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Comments on changes

Peter Horrocks Peter Horrocks | 09:05 UK time, Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Thanks for your comments on the BBC News branding changes. I'll try to answer some of your questions about our thinking. We will be waiting before we get the results of some quantitative research on how viewers have responded to the new look before deciding whether to make any tweaks to it.

bbcnews_140.jpgMany of you have been perplexed about why a branding change was necessary and you wondered whether we had consulted any members of the audience. We did talk to the audience and that's exactly why we have introduced these changes. Not every user of BBC News is as passionate (positively or negatively) as readers of this Editors' blog. As one comment put it, "the brand of the BBC goes without saying". But I'm afraid that is not the case. Younger people use BBC News less than older viewers. In a competitive environment news content, especially when accessed via aggregation sites, is sometimes hard to identify. Clarifying and reinforcing the BBC News brand is about defending its values for the future, not throwing those values away.

We were accused of "spending tons of money". The £550,000 cost of the changes is a large sum of money, but spread over all of BBC News services in the UK and around the world, and over many years, we feel it gives real value.

In terms of specific criticisms, the changes to the channel names and the bulletins were probably the most contentious. But we believe they do make sense in the context of the increasing lack of awareness of the BBC News brand. Of course if you'd like to carry on referring to the channel as "News 24" and the bulletin as "The Ten O'Clock" then that's fine by me. But I'm proud of BBC News, so I see no harm (and plenty of benefit) in us telling the audience where their programmes come from.

One contributor says that the BBC News brand has been foisted on the regions. You are right that there is an impression amongst some audiences of BBC News as being too London-centric, but we are making great efforts to change that. BBC News needs to reflect the interests of the whole country. So rather than reinforcing a metro-centric impression we want to make sure BBC News is embedded in our first class output in the nations and English regions.

These changes are not about style over substance. They are part of a massive series of changes that are equipping BBC News as an organisation to deliver multimedia journalism to all our audiences. We are spending far more time and money on investing in improvements to the content of our journalism than we are on marketing and branding. I hope later to return to these themes and explain further how BBC News is improving what we provide for you.


  • Comment number 1.

    You say you're making efforts to make your regional output less metro-centric ... well, you could start by dropping the awful 'BBC London' branding for what used to be Newsroom Southeast.

    The day your regional news in the southeast disappeared up its own metropolitan rear-end was the day I stopped watching it; living in Hemel Hempstead and rarely ever going in to London, your output simply wasn't relevant to me.

    These days I live in Scotland but I'm afraid we have much the same problem up here; BBC Scotland has its own institutional bias, in this case to Glasgow where the studio is.

    You need to encourage your journos to get out more, and you need your news editors to look a little further than the tips of their own noses for material.

    Whatever colour the wallpaper is, at national or regional level, if the content doesn't reflect the interests of the entire audience, you're never going to get the entire audience interested.

  • Comment number 2.

    Does the rebranding also include a dumbing down? I know it's nearly compulsory now, but I had foolishly hoped that the BBC's news service would try to remain above it.

    Just read this ( story and was somewhat surprised no-one mentioned to the geologist that the magnetic north has moved by about 20 degrees of longitude since 1900.

    I'm not even going to start on the claim that Britain somehow enforced GMT on the world.

    There's "not being biased" and then there's "legitimising stupidity". By publishing that nonsense on the BBC site, you're giving the impression that the opinion is somehow true.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'd like to know whether the titles have been checked using a Harding FPA machine?
    This tests material for guideline compliance relating to photosensitive epilepsy.

  • Comment number 4.

    I actually think the streamlining of regional news programmes is a great step. They all come within the BBC News banner at last (with all the values that brings), while retaining a strong local flavour in terms of stories, presenters, and output. In the past I've often felt BBC NI (and the desperate 'Newsline', where we get 'news worth watching', ie joke stories, usually after 6.36pm when proper news, presumably not worth watching, is rushed through) has tried to sell itself as some sort of independent news programme.

  • Comment number 5.

    It's nice to get a speedy response and I thank your for that, Peter.

    However, it does seem that all the comment posters yesterday were killing their keyboards with their fingers in vain, as we all know that posting the comments for most is just a bit of fun by following the crowd and lambasting the BBC.

    There were one or two serious posters, though, I hope you know. And I believe some of them made some very valid points, so it would be nice if our BBC could acknowledge the remarks, as opposed to simply acknowledging the fact that people simply made comments.

    In response to some of the things you mentioned, Peter, I don't believe a quick all-change of the on-screen graphics will lure younger viewers in. Television is becoming similar to the Web in that you can come across one or two sites which look very very pretty indeed but really don't have a lot to offer. Why is this BBC News new look different to that? Well I don't know. I suppose that's my point.

    Instead of emulating the competition, it might be an idea to tell everybody why BBC News is the best in the world. I know it is. Many others do, too. But instead of slapping on a dodgy paint job and re-enforcing your Britishness by using Gill Sans for every piece of on-screen presentation, please consider first something with a little more weight, more gravitas... Something that reminds the massed why the BBC is our BBC and not just another lame broadcaster dumbing down the masses.

    (I also feel obliged to point out that I thought the last look, which was still new, was beautiful).

    ...Thank you. We'll have more after this short break... =]

  • Comment number 6.

    So, Peter, you've managed to respond without absorbing the criticism of any of the comments made whatsoever. Are we all so misguided that you were 100% right and we are 100% wrong? You even dismiss our feedback on graphics tweaks by saying "quantitive feedback will be sought later", which you were going to do anyway.

    This smacks of a government "consultation" - pretend to care about what people think, then do what you were going to do all along.

    Don't bother next time, I'd rather not be patronized.

  • Comment number 7.

