After a lengthy six-year hiatus as a digital-only channel, BBC Three returned as a linear broadcast channel yesterday (1 February) with a brand-new set of idents. A creative collaboration between BBC Creative and brand agency Superunion, the idents take the form of three hands, or “characters” – Captain, Spider and Pointer – aiming to reflect the “unconventional” nature of the channel and, in continuation of the BBC Three’s wider goals, attract younger audiences.
Throughout the work, the trio of hands “walks, dances, points” and “irreverently observes what’s going on in popular culture and young people’s lives”. To develop the character’s, BBC Creative and Superunion collaborated with Blinkink’s Robert Strange and Ghost. Together, they developed characterisation, mannerisms and three distinct “personalities” to play out within the idents.
“For a brand like BBC Three, something irreverent and unconventional was required,” explains Stuart Radford, Superunion ECD. “As always, it’s been a privilege to collaborate with BBC Creative to develop an iconic and attitudinal idea, fit for a young discerning audience.” Susan Ayton, BBC Creative creative director, adds that the characters are designed to be “as eclectic, funny and entertaining as the channel they represent”.
Two forms of idents have been developed; two-second openers and closers bookend the channels programme trails and unfold as quick stories, whereas longer continuity idents allow the audience more space to view the characters as they explore and “misbehave”.
BBC Three have historically designed its creative idents to appeal to young adults. In the past, these have included: a Media World ident featuring a BBC Three globe, a set of 2016 idents based around the theme discovery, and some similarly character-driven blob idents used from 2003-2008 – always worth a revisit if you’re feeling sentimental.
BBC Creative and Superunion: BBC Three idents (Copyright © BBC Three, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.