BBC Two Autumn campaign - Sardine Tin ident (1990)

Concept and creative process

For the 1990 BBC Two Autumn campaign a number of different ideas were explored to make the Two logo appear less “worthy and dull”, which is how it had come to be perceived by some. Designers sought ways and means to refresh the image and created new scenarios around the three letters and the colours of the existing logo. In the ident ‘Sardine Tin’, the camera crabs around the tin and cranes up to an overhead shot, then zooms inside as the key completes rolling open the lid of the sardine tin. This was shot on 35mm film with a motion-controlled camera rig, and frame by frame animation of the key opening the lid. The scene inside the tin is an underwater set-up of the ‘T’ from the BBC Two logo, standing on the seabed illuminated by a shaft of dappled sunlight. A shoal of animated sardines swim around it, causing it to topple on its side. Disturbed by their wake, a stream of bubbles rises from the seabed. ‘Sardine Tin’ was shot as a separate set-up in a practical tank using stop-frame animation and live effects. In post-production the sardine animation was composited over the shot and the two separate set-ups were combined.