Television criticism is not a science. There is no objective way an individual can write about television which can fairly measure the merits of a programme.
The writer is simply sharing their opinion – no more or less worthy than that of everyone else watching.
Bearing that in mind, I beg to offer my opinions on yesterday’s BBC revamp.
The best way to treat this is simply to see it as a Presentation refresh. The old corporate logo will remain in use elsewhere for many months and gradually disappear.
Similarly, with the new BBC One idents delayed, the changes today are much less radical than they might have been.
So what of the changes to Pres? Well, I am very pleasantly surprised.
The animating blocks smooth out the transitions between each trail. The trails actually seem like a thought out, continuous editorial sequence and not the equivalent of a commercial break.
The silent ident at the start of each junction gets rid of the risk of one of my bugbears – programmes simply cutting straight to the first trail without proper pacing or thought to the transition.
Editorially this new feature makes sure there is always a transition and it removes any risk of a sudden and inappropriate jump though, of course, good network directors always tried to avoid this.
And how lovely to see a programme menu on BBC One again.
The new look also creates a degree of consistency around the BBC’s main channels again. Like in 1991 and 1997 the aim is to show that they’re all part of the one family but have their distinct identities too.
It’s interesting though that the branding focus is now on the BBC masterbrand rather than the channel name which is in a smaller font. Still there is a sense to this – given that the important thing in a crowded market is for the customer to realise they are consuming a BBC programme or service.
The small font given to the identifier in the nations could be controversial though.
The lack of a visual identifier for the English regions is a less significant change though – the names only appeared before regional programmes and were never really a brand.
But what will happen in the North of England when separate continuity from Salford begins?
All in all, this is a very positive change though. The BBC’s main channels now look much smarter again and the junctions are flowing much more slickly.
Of course, more changes are to follow: it’ll be interesting to see how the new BBC Three looks and the new BBC One idents will be awaited keenly. The new package suggests the themes of red and circles. We can all think where we might want that to lead.
There will also be changes to News, Sport and the branding at the end of programmes.
For this BBC Pres fan, who’s been disappointed in the way the country’s two most important public service channels have been branded in recent years, today has definitely been a good day.
Presentation and marketing are there to support the programmes. They’re there to provide the right look and feel for the channel so the programmes look their best and to help viewers find the things they like. This revamp appears to have restored that fundamental purpose to the junctions and done so with style and imagination.
PICTURED: BBC One Wales. COPYRIGHT: BBC.