    I like everything but the lower thirds. The titles, music, studio are all great. But I feel, LN have sold you the onscreen look of 1999. Your right about the money, it's not a large ammount when put into context, I'm sure people will get used to it. Was this reaction expected by the BBC? It seems like a massive shock to me - I for one love it, and expected everyone else to love it too.
    Good job, perhaps however, you could appear on Newswatch to explain a few things everyone else is whailing about?

  • Comment number 8.

    Could you not have change the colour though? The red is getting a little dull and a bit apressive. When you look at sky news and how the studio is layed out, people standing, not sitting, the bright freshness that you see, the BBC looks like another old fashioned news channel.
    Your back drop behind the presenters looks like we're looking through mottled glass. Could we not just see the news room? Or a picture of what your talking about.

    ALso, if you change the name and studio, why have all the old adverts and run ins? Could you not change them?

  • Comment number 9.

    You're never going to please the dedicated BBC lambasters that loiter round these parts [i]("what an outrageous waste of my licence fee!! Reinstate the old one now!!")[/i] - but on the whole I'm pretty reassured by the BBC's apparent willingness to listen and act on user feedback - of which the Editors blogs represents just one fraction (and not a particularly representative one at that).

    It will be interesting to see how the News24 name change is received, not just initially but over the coming months and years. My initial reaction was one of scepticism, but now I'm thinking it probably was the right choice, and we'll all get used to hearing Huw remind us of what's coming up "over on the BBC News channel".

    One thing I really do dislike though... the use of Gill Sans in your onscreen graphics. Yes we know it's to help viewers make that instant visual association with the BBC... but let's be realistic, we already have the uniquely BBC red colour scheme, the studio design, oh and the BBC logo. Was this font [i]really[/i] required? Using Gill for your internal corporate use or sparingly on the occasional broadcast is one thing. Relying on it so heavily for onscreen graphics is quite another. My opinion is that it really does make your graphics look awfully dull, dated, and less easy to read - especially in lower-case.

    The rest of the rebrand though is great, even the grey ticker and the "hideously white" bar across the bottom of the screen!

  • Comment number 10.

    A previous comment mentioned the similarities to the 1999 look, which is the aspect of this that baffles me most. We are told that this is a new pan-BBC News look, that ties together the regions, and all of the BBC's output, but that is exactly what happened in 1999 - in fact swap out the white for beige and you'd be close to what you had then.

    So it strikes me as slightly patronising to say that the price will be spread out over the next few years, and that the regions will benefit from the global BBC News brand etc. when history dictates that in two years time, we will have the same sort of mess we had last Friday.

    Then you can call Lambie-Nairn (again), and he can sell you the same set of branding components put together in a subtly different way, and you can write more or less the same blog post in which you tell us these are all 'new' ideas. It's pretty funny if you think about it…

  • Comment number 11.


    In terms of the name changes you seem to be justifying it because

    1. You see a reduced awareness of the BBC News Brand.

    2. Younger people use BBC News less than older people.

    Perhaps you have targetted the wrong media. If you want to target the younger audience then perhaps you should be looking at the domain name for the Internet site. Rather than why not promote ??? Secondly perhaps you should be looking at introducing the BBC News brand alongside Newsround also.

    Personally I think you will change the bulletin names back when you realise that no-one other than yourselves refers to the bulletins by your names. Even other BBC programmes (including some regionals were saying last night "we'll be back after the 10 o clock news!!) Its a bit like Radio 1 a few years ago referring to themselves as "1FM"....after a while they reverted back. Even Scottish Television reverted back to STV recently after admitting that everyone referred to it as STV anyway. In terms of News 24 well it does seem a waste of license payers money to build a brand up over 13 years or so and then ditch it overnight for something clumsy / generic and unspecific for the sole reason that it doesn't include the phrase BBC News......should we be concerned about the name "5 Live" ?

  • Comment number 12.

    You've managed to address at least one of the concerns expressed in the comments to your previous post, but to me the most glaring setback in this revamp concerns the on-screen graphics. I would like to echo comments #28, #52 and especially #135 from your previous post and explain my reasoning.

    When Lambie-Nairn earned tens of millions for introducing Gill Sans to the BBC logotype more than ten years ago, it took a while to get used to but quickly established the brand as one that is instantly recognisable across the world. The News 24 graphics steadily evolved over the years to where its previous incarnation was my absolute favourite of them all, as it was entirely subtle and unintrusive - the graphics were clean and crisp, and visual elements slid on/off-screen or faded in and out without causing a distraction. Most of all, the use of Helvetica in the ticker and various astons made text very readable and easy on the eyes.

    So my problem with the new graphics is three-fold, as it goes against everything the previous graphics stood for, and not in a good way. The incredibly high-contrast solid colour scheme - black on white, white on dark gray, sharp border edges - is incredibly jarring and distracting, and looks like no thought had been put into it whatsoever.

    This is compounded by the new transitions, which appear on screen wiping left to right instead of fading in and out. This is not so noticeable during stories on the News Channel where the big white bar stays on-screen while story one-liners are wiped in and out, but every time one of the white bars appears during "BBC News Reporting Scotland" I find my eyes have to refocus to adjust to the screen brightness, which causes me great discomfort as the programme uses no other on-screen astons. I'm not so much a fan of Sky News, but its wipe implementation is a lot less distracting as it fades the bar in first, then uses a vertical line to wipe-in the text.

    Most glaring of all is the wholesale re-adoption of Gill Sans across all on-screen text, which I object to strongly. While Gill Sans still works as the BBC's logotype, my eyes glaze over every time I'm faced with reading long strings of text formatted in this font, as it just isn't readable enough to be used in any serious context. This is the clearest example of one step forward, three steps back as it relates to the visual identity of BBC News.

