Introducing new idents can be a risky business. Part of the furniture of a channel has been changed. Some people may take an instant like or dislike to a new look and first impressions count.
Some people who don’t normally notice Pres will comment because things are different. Indeed some people simply don’t like change.
The comments on Points of View after the 1991 and 1997 revamps were decidedly unenthusiastic.
For a channel with the heritage of BBC One, it is perhaps inevitable that some will wonder if the globe or even the balloon may eventually return. A rather brilliant mock up on Twitter shows the balloon along with the current BBC One branding.
But is there any realistic chance of the globe ever returning? Well don’t bet your house on it. Don’t even bet the candles above the fireplace.
It is now 31 years since a straightforward spinning globe identified BBC One. In other words, harking back to a spinning globe now is rather like someone in 1991 harking back to the Bats’ Wings. It is an ident from another era.
Even the balloon has now been grounded for 20 years. Its return would almost be equivalent to the return of the classic version of the mirror globe reappearing in 2002.
A generation has now passed since the image of the world in any shape or form defined BBC One.
While you should “never say never” to the possibility of a future return in some form, it is no longer an image associated with the channel. Globes and maps are now the preserve of news channels although the film company Universal might well disagree.
Personally I think it was a mistake to ditch the balloon in 2002 but I still suspect the last remnants of the globe would have gone a few years later regardless.
A nod to the brand heritage is great but the idents should be a reflection of BBC One in 2022 not a nostalgic indulgence.
They should be judged for what they are – the fact there is no globe is neither here nor there.
Nostalgia can be a powerful emotion but respecting the past of a channel which should be at the heart of national life should not mean living in the past.
The BBC and BBC One can provoke a passionate debate because we sometimes love them for what they were or what they meant to us at another point in our life. It is important too to care about them for what they are now.
If the BBC were to look or act like a museum piece it would be doomed. Where would things stop? Magnetic rubber on the weather map? Ceefax all day? Newsreels with jaunty music from Ukraine?
If you still want to see the return of traditional BBC One branding, it is time to let go.
It is possible to cherish the heritage but still live in the present day and like or loathe things for what they are.
PICTURED: BBC One balloon ident (1997). COPYRIGHT: BBC.
I agree that it was a mistake to ditch the balloon in 2002 as there was definitely more life in it at the time, but I disagree about the idea of how BBC1 is reflecting 2022. What does it reflect exactly?
There seems to be this constant obsession with people-based idents, or basically people doing things with a logo on top of it. The lens is a very nice idea, but the execution is tame and the final outcome is generic and bland. If you didn’t have the BBC One logo, it could easily be for any other channel, and there have been many ident packages over the years that are similar.
It probably began with Carlton in 1993 with their Londoners, and Channel 4 in 1996 with the circles superimposed over random live-action footage. The nadir was 2002, not just with BBC1, but with five and UK Gold using exactly the same ident style: people doing things with a logo. No central unifying symbol at all. ITV did the same in 2013. If there were no logo, the idents would be interchangeable among channels.
That’s why the globe was so relevant and powerful. It’s easily more unifying than the Rhythm and Movement dancers because they tried far too hard to be diverse and inclusive (20 years later, BBC1 still has a rave as part of its ident package). And its absence points to an inherent laziness with just using live-action footage.
BBC2’s Curve from 2018 has the best idea of farming it out to creative companies to take a symbol and play with it using animation and CGI. Several design companies could easily do the same with a globe nowadays, so that it doesn’t become a heritage or legacy symbol.
I really, really don’t want to sound anti-wokeness or miserable for the sake of it, but this particular hill is one I’m prepared to die on. Enough with people idents.