RedBee Creative – CBBC Rebrand

April 12, 2016
by Tim Rabjohns

The Rebranding of BBC’s CBBC is quite a big deal.  Why? well CBBC and CBeebies are still the only ad-free children’s channels on TV and the most watched in terms of numbers.  Another reason is that the children watching CBBC the last time they refreshed the channel identity will have left university by now, and the world has moved on quite a lot since then.

One of the main differences in that time is the amount of media platforms that are now available – which means that children are consuming media in a different way than even five years ago.

I spoke to Amy Johnson from Redbee who was the lead designer on this project: “Whilst the TV remains the primary way in which audiences consume CBBC content, they now want to watch when and how they want – on mobile, online and on demand.  With that in mind, our challenge was to come up with a design that works on all platforms and that would appeal to both the youngest (six) and oldest (12) viewers.

CBBC 2016 rebrand for dotmogo

We called the overarching idea of the rebrand  “Reality Plus” – real life, plus childrens’ ideas and creativity to make life more awesome.  This was borne out of the fusion of the natural creativity of children and the theme of working out challenges in real-life situations present in many of CBBC’s most popular shows.

In terms of the actual design itself we were conscious that mobile devices favour vertical scrolling – so a lot of the movement of the logo and graphic elements in the On-Screen Presentation reflects that.  We also worked on minimising the duplication of the BBC and CBBC logos side by side, by making the CBBC into a singular marque and making it a bit more abstract.

We couldn’t have made it work so well without the feedback of our target audience.  During the “stepping out” process we  asked thousands of children to vote for their favourite logos and they gave us amazing feedback.  For this reason we’re confident that this is a logo and a channel identity that definitely belongs to those that it serves.”

As far as I can see, speaking as a child in an adult’s body, there should be lots of mileage in this design style – the logo seems abstract and cool enough to play around with for years to come.  I guess the real test of the brand will be to see how it keeps up with the way the content is consumed – as this age group are the fastest to adopt new platforms and tech, and also a lot more savvy about branding than you think (see the vox pops they made below).  I guess the ultimate test of that will be if they can “smash the brand” after it is established – by showing a fragment of the logo, you will recognise the whole brand itself.  anyone else got a point of view?

Credits
Production company: Red Bee, Creative Director: Jane Fielder, Design Director: Amy Johnson, Planning Director: Lisa Matchett, Business Director: Ben Scoggins, Account Director: Francesca Chang, Producer: Emma Nichols, Music: Brains & Hunch

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