    These three crucial elements of visual design - colour scheme, transitions and type choice - had already been virtually perfected in News 24's last incarnation, and have been supplanted by a vastly inferior stepchild that appears to have been designed as an afterthought, perhaps because most of the money was spent on those nausea-inducing title sequences. You can keep those, even your bland new studio, but I can't tolerate watching BBC News for any length of time if the graphics aren't visually appealing and there when I need to refer to them, instead of in my face whether I like it or not.

    I would politely suggest the BBC obtains a refund from Lambie-Nairn for the few quid they spent designing the on-screen graphics, and use the money to reinstate the previous ones.

  • Comment number 13.

    I completely agree with the comments made by sanbikinoraion—your whole post smacks of superiority and smugness. It seems you haven’t actually trawled through the hundreds of comments and have merely looked at how many there are.

    It seems you have absorbed none of the criticism, when there seems to be a substantial amount of it.

    An yes, many of the commenters here are correct, merely giving the channel a visual update will not make it appeal to younger viewers. The way we consume our news is changing—and the younger are usually some of the first to jump on the bandwagon, i.e. we are moving away from the TV and other “traditional” forms of media.

    And finally, I can’t actually look at the new titles. They hurt my eyes.

  • Comment number 14.

    Listening to the today program this morning I noticed the new being introduced as "the BBC news" or something like that and it just didn't seem right .... the impression this gives to me is that this is not *the* news but the news that the news from the BBC perspective or the news the BBC wants us to here. I remember years back (before 24 broadcasting on other channels) I used to listen to world service late at night and the then hourly intro - Big Ben followed by annoucer saying something like "this is BBC world service, The News" - got it so so much better.

    Anyway, I assume comments are irrelevant ... all the BBC news sections have been merged so doubtless the inevitable land-grab for reduced number of management posts that always happens has resulted in people justifying their continued presence by important sounding "branding" projects

  • Comment number 15.

    I watched the Six O'Clock News and the Ten O'Clock News - sorry, the BBC News at Six and the BBC News at Ten - last night, and I have to say I found that it looked strangely old-fashioned.

    The new graphics are fine - not much different to the old ones, really. The new titles are a bit clumsy and of course the 10pm bulletin now sounds too much like ITV's News At Ten. But worst was the studio and the camerwork. For most of the two bulletins, the camera angle was a chest-up shot of the newsreader, with what seemed to be a frosted glass background. (I'm sure we used to be able to see into that newsroom.) It just all looked terribly dated, and I'm sure that wasn't the point of the revamp. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought previously we'd been able to see the desk and had a range of wider camera shots. Last night, it almost seemed as if little pictures to represent the news stories were going to appear in the top-right of the screen, like the 80s and 90s!

    Luckily, the old-fashioned studio was over-compensated by the horrible gimmickry that's infected the actual news reports over the last couple of years. Silly music, tortured puns and unnecessary graphics have led to a real dumbing-down.

  • Comment number 16.


    I would still think that you consider returning the '24' to the UK news channel. Your only logic for removing it is that 'young people don't understand it' which is just patronising.

    I'm never apposed to change for it's own sake, but I've been watching BBC News 24 since the very first day (when it was all flags and drums on cable TV) and I feel it is an insult to us long-term viewers and dare I say it, enthusiasts and evangelists for the channel to get rid of it.

    There are FOUR other BBC channels that have a number after them, and two of them have had those numbers for FORTY YEARS! Are you going to get rid of them too? No, I thought not. (The CBBC Channel might be better as BBC Five, perhaps?)

    It's not like 'The BBC News Channel' is less of a mouthful than 'BBC News 24'.

    Please return the digits to our news channel.

  • Comment number 17.

    BBC World: Light Grey on White for program time announcements -- amazing! Can't see anything at all on LCD displays if not viewing straight-on!.

    This is sheer stupidity. Gathering feedback from a few will not give you the right opinion. Focus groups don't give you the correct feedback.

    I can assure you that these changes have not had the desired effect.

    And look at the amount of horizontal space you are wasting with your ticker at the bottom. Two problems here -- the indentation and the addition of 'NEWS' to BBC WORLD. What is important? Don't you think as a news channel you need to provide more space for real news?

  • Comment number 18.

    Please re-brand BBC Wales as BBC Cardiff - after all most of the news reports seem to come from there with the rest of Wales ignored.

    Shame you didn't spend the half-million or so pounds of license fee money on buying your BBC Wales people a camera and a push bike to cover the rest of Wales - oh! and a map of Wales of course - but only after counseling to prepare them for the news that there is more to Wales than Cardiff and Torchwood.

  • Comment number 19.

    I don't have a problem with the BBC rebranding. What I do have a problem with is the need to spend £550000 on it.
    This is an outrageous amount of money. There can be no justification for this. No other media organisation could afford this. The BBC does not care about how it gets the money it does not have to raise revenue - this is done through the tax we all have to pay known as the licence fee.
    So please get real about this and into the real world. But the BBC seems not to care about this it is always comes across in a very arrogant manner - it always knows best!

  • Comment number 20.

    I've been a fan of BBC presentation for years, and am glad that the David Lowe mix is still there (which I absolutely love)... the white on red, I can live with... not so big on Gill Sans for the lower thirds - I thought I would like it, but it's just not growing on me.

    My problem, though, is with BBCWN America... yes, I know, it falls under the "one unified brand" and was probably lumped in with the rest of the lot -- but, at the same time, the program JUST launched 4.5 months ago. On top of that, it had a "slightly different, yet still themed" open and show graphics -- now, they're simply the BBC regional graphics package with "American" video keyed in. (Even more discouraging - the "American landscape" backdrop has been replaced with something a little more generic.)

    I'm certainly not as upset as some of the folks here, but do think that tweaks are in order here (as they are with most graphics packages). I'd call it a lateral move, as opposed to an improvement or lack thereof.

