The introduction of the ‘Reith’ font, developed by Dalton Maag, is a noticeable change from the BBC’s traditional use of Gill Sans, showing the BBC’s intention to move in a more modern direction, and unify its approach across all platforms. 

David Bailey, the creative director at the BBC’s UX&D team, said of the traditional use of Gill Sans and Helvetica, “Legibility-wise, they don’t perform well on today’s digital screens. BBC Reith’s beautiful typeface is more versatile.” 

Using a BBC-owned typeface will have the added benefit of saving the organisation money, as it will no longer be required to pay license fees for external typefaces - which in the long-term could add up to a hefty saving considering the size of the BBC’s reach.

Digital identity

Although the revamped branding has only be debuted on the BBC Sport pages, it is reportedly to be used across all BBC online and digital content by the end of 2017.

James Parry, head of marketing at BBC Sport, said:

“Our last sport rebrand was very much TV-specific but that no longer reflects the way our audiences operate. We want audiences to be able to identify BBC Sport content in the sea of information that’s out there, whether online, on TV or on social media. Importantly, this design provides a consistent visual image for audiences”.

The rebrand was carried out by the BBC Creative and design agency Studio Output, BBC Marketing, UX and TV Graphics teams.

The importance of rebranding

We love seeing huge brands recognise the importance of re-branding to adapt to changes in the times.

The BBC’s brand was created years ago, when the digital age of creating, reading and sharing information completely online did not exist. Marketing bosses have recognised the inconsistencies of branding which over the years has been created piecemeal for different platforms, and they have taken the leap to create a uniform brand identity that is well suited to every channel they operate on. In the future, when new technology and trends replace the old, they will no doubt have to re-examine their branding once more.

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Written by Matt Townsend September of 2017