Ravensbourne collaborates with the BBC to host Motion Graphics Archive

BBC Motion Graphics Archive
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Article by: Ravaé Richardson

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After a successful tendering process, Ravensbourne University London have partnered with the BBC to host their Motion Graphics Archive. The archive is a national treasure project and an incredible resource that will enrich UK students’ studies.

Opening sequence of 'Only fools and horses'

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the world’s leading public service broadcaster, creating distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.

The BBC Motion Graphics Archive showcases the history and development of motion graphics across the BBC, reflecting the changes in technology and the evolution of the role of the graphic designer within the industry. The archive features content from the 1940s to the early 2000s, and will expand over time. It includes many examples of opening titles, programme inserts, promotion trailers and channel idents. These can be searched by decade, genre or channel, by title or a designer’s name, with metadata describing the concept and creative processes involved.

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It is a unique collection of BBC Motion Graphics, made available for non-commercial educational or research purposes under the terms of the BBC’s Content Licence for the archive. The platform is a testament to the work of over 150 motion graphics designers. Students and the general public will be able to draw inspiration from the processes and techniques employed by graphic designers over the years. A number of Ravensbourne academics helped to create the content in the BBC Motion Graphics Archive.

Doctor Who opening sequence

Ravensbourne’s former BA (Hons) Digital Film Production student, Joe Trodd, worked as a video editor on the project. He commented, Having the opportunity to work on and help establish the Archive was a real pleasure. While studying on the Digital Film Production course at Ravensbourne, I explored the nature of archives for my major film, so bringing that knowledge and appreciation into my work on this project has been really beneficial. Archives not only serve as a form of conservation but they also allow art that may have otherwise been lost, to reach and inform new audiences, so I feel that this resource will be really valuable”

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Professor Michael Graham-Smith, who heads up the advisory group of BBC motion graphics designers, worked on collecting the archive material over the last 6 years. He explained, “Together the BBC and Ravensbourne have actively managed the whole project together and achieved the original vision - to prevent as much of the design work as possible from becoming lost, and create a permanent home where it could be digitised, conserved and made accessible to future generations. Importantly it also names and celebrates the work of generations of talented BBC designers, many of whom it was my great privilege to work alongside.”

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Vice Chancellor Andy Cook commented, "It is a real privilege to be able to partner with the BBC on this project. We’re thrilled to be recognised as an innovative, digital university that provides exceptional resources for our students. We’re dedicated to enhancing the student experience and are pleased that the BBC is the latest world-renowned corporation to partner with Ravensbourne.”

The archive can be explored on the Ravensbourne website.