  • Comment number 21.

    DeltaLima, your statement that 'no other media organisation could afford this' is frankly silly.

    The Daily Sport (heard of them?) just spent £1 million on a rebrand.

    Yet the BBC have spent half that rebranding ten times more resources.

    So lets have some common sense please.

  • Comment number 22.

    This sounds patronising to 'younger viewers.'

    Do 'younger viewers' like the whizzing in and whizzing out of title graphics? I find them distracting (I'd prefer rapid fades instead, but then I might not be a 'younger viewer'). Or perhaps that's the point - is the BBC afraid 'younger viewers' will notice the content and decide that they're likely to get more in-depth news coverage on the various blogs and websites on the web?

    Seriously, improve the content.

    Aside, the red on white text for headlines reminds me of the Sky news I get here in NZ.

  • Comment number 23.

    Post 21# mentions that compared to the Daily Sport the BBC's spending of 550,000 pounds is a bargain, he also then berates DeltaLima for making 'silly' comments!, so to assist post 21 in the future before accusing others of making silly comments here are some points he has managed to miss:

    1, The BBC is paid for by everyone, this money is paid for by a direct tax called the licence fee, this means that the BBC is supposed to spend OUR money on quality programming, not on re-branding exercises.

    2, The Daily Sport is a commercial organisation, it depends on people purchasing the newspaper, if it wishes to spend one million pounds on re-branding itself then so what?.

    3, The BBC spends millions every year either re-branding different parts of it's media empire, so when BBC editors talk about 550,000 being spent they are being 'economical' with the truth.

    So Post 21, next time you pop your head over the top of the trenches and ask for some common sense make sure you that you yourself is the first person you apply this rule to.

  • Comment number 24.

    I am asking for your help because the new type of short videos by the articles ( with a bold sort of triangle ) I am unable to open.
    Already a couple of weeks then that I do not have the pleasure of being graphically informed by you.

    How do you open the videos with this A over?

  • Comment number 25.

    One can only be led to believe the re-branding consultation process took place in a cemetery. Dull, sombre, grey dour, monotone and washed out. Hang on… Perhaps it occurred in Number 10 instead.

    Rather than convey the BBC as innovating and pioneering, the re-brand has marked it as an organisation concerned more with style than substance. And what a poor sense of style! The BBC News, in keeping with the current Administration appears to march on in an uncreative manner without listening to its audience, implementing change where it is unnecessary and without proper consultation.

    Surely to become the world leader in broadcast news, the BBC should concentrate its resources on producing good journalism rather than a cosmetic facelift. Still the BBC is left with tiring repeats of "news" coverage every fifteen minutes. Still the BBC broadcasts its patronising Breakfast show which neglects to cover stories outside of mainstream family orientated issues. Still the BBC management assumes an air of arrogance in knowing what is best for the viewer.

    When one is confronted by the warning colours of a wasp or a venomous coral snake, instinct tell you to back off. Similarly you can switch channel from the BBC News to another with ample warning when inadvertently coming across the dark, dull and dour ‘scape of the studio; you are alerted to the fact that samey, superficial and supercilious coverage is taking place.

    How many awards did the BBC win in the fields of Current Affairs, and News Coverage in this year’s BAFTAs? None. That says it all really.

  • Comment number 26.

    I would have to agree that the changes are not about style over substance as the new graphics for the BBC News channel lack any style whatsoever.

    The grey ticker looks very amateurish compared to the previous shaded white version. In contrast, the all-white identification straps are very plain when viewed alongside the older red and black strips.

    The previous scheme had an air of elegance which seems to have been ditched in favour of a overly-sanitised image which is devoid of any real personality at all. Far from reinforcing the BBC's brand, it makes it more forgettable than ever.

    If there's any silver lining here it's that the new title sequences are OK but please reinstate the old graphics overlays - their look is still compatible with the new scheme anyway!

  • Comment number 27.

    Rustigjongens, I think you will find that:

    1) I was correct. The statment that "no other media organisation could afford this" is quite clearly incorrect.

    2) No, not everyone pays for the BBC. Only TV Licence holders pay for the BBC.

    3) I did not suggest that £550,000 was a bargain, I was pointing out that the Daily Sport (which is a small company compared to the BBC) has spent £1 million rebranding itself, yet the BBC which is much larger has spent half that, thus meaning that my first point was correct.

    So "Post 23", please read comments properly before posting.

    And you don't happen to work for Murdoch do you...?

  • Comment number 28.

    If every time I hear the argument that some some of money is spread over so many services, or whatever, it is very little I would be a multi-millionaire many times over. If we all spent money in this way we would all be bankrupt. Every sum of money needs proper evaluation not this specious justification! Please do not use it again.


    I absolutely hate the sound levels and drumming you so love. Do your high priced surveys inform you that your average viewer is deaf! Flashing lights can irritate and can sometimes harm (epileptics - please respond to 3 above).

    I find the whole effect irritating just as irritating as the last logo and branding, in fact, - I want content not countdowns do not flash lights and beat drums to get my attention I would rather see a potters wheel!

  • Comment number 29.

    The new studio is awful for news 24 compared to the old studio. The backgrounds look very false (which is what they are) , and LCD panels aren't joined properly immediately behind the presenters. It is grey and dull. The talk to screen segments with the presenters talking to a blank wall looks artificial. The presenters look embarresed by the new studio. The switch to another studio at 9:30pm ready for the 10pm news doesn't work. The studio design is is totally ill thought through.

  • Comment number 30.

