BBC stays true to its boxy self in 100th anniversary look

As part of a cross-platform effort to mark its 100th anniversary as a broadcaster, the BBC has created a ‘100’ icon that channels the clean, geometric look it has become known for.

The “100” block icon has a single narrow vertical rectangle meant to be read as the “1” and two wider rectangles of equal size which should be read as the two “0s”.

The look is abstract in a way – it drops the cap and baseline elements found in many typefaces and moves the zeros away from the oval or circular and completely ignores the traditional hole-shaped donut in the center.

For color, the diffuser chose to fill the three shapes with splashes and bursts of different colors – ranging from warmer shades on the left and cooler shades on the right (although there’s a hint of teal in the corner upper left of that).

At least some of this appears to be influenced by the 2021 rebranding which saw a new logo as well as separate color markings for various divisions and offerings of the now diverse media organization.

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BBC News, for example, adopted the network’s traditional red color and got a trio of rectangles and squares as its icon.


The Sport Division retained its yellow hue from its 2017 redesign, but added three stacked stripes evoking motion and movement.

There were also separate icons and colors for BBC Sounds, BBC Bitesize, BBC Weather and BBC iPlayer, all of which were created using three thematically arranged shapes.

In this way, the idea of ​​three shapes, which can also be found in the broadcaster’s iconic logo, is also repeated with the 100th anniversary design.

The 100 year logo is usually accompanied by the BBC logo, which was refreshed in 2021 with revised spacing and the move to a bespoke custom font known as BBC Reith, first introduced as part of the 2017 updates.

BBC Reith is named after Baron Reith, a leader who played a key role in establishing the BBC as an independent public service broadcaster.

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Previously, the BBC used Gill Sans, a typeface it shared with the London Underground.

The BBC has an extensive interactive offering on its website, with sections dedicated to 100 key events in its history, 100 significant objects, 100 faces and 100 voices.

The BBC regards 18 October 1922 as its official birth date, when what was then known as the British Broadcasting Company was formed around radio deals. It would not develop into mainstream television shows until the 1930s and 1940s.

Now known as the British Broadcasting Corporation, the organization holds authority via royal charter and receives much of its funding from a £159 (about US$180) license fee that UK households with televisions pay each year. .

Unfortunately, the broadcaster faces challenges even as it marks a century of service.

There have been growing calls to eliminate the requirement for households to pay the license fee as the media industry evolves. There has also been a rise in the number of UK households opting out of owning a TV, eliminating the payment of fees.

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Licensing fees generate around £3.75bn (over $5bn) for the BBC – but lawmakers have frozen them for two years from 2022.


By freezing these charges and with rising inflation, the BBC could end up missing around £2billion over the next two years, according to some estimates.

The BBC does not generate revenue in the UK through advertising – its charter prohibits the showing of third party advertisements. Outside the UK, however, the organization runs a variety of other services, some of which are supported by advertising revenue or other fees.

The BBC has already announced a plan to cut up to 1,000 positions and consolidate or cut some of its offerings to make up for budget shortfalls.

Most notably, BBC Four and CBBC, a children’s channel, will switch to streaming and BBC World News, which is viewed globally, and the UK’s 24-hour news service offering will merge into one single stream.

Alternative funding models that have been proposed include a subscription model, the addition of advertising, a tax on broadband Internet services, or an income tax.


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