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My Thoughts: Swirls of Beauty

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Published on Feb 28, 2013

By popular demand (not really), another My Thoughts.

The BBC underwent something of a re-brand around 1997 when their previous logo became, well, sort of awkward to work with. It seemed that parallelograms were just far too pointy to work with the BBC's image at the time. So the ident packages with that logo were scrapped, and then replaced with the new BBC logo that we still have to the present day.

Personally, I sort of prefer the old BBC logo. While this one certainly has more of a visual appeal - especially in the colourful psychotic mess that TV has degenerated to these days - the older logo seemed very distinct. It certainly stood out. You noticed it more than, say, Channel 4 or ITV. At least I thought so. Those three little colours at the bottom of the letters sort of caught your attention. And it seemed to cope very well when paired with the ident packages - especially the creative, yet sometimes dark BBC Two idents they had at the time. Seriously, why did they replace those with that robot "2" thing? That was a dumb move.

And so we come to the main article of this video: another BBC Video ident. First we had the drug trip from hell, then the spinning globe of sinister music, followed by the most unsettling funeral in the world, and finally we come to this. A few swirling beams of colour cutting through a relatively unexciting background to the soothing tune of some peaceful music.

I like it.

Yeah. You heard me. This was just the sort of thing the BBC needed at the time for their videos. Could you imagine the new BBC Video ident using that unsettling tune from the preceding one? It would just come across as jarring and unexpected. They needed something much more friendlier and - let's face it - watchable. The previous idents were quite distracting - often frightening younger children - but this certainly sets quite a light-hearted tone; something that's often associated with the BBC. "Friendly" entertainment, right? Unless you're watching Torchwood. Then you're fucked.

Yes - I like this ident. It must have worked with the re-brand of the BBC at the time too, because this ident lasted well through the VHS age before finally undergoing an alteration once more in 2009. Thus, this stands as the longest BBC Video ident, lasting twelve whole years. Quite an achievement.

It's like they did a U-turn with this ident. They went from surreal imagery and unsettling music to this subdued thing. Quite odd - but it works. It really does. And for that reason, this is definitely one of the best.

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