    At 18 I would consider myself one of those "younger people" who you are trying to attract more to use BBC news. As LGD1983 suggested in comment #22, the idea that younger people would be attracted (or, perhaps distracted) by the whizzing graphics is rather patronising. I would like to point out that not all younger people are simply attracted to what is deemed fashionable and 'modern' and what all of the other news channels are doing. I always use the BBC for news because I know that it gives good quaility news, it does not include annoying advertisments, and it has always been kept simple without irritating text on the screen or muddles of numbers going on in the background. I do not appreciate at all the new flashy graphics, which are morphing the BBC news into just another mildly irritating commercial news channel. I believe changing the BBC's stye will also make it more difficult to identify with, contrary to the desired effect.

    Commenter #5 hit the nail on the head: "Instead of emulating the competition, it might be an idea to tell everybody why BBC News is the best in the world." I completely agree with this. Why change the BBC when it is the other news channels who should change?

  • Comment number 31.

    Sorry I do not like it, neither do I find it more usefull or adding any value to my experience.
    I have to also agree that it does seem that there is very little real desire to understand your "customers" needs. Maybe this is because you dont get effected by loss of custom.
    I understand that you can't please everyone, but there is wisdom in the cocept that change for changes sake is foolish.
    More importantly I now use the BBc website less than I did before and no longer have it as my home page.
    There are many over websites that do what your copying far better and whilst I wont list them, I would use that site rather than your own if that was the experience I wished to have.
    FYI I work within the industry (Web that is) so for what its worth my advice is based upon professional experience and its free :-)

  • Comment number 32.

    "We are spending far more time and money on investing in improvements to the content of our journalism"

    Such money is wasted if your journalists select evidence to suit their own prejudices and refuse to represent the views of campaigners they disagree with. A complaint about this which I made last November still has not been properly dealt with.

  • Comment number 33.

    "Its your BBC", £18million paid for a chatshow host literally watched by hundreds, and then a load of digital chanels considered downmarket by the dwarf throwing weather station.

    Just get back to doing what you're good at and stop listening to petty, piddling little complaints about the size of a line in a logo.

  • Comment number 34.

    I have to be honest, from what I've seen of the rebrand I quite like it. I don't know what people are complaining about in regards to Gill Sans, it looks fine to me.

    However, those white lower third banners. Its a little bit CNN... or dare I say it, Microsoft Movie Maker.

    At least you haven't quite gone the path of Sky "breaking" News

  • Comment number 35.

    The straps are terrible. Not only do they look distorted on my TV and many others' (the bottom left of the DOG and straps are all distorted and slanted), but they are a massive step backwards. The previous straps were the best you've ever had - all that was needed was a change of colours and a replacement of the globe graphic...

    For one, the name strap needs to look different to the information strap. Currently the title of the story does not stand out at all. Perhaps even making that text red would help, but I would favour making the top line of that strap completely red.

    I'm also confused as to why you've ditched the most effective font for on-screen information. Helvetica was perfect. Gill Sans may have links with the BBC, but it is unsuitable for a rolling news channel - it takes up a lot more space and is less easily readable for one. I have to strain my eyes to read the bottom line of the info strap on my small TV. It also looks horribly ugly when used in ultra-bold on your full-screen graphics. It's almost comical.

    The studio is forgivable - it looks alright considering the lack of space and a real newsroom. Although I am looking forward to the return of the newsroom in 2012 - hopefully!!

    I understand a lot of this new look was supposed to be "back-to-basics", but what you had before was so good (and it wasn't exactly over-complicated or extravagant), I don't know why you would want to ditch that. The cost-cutting shows up enough through the studio, there's no point making it obvious through the graphics on top of that.

  • Comment number 36.

    In general mass market brands mean bland by definition to to appeal to the greatest number. (Ford) My experience in magazine publishing was that products had 'personalities (for the intellectuals this is about personification: readers feel the product is a person or friend dropping by).
    So with news strands. I know that if I want serious analysis I will go to 'The World Tonight' If I want flashy opinionated news,then Newsnight, if I want it pop I go to R5 and I feel good about then as products. BBC News has no brand identity or personality. If someone asks me where I 'heard it, I tell the name of the product or if they tell me I ask then where. Of course the 'BBC' does have a brand (like Tesco or Sainsbury)

    This personification approach works more generally and more clearly with 'programmes ' like Eastender' or In out Time' (and now of course you don't actually have to listen or view them in real time,. so there channel brands are weakened. What matters is the programme (or strand) brand not BBC C4 or ITV. News iprogrammes are the same.

    You have been taken for a ride by the brand consultants for half a million

  • Comment number 37.

    There was a time when a studio actually looked like a fully equipped set - there was a desk, there were props, there were lights, cameras, and there was a real ornate, plain, non digital background.

    The fact is you are responsible for the overstylising of news. You have gone down the route of the digital computer background, and flashy digital graphics. On the internet and on TV, the flashy backgrounds colours, and the flashy graphics, and the clips of News Correspodents superimposed onto the background by computer, all clash with one another, and I think it's too flashy.
    Your reasons do not mean that news should be overstylised. Yet that is what you have done. The problem is this will, in a few years time, require a huge overturning because of the mess you have made.

    The fact is the major problem I have with BBC News is fundamentally - absolutely fundamentally - it's content. It's structure is not traditional news, Queen's English, diction and pronounciation is not used, the news is not concise, presenters often ask silly speculative and sweeping questions, insights by correspondents are mostly geared to pointless speculation about 'damage' here and there and never grounded and restricted (if correspondents cannot answer a silly question they should say so and be straight!) , the news script is written in cliched Sky TV language such as ('underdog', 'thrilling', 'held his nerve' ). I'm just tired of it to be honest.

    I keep saying return to the 1980s style. Have an authoritative restricted style. But you don't do it.

    Your strategy of emphasising brand and image over substance is short-sighted. There are many reasons for that. Figure that out for yourself.

