BBC Logo Watch

Last updated: 26th July 2020.

Hard though it may be to believe, but the BBC sometimes struggles to get its own logo right. Since it was introduced in October 1997, there have been countless on-air examples of mocked-up versions of the BBC ‘blocks’ logo – with varying levels of awfulness. And almost twenty-three years since it was launched, the botched recreations of the logo just keep on coming.

How difficult can it be to govern and enforce the use of the genuine article – especially with software available these days to help police such things? Other broadcasters don’t seem to suffer the same levels of distortion/corruption of their logos.

One of the earliest abominations was this example, from the Top of the Pops opening titles (late-1990s):

VIDEO: Top of the Pops opening titles. SUPPLIED BY: YouTube Channel – TV2Record1. COPYRIGHT: BBC.

Another issue – though not quite as common as it once was – is the occasional reappearance of old channel/service logos. This tends to occur in promotional graphics, on-air and online. Here’s an example from Saturday 4th May 2019, where the 2002 – 2006 BBC One logo popped up (stretched) in a BBC Sport graphic:

On this page, we’re going to track the latest issues, and who knows, it may even prompt the powers that be to take some corrective action. We’ll report details of any such positive developments.

That logo looks fine to me – what’s the problem?

When we flag up a BBC logo as being a dud or a bad recreation, we often get asked, “What’s wrong with it?” A comparison with the real McCoy is the best way to demonstrate the difference. Below, the official BBC logo versus a poor mock.

PICTURED: the official BBC logo. Regrettably, even the official version is not flawless. The horizontal centring of the ‘C’ is off. The horizontal centring of the ‘B’s is also out, but much less so.
PICTURED: one of the regularly used, poor recreations of the BBC logo. The telltale signs that this is a mock: the letters are the wrong weight; the horizontal centring of the ‘B’s is much more obviously wrong than it is in the official version; the vertical centring of the ‘C’ is out; the gap between the blocks is narrower than it should be.

Hall of Shame – the present

Here are some examples of mocked up BBC logos that have been broadcast by the BBC in the recent past or are currently “live” (airing on BBC TV channels in the UK, in use online on BBC websites/social media channels, or part of signage/information displays in BBC buildings). If you know of any others, let us know, and we’ll include them here.

NOTE: we’re well aware that some of the mocked up logos will go completely unnoticed for most people. Please spare us the sarcastic cries of “how awful”, “what a travesty”, etc etc. To the educated eye, and for those with an appreciation of the finer detail and precision of graphic design/branding, this page is a little more meaningful.

Latest additions:

  • BBC Films logo (2007 – present);
  • Countryfile titles (example from April 2019; still airing);
  • Doctors titles (example from May 2019; still airing);
  • Gardeners’ World titles (example from May 2019; still airing);
  • BBC Radio Cumbria building signage (May 2019);
  • Question Time titles (example from June 2020) and endboard (example June 2019);
  • Fake or Fortune opening (example from August 2019);
  • Hold the Sunset opening (example from August 2019);
  • Information screen, New Broadcasting House, London (October 2019);
  • Top of the Pops titles (Christmas/New Year, December 2019);
  • The Antiques Roadshow – VE Day Special opening (example from May 2020);
  • Not Going Out endboard (example from May 2020);
  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show titles (example from May 2020);
  • Springwatch titles (example from June 2020);
  • Imagine… opening (example from 12th July 2020);
  • Timewatch titles (series 14) (example from 20th July 2020);
  • Father Brown opening (various series);
  • Madagascar opening.

And if you spot any old BBC channel/service logos popping up on-air or online, please let us know, and we’ll document them here.

Latest additions:

  • BBC Sport promotional graphic (showing BBC One 2002 – 2006 logo) (4th May 2019).

Successful corrections

Here we’ll report any news of action taken to correct any of the invalid BBC logos highlighted on this page. Nothing to report yet!

Hall of Shame – the past

There are LOTS of examples of the use of botched/out-of-date logos from down through the years. We’d like to build up a gallery of examples. If you have some that you’d like to contribute, please get in touch.

Here are a few to get us started.




Posted by The Voice

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