• Broadcasting
  • Branding

A brand to galvanise the BBC’s newest division

From Research and Development to IT — and from creating new products and services to maintaining infrastructure — BBC Design and Engineering is woven into every aspect of the BBC and plays a vital role in its success.

The new division — created when the departments responsible for technical delivery, design and digital innovation were combined — needed a brand to help unify and galvanise thousands of people, and to identify Design and Engineering within the BBC.


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An organisation fuelled by positive tensions
BBC Design and Engineering is enabling the BBC to reinvent public service media for the digital age. With such a broad set of responsibilities come inherent tensions and contradictions. We recognised that these tensions are the fuel that both keeps the BBC running day-to-day and drives it into the future. Working with stakeholders from across the division, we identified a set of seemingly contradictory characteristics that encapsulate the division’s ethos.

A lean identity system to deliver maximum impact
A familiar graphic device — the plus — underpins the visual identity system, expressing the positive tensions that characterise D+E’s ethos. The plus provides both a means to identify the division and a flexible grid on which information is organised. The neutral colour palette is complemented with vivid RGB accents, alluding to the digital future of the BBC.

A springboard for creativity
We created a toolkit of graphic, motion and spatial experiments to inspire the D+E team to build a versatile and expressive identity from simple and pragmatic foundations.


Designed to include everyone
The commissioning and production of Reith — the BBC’s first bespoke type family — was led by D+E, so it seemed fitting that the division would be the first at the BBC to introduce the font as part of its identity. A special cap-height plus was added to the glyphset of Reith so that it can be utilised effortlessly by anyone within the organisation.