    Anyway, people are aware you are preparing for a major restructuring of the BBC which will involve it moving its London centre to Salford. This is a disaster in itself. You lose. You lose. You lose. Meanwhile, everyone else will go to the GMTV News Hour to see how news should be run.

    No further comments.

  • Comment number 38.

    Why does the BBC feel this need to compete with other channels all the time? Competing with the likes of Sky News and ITV News has led to a palpable dumbing down of the BBC news broadcasting.

    As you're funded from my licence fee, you don't need to compete at all. If younger viewers don't want to watch BBC news, so what? It's not like you have to appease advertisers or sponsors, is it!

    Perhaps it's time the Beeb stopped trying to beat its rivals and concentrated on quality journalism, getting the facts of a story right, and presenting the news in a way that doesn't treat the viewer like a simpleton.

  • Comment number 39.

    Please, get rid of the background drumming pollution. It is annoying and totally unnecessary, especially when it overlays the newsreader. I watch BBC News in the USA to get news, not the ridiculous noise and video add-ons that make many US Network news bulletins unwatchable.

  • Comment number 40.

    I am a 21 year old male, the tpe of person these whole revamp is supposed to be aimed at, and i am affraid you have lost me.

    I always watched BBC news: Breakfast, News 24 when i get home from work, Look East in the evening, however these new graphics seem childish, and not a scratch on what they were before and i am seriously tempted to turn off BBC News.

    My regional programme is not what it was and i feel deeply dissappointed by these. I have always been a "BBC News guy" however i feel this just isnt the type of news i want to watch anymore.

    I feel a few tweaks could have been done to the old look, but to distroy all the hard work you did to build the BBC News we had, and over night you have i am affraid lost it

  • Comment number 41.

    Just a thought:

    Take a look at:

    Spot the similarity with the new BBC News web site!

    Only real difference is that the main text colour is black - and much more readable than the wishy-washy, turn your screen contrast up, get a headache trying to read BBC text.

    Hope you didn't pay half a million quid to the people who designed the Reuters UK site...

    Is anybody listening?

  • Comment number 42.

    The blogger who seems to have a problem with rustigjongens has ignored the main thrust of rustigjongens comments.

    Let me make the point clearly, the BBC is not a commercial company, the BBC is paid for by everyone irrespective if they wish to pay for it, that means that any money it wishes to spend on so called re-branding must be in the public good.

    I find zero reasons for this years rebranding, and for deep_breath_Sedna to even attempt to justify the unjustifiable shows how out of touch this person is.

    And as deep_breath_sedna accuses the other blogger of being a Murdoch employee I ask the same question to them, ARE YOU A BEEBOID?.

  • Comment number 43.

    The changes wouldn't be so bad if we could ignore them, but you have cut BBC World Service from so many places that we have to visit your hypnotic glaring web sites as a substitute for the dulcet tones of Judy Swallow and Robin Lustig.

    John Tusa would not have permitted this travesty.

  • Comment number 44.

    stop lies please!!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    i only have one thing to say for both BBC World News and BBC News channel broadcasts...


    Please Remember that a News Channel composed of these:

    More than half is the [b]Graphics[/b], since it is the first one that will be noticed. And Yes I know that Lambrie-Nairn has produced the graphics but that doesn't mean that you all should go back to you're old ways!

    GillSans are prehistoric already.
    You can use it on the title cards, on your logos but please not on your LOWER THIRDS!


    Another One...
    Please use BBC WORLD again.

    I hate the DOG of BBC World News! [b]TOO LONG![/b] can't fit on the 14:9 screen!

  • Comment number 46.

    Why is BBC News (old BBC News 24), now shown as BBC News Channel on I thought it was meant to be just BBC News. Is this brand confusion already?

    Also BBC World News has a lot of programming which isn’t news. I’m sure you’ve noticed this too.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think the re-branding is pretty disastrous. Your presenters don't even know what to call the news! So far I have heard - since Monday - the channel referred to as 'BBC News 24' (followed by swift apology), 'BBC News', 'the BBC News Channel', 'the News Channel'. On the news website, it's called BBC News Channel, on the BBC tv page, it is just called BBC News (and please sort the box out on that page - it is horribly distorted). How is taking away a channel's name and replacing it with a mish-mash of names a sensible step? To reiterate a point I made before - 'BBC News 24' contains 'BBC News' in it - thus making it more obvious that it belongs to BBC News than, say, 'BBC South Today' which does not contain the word 'news'. This branding talk is nonsense; it has caused far more confusion. By the way, I'm a 'younger viewer' (23 to be precise) and I'm going to look elsewhere for my news.

    p.s. please give North West Tonight its excellent opening titles and graphics back. They were brand new a mere seven months ago!

  • Comment number 48.

    theBlockerPH - when did the Beeb ever use Arial? If you're recalling the pre-update news graphics, it was Helvetica. There is a difference.

    And what's wrong with Gill Sans? It's a classic British typeface, well suited to on-screen work.

    Arial! Whatever next. Bl**dy Microsoft!


  • Comment number 49.

    To be honest I really can't see what all the fuss is about. Unlike the revamp of the website a few weeks back it's hardly a radical change from what came before. The overall style of the graphics seems to be little more than an evolution of the scheme introduced in 1999 - I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, just curious as to how it cost so much money (the answer being that this is what always happens when consultants are used for tasks that should probably remain in-house) at a time when we're being told content will have to suffer in order to achieve swingeing budgetary cuts.

    I like the new globe logo and the reinstatement of the placenames, again it's very reminiscent of previous schemes, but then I liked the old one with the red on a black background - it was very striking and gave real gravitas to the bulletins. I'm not such a fan of the white - too much like Sky News and their wishy-washy, tabloid colourschemes - but again I can live with it as it's hardly offensive. Maybe it's time to move away from the red back to blue (provided it's a deep, solid blue rather than Sky's pastels) or even try something else entirely.

