London graphic design studio Spin has worked with BBC Creative to design an animated and printed poster campaign, and a website for the BBC’s typeface, BBC Reith. Aimed at promoting the typeface and its inherent values among BBC staff, the campaign celebrates Reith’s different qualities and variety of styles in a collection of impactful moving posters. For example, one poster highlights its global adaptability for every language; others show how it can be used in a light weight, or a sans serif; and one conveys its balance of style and functionality.
“This project saw the BBC invest in their own typeface to have the variety, breadth and personality to apply to any design,” Tony Brook, founder of Spin, tells It’s Nice That. “Plus it saves them a fortune. Our job was to bring it to life and make it interesting, because if, after all that work, people don’t use it then it’s a failure. So this campaign shows how good it can be, and encourages people to get on board, to enthuse about it, to want to use it.
“We’ve done enough identities to know that if staff aren’t behind it, it won’t work. This shows its benefits, what’s available, not just to the type nerds but everyone at the BBC. You can see it has different tones of voice – the condensed, the light, the heavy. It’s showing off its qualities in an engaging way.”
Spin chose black and white to reference typographic history, Tony explains, but for other practical reasons too: “This typeface has real integrity, so even though we’re having fun with it, we want people to take it seriously. Plus using colour would be tricky – if we used red it would be very BBC One, or yellow it would remind you of BBC Sport, for example. We don’t want to presume what people will do with it. This way it’s open to interpretation, it’s universal."