BBC1 Summer - Circles Ident 3 (1990)

Concept and creative process

This BAFTA award winning campaign was to promote the spring and summer schedule on BBC One at a time when the BBC was just beginning to recognise the importance of its on-screen branding in the light of increasing commercial competition, particularly from Channel 4. The brief was to create a campaign that embraced the old, trusted face of the BBC but moved it forward in a fresh and innovative way. For years there had been a slowly spinning globe between the programmes with the BBC logo underneath it, so it was an exciting time to be asked to create a new and more creative campaign that had strong links to the past but brought the BBC right up to the present. We wanted to have one main visual as the centrepiece for the campaign, which was a top shot of a Spanish dancer spinning with the globe on her outstretched skirt – to link to the spinning globe the audience had been so familiar with in the past. We then designed and created a series of vignettes, each featuring a different country where the motion took your eye through each scene in a seamless fashion, like a journey or voyage around the world. These sequences ran between the programmes and the trailers, so it was important to be interesting enough for repeated viewings but at the same time, not take over visually from the material they were promoting. The approach was quite fresh and innovative at the time and this campaign heralded the new life that was being breathed into the BBC and reflected the exciting programme making that was going on at the time. It was a great time to be a designer in the presentation department at the BBC and we had a lot of freedom to design the sets and props and to film these live action sequences on 16 mm film. We wanted every detail in every vignette to feel crafted and authentic and so commissioned real sets and props to be made to our specification, as we didn’t want it to feel over produced or full of any post production trickery. In the 'African' shaped fruit stall we set it all up for real, and I remember the art department arranging all the fruit at different heights and laying each slightly different coloured cobblestone down for the cyclist to ride on. Even the backdrop glimpsed in the Britain shaped ‘cave’ vignette was painted by a scenic artist and carefully lit and filmed rather than composited in post-production, and the cave itself was also a handmade model. Winner of a BAFTA Craft Award 1991.