    In fact my only real objection is to the rebranding of News 24 - to me it seems unforgivably irresponsible to just throw away 11 years of a well-established and unique brand in order to 'connect with the yoof' or whatever. Just ask virtually any other company that's tried this how successful it's been in the long-term.

    Increasingly I'm thinking that the kind of fickle 'yoof' you all seem so desperate to woo don't particularly want to be connected with, and trying to do so at any cost will risk compromising much of what makes the BBC appeal to everyone else and alienating your core audiences. I see large parts of the Beeb increasingly trying to emulate the flashy but ultimately vacuous and insubstantial output and presentation of Channel 4, MTV etc; a trend which will COST viewers in the long term.

  • Comment number 50.

    @"flawedlogic": respectfully, I would say it is you who is playing very loose with the chain of argument here. Try and keep up.....

    1) Deltalima (#19) stated that no other media organisation could afford £550,000 on a rebrand.

    2) deep_breath_sedna (#21) correctly pointed out that this was wrong. (Whatever other arguments Deltalima may have been making, this was definitely incorrect.)

    3) Rustigjongens (#23) then berated deep_breath_sedna and attempted to defend the original poster, making three points, all of which I would say held some validity, but NONE of which disputed the rebuttal made by deep_breath_sedna - that the original statement WAS wrong.

    4) deep_breath_sedna (#27) came back to correctly point this out, also reminding people that (s)he did not suggest £550,000 was a bargain.

    5) Now you, Flawedlogic (#42) jump in to smear and castigate deep_breath_sedna for even attempting to "justify the unjustifiable".

    Here's the problem though... deep_breath_sedna was simply pointing out a factual inaccuracy, and no more. And was correct in doing so.

    Effectively, you are attacking them for simply not making your additional points.

    Logically, you are in the wrong here, because the additional points you want them to make (that the BBC is funded by the licence-payer and should spend responsibly) does not contradict the point being made by deep_breath_sedna (that to suggest no other media organisation could afford £550,000 on a rebrand is wrong).

    Flawedlogic... I'm afraid your logic is flawed.

  • Comment number 51.

    "The £550,000 cost of the changes is a large sum of money, but spread over all of BBC News services in the UK and around the world, and over many years, we feel it gives real value."

    OK, it's now official. Senior management at the BBC have indeed completely lost touch with reality. I don't care if other broadcasters might somehow be foolish enough to spend even more on re-branding, it's an obscene sum of money for something so completely pointless and trivial.

  • Comment number 52.

    I cannot look at the TV screen when the new news logo is showing. It flickers too much and hurts my eyes and makes me feel unpleasant. I do not suffer from epilepsy, but am sensitive to these sort of things - I have to avoid flashing lights and so on.

    Please would you change to logo to reduce the movement in it.

  • Comment number 53.

    Actually, I don't think it's Helvetica and it is Arial... I know, I have that font on my computer.

    GillSans is just to outdated and making made it worst by making the headlines (on the lower-thirds) big.

    Although I was put to good use when it had been used on the titlecards (of Wold News Today).


    I think they have said that they want to reach out to the "younger viewers," well i'm 18 and it sure giving me MORE HEADACHES than ever when I'm watching the generic titlecards on BBC News (24) and BBC World (News).


    Plus add to that... Why the heck did they taken-off their morning programme "The World Today"?

    I think it's much more older that BBC News 24... it's like they have no respect to a very good newscast.

  • Comment number 54.

    theBlockerPH - I'm not going to argue. Let's just say I'm a designer, and can spot Arial a mile off. I also have it on my computer, but I have Helvetica as well - and the differences are quite marked for those that care.

    Anyway, it may have escaped your notice, but the BBC's overall corporate branding has used Gill Sans since the late 1990s, essentially since the old three-colour underlined blocks were replaced. It's only sensible, therefore, that the news organisation should finally toe the line and start to use Gill Sans in their graphics. Our local BBC area has used it for some years anyway.

  • Comment number 55.

    Anyway, it may have escaped your notice, but the BBC's overall corporate branding has used Gill Sans since the late 1990s, essentially since the old three-colour underlined blocks were replaced. It's only sensible, therefore, that the news organisation should finally toe the line and start to use Gill Sans in their graphics. Our local BBC area has used it for some years anyway.

    nowaytheyareallgone - While it might be a good idea for branding, that should not be at the expense of accessibility. The fact is that when used in lower case it is difficult to read, never mind the colour scheme contrast the new News uses.

    On smaller screens (such as a computer screen) it is near impossible to read.

    Helvetica makes much more sense than Gill Sans for screen type, it always has. Helvetica has been the choice of many for many years now, simply because it is (perhaps arguably) the easiest font to read. On screen and print.

    I do, however, agree that Arial and Helvetica are very different. Arial's boring and less curvy for a start.

    Bring back the Helvetica, I say. Along with the moody glass studio and music of the mid-nineties. (Please?) =P
  • Comment number 56.

    @nowaytheyareallgone -

    >> the BBC's overall corporate branding has used Gill Sans
    >> since the late 1990s...


    >> ...It's only sensible, therefore, that the news
    >> organisation should finally toe the line and start to
    >> use Gill Sans in their graphics


    As Shylar and others have pointed out, Gill sans might be "on brand", but that doesn't make it the right choice per se.

    In the case of on-screen straps, having viewed them for a week or so now, I still think that Gill sans was a poor choice - it's more difficult to read than the previous type, and lower-case in particular looks quite nasty.

    While the typeface might be a great brand identifier in presenting the BBC as a firmly established British brand spanning history (think railways and London Underground, Monopoly, Penguin books) and work well as a corporate identifier in certain situations, there's no getting away from the fact that, as the typeface of choice for a strap, it's a step backwards.

    I tend not to jump on these 'style over substance' bandwagons against the BBC, but this is one instance where I do feel this is the case.

    On-screen text may now be more on-brand, but it's also uglier and harder to read. I would argue that the BBC didn't need to alter the typeface of the straps in order to create greater (or more instant) brand recognition. There are plenty of other visual elements that are now doing this sufficiently.

  • Comment number 57.

    I am astonished at the interest generated by this utterly trivial matter. Clearly there are people out there who actually care what typeface the BBC uses. Personally I couldn't care less about the typeface, colours, logos, or any other element of "branding". I suspect that most people share that view, despite the geekish enthusiasm of many of the previous posters to this blog. However I am horrified that £550,000 of public money has been squandered on such a pointless exercise. Concentrate on your content, BBC, and "branding" will take care of itself- honest!

  • Comment number 58.

    As the revamp of the BBC News outlets has been a resounding failure, please may I have some of my Licence Fee back in compensation for the loss of my bit of the half a million pounds the BBC squandered on this mis-judged makeover?

    BTW - what's happened to the preview facility on this blog?

  • Comment number 59.

    Welsh_Older_Bloke wrote:
    "...has been a resounding failure..."

    And this very precise and forceful conclusion has been reached by analysing what exactly? (I'm assuming rather more than the comments submitted largely by the type of people prone to write in to an editors blog...?)

    I notice from an earlier post that you're the same person who suggested that the BBC news website bore a striking resemblence to the UK Reuters site. Not that I'm questioning your judgment at all..........

    I'll agree with you on one thing though - bring back the Preview function.

    haufdeed wrote:
    "...there are people out there who actually care what typeface the BBC uses... geekish enthusiasm...."
    For a few of us, typeface and design are crucial parts of our job. For everyone else (in fact, all of us), legibility is certainly a valid concern.

  • Comment number 60.

    Peter Horrocks wrote
    We will be waiting before we get the results of some quantitative research on how viewers have responded to the new look before deciding whether to make any tweaks to it.

    OK: I reckon there's been plenty of opinion expressed, which should enable quantitative and qualitative research.

    When are the tweaks to be implemented?

  • Comment number 61.

    I am a young person (early 20s) but I certainly don't feel that a branding overhaul was necessary here. I am upset by the implication that 'young people' are more interested in style over substance (BBC News is my homepage and I look at it everyday), and the suggestion that by changing your title sequence, the 18-30 market share will dramatically increase.

    Regardless of the titles, which only last 30 seconds or so, I am appalled by the loss of information onscreen. There is not enough contrast between the white and grey, and the loss of the scrolling headlines is a serious one, as I often used to watch for just a few minutes in order to catch up. Please bring this back, some of us do not have enough time to watch continuous news coverage and need a snapshot instead.

    I plead with you to improve the onscreen information, I am not going to the sensationalist tabloid rubbish that is ITV news, nor am I willing to watch Channel 4 trying too hard to be different. Please, BBC, if it's not broken, stop wasting money to fix it!

  • Comment number 62.

    Where does it say in your charter you have the job to correct other media? What arrogance! I would love there to be a prime time tv show where people who have been misrepresented by the BBC get to air their point of view; where the foreign ministers of many African countries can give a counter blast to the negative reporting of that continent; where those that are against our involvement in the quango eu get to speak their mind and are not branded as “anti European” (a bit like someone against the UN being “anti-world”); where MPs get a word in edgeways and are able to put a few points of their own… I could go on...and on. We could call the show “The BBC Corrective Hour”

    I accept that other media do have a tendency to accentuate the negative. This has serious repercussions for our society. However the BBC has a tendency to accentuate the liberal and left, and rubbish the right. The only way to get anywhere near the truth is to take a dose of BBC/Guardian followed by some Fox/Daily Mail and scour the internet for the stuff in between and the stuff the BBC left out to make room for its own opinions and speculation.

    In an even worse display of arrogance, the BBC made a nationally televised public statement on Thursday 24th January around 10:12pm stating that “something is wrong with our political system”. Is the BBC now to act as a corrective to parliament? Is the BBC’s foray into secondary schools part of this corrective action?

    The contrast between the BBC and parliament is stark: the BBC has a budget far in excess of parliament. One is elected and the other is a quango. Yet which one has its every move scrutinized? A free press is vital in a democracy. Those that abuse it threaten its very freedom. One day the BBC may go too far and we will lose a precious institution.

    The people I would most like to see represented on my suggested corrective tv show are the children who rarely, if ever, witness dangerous crime. I suspect this is the majority. The main experience of violence for many of them is from the television itself. It must surely be the case that if our society is largely “good” then news, which features exceptional events, will be “bad”. I don’t think it is wrong for the BBC to report these events but I do think that it should consider more carefully reporting certain stories before the watershed, especially those that include violence on children. This adds a burden to their lives that they shouldn’t have to bear.

    It is a pity that the BBC’s attempts to discuss context and balance (in this case regarding crime) are poisoned by its own liberal-biased past, its attempts to influence politics and its arrogance. Remember, we can choose to fund The Guardian or the Daily Mail by paying for them and consuming their advertisements. The BBC however cannot hide from the fact that it is using our money, which is virtually a compulsory tax. Instead of correcting others, it should first correct itself.

  • Comment number 63.

    This prog - BBC BREAKFAST - has gone so far down hill
    The presenters : talk and giggle amonsgt themselves; present in some adhoc manner; create trivia as news; talk around issues only relvant to some of their own idiosyncratic lives; etc. The presenters are very poor and out of date with their delivery skills including their too casaual dress sense
    Skynews in contrast just leaves this prog behind
    The delivery, the sets, and the to the point presenting is excellent at Skynews

  • Comment number 64.

    i only have two little problems with the graphics:




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