ⓘ BBC Two Window on the World idents
The Window on the World idents were a set of idents used by BBC Two from 18 February 2007 until late 2014. They were created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and produced by Red Bee Media. The idents featured a number 2 cut out of, or made out of parts of the everyday environment.
By 2007 BBC Two needed a thorough rebrand as the previous idents were starting to lose their purpose. A new set of idents was therefore commissioned by advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, and was produced by Red Bee Media, who made the then current idents for BBC One. The new design needed to work, both on television, but also online, as a website and as live streaming feed. The two companies collaborated in all aspects of the process and both contributed people to the process. Paul Brazier, Creative director at AMV and Andy Bryant, Director of Creative at Red Bee Media both were involved in the project, as were Rob Oliver Art Director, AMV, Chris Bardsley Writer, AMV, John Golley Producer, RBM, Joanna Bailey, Michael Geoghegan, Marky, Ian Cross and Stuart Hilton directors FAQ at Picasso Pictures. On screen presentation was by Paul Mitchell Chief Designer, RBM and produced by Lisa Rathband RBM with music by Vince Pope from Beetroot and animation was by Picasso Pictures.
Our famous 2 is one of the most recognisable and durable brand images in British media, and this latest evolution takes it into fresh and exciting territory. These new idents embody all of BBC Twos distinctive humour, creativity, playfulness and surprise – and theyre also beautifully-executed pieces of film-making in their own right.
The 2007 design had to compare well with its predecessors, and still had to represent BBC Twos programming character and to be an effective promotion of the channel.
AMV has delivered a really clear, simple creative idea with endless possibilities. It expertly captures both the channels brand values and its personality in a wide range of scenarios that reveal gripping, exciting and exhilarating situations. We were keen to keep the clever, witty and mischievous personality of the 2 but move it into a whole new space. The new channel identity reflects the way that the brand has evolved over the last five years. It has been skilfully brought to life by Red Bee, which has produced the idents and the complementary on-screen presentation system.
The new idents featured a numeral 2 that was slightly different from that used by the channel since 2001, despite assurances by James Pestell that the distinctive 2 would stay. The difference is seen as negligible by some, and absolute sacrilege by others.
2. Components of look
The idents all featured a numeral 2, with a view or scape behind it, as viewers looked through the 2. The new look also featured a new design of BBC Two logo. The previously purple box has now been turned a deep shade of aqua, very similar to the viridian used by the 1991 idents. The text has also been changed, with the TWO font being changed to Avenir, from Gill Sans previously. This box was placed to the left of the 2 numeral, opposite to where it was in the previous look, and faded in at the end of the ident. Once again, no clock accompanied the look, and appears to have been abandoned by the BBC. Promotions began with clips of the programme, before the clips were encompassed inside a 2, as it moved back to the endslide, featuring programme name and BBC Two box logo on the left with a full size 2 on the right through which the clips can still be seen. This theme also existed with the breakdown slide, with clips being used from the Seascape ident. Programme stills also still existed, despite being restricted to the schools programming on early mornings, and featured an enlarged middle section of 2 with the top and bottom not visible, off screen, with the programme picture in this large 2 shape.
3.1. Refresh October 2008
The October 2008 refresh was not openly marketed and was unnoticed, except for those eagle eyed few. The refresh would have seen a number of the idents dropped, and the BBC Two logo dropped in favour of the BBC logo in the bottom right corner of the 2. The look was launched on 1 October 2008, and was only seen twice: Sunroof at 6 am that day, and Seascape later that evening prior to night time programming at 12.50 on 2 October 2008. This new refresh was stopped for internal reasons, and the BBC has never explained this.
3.2. Refresh June 2009
The June refresh was by far more successful than the last. This refresh resulted in a number of the idents being dropped and a new style for continuity adopted. The new promotion style involved the endboard design being changed to a large 2, tilted at an angle and filling the left half of the screen with programme information and BBC Two logo on the right of the screen. The most striking thing about these endboards was the bright colour palette used. The end boards could be any colour of the spectrum, however are generally bright fluorescent colours with some programming featuring dark grey endboards. Now and next boards also featured the new style, but using mainly, the same blue as the box logo, and featuring videos from the idents in the slanted 2. This colour was also the main colour used by nations and regions. The breakdown slide was also modified albeit with apparent haste to the new style and programme slides were also transferred with both featuring the deep blue of the logo as the only variant.
The idents themselves were also changed, with some dropped namely ones where the 2 did not stay intact and full on screen, and the remaining idents altered so that the BBC Two logo was transferred to the right of the 2, and was present at the beginning of the ident, but faded out before the end.
3.3. Refresh March 2013
A second refresh took place to coincide with the launch of BBC Two HD, replacing the BBC HD channel. All idents were updated with new soundtracks, with some even having two or three different versions. Three of the idents Mirror, Seascape and Tent feature songs from alt-J. Many also lost the sound effects which went along with them. The "Window on the World" idents were phased out during late 2014 following the return of the 1990s idents in July that year.
4.1. Idents Special
As well as this set of idents, some special ones were made for Christmas and for other programmes. The Christmas idents are below:
- Christmas 2016 - The idents from the previous year were used, albeit with new soundtracks of soundalikes singing various carols, this time with words intact.
- Christmas 2007 - A magic sprite and a paper origami theme here. A blue sprite runs around white and light brown papers depicting trees, animals and other festive creatures. There were two variations, both on the same theme, these aired for the last time for Christmas 2010.
- Christmas 2017 - The idents from Christmas 2011 were used, albeit with the soundtrack heard the previous year.
- Christmas 2009 - The ident from the previous year was used, albeit with the logo on the right.
- Christmas 2013 - The idents from 2011 were used, like the previous year.
- Christmas 2015 - The ident from the previous year was used, albeit with the soundtrack replaced by carolers singing the word "two" over and over again to the tune of "Carol of the Bells". Only one variant, Turkey, was used. The 2000, 2001 and 2002 idents were also used, again with the soundtrack replaced by carolers singing "two" to "Jingle Bells", "Ding Dong Merrily on High" and "Deck the Halls" respectively.
- Christmas 2014 - The idents from the previous year was used despite the main package having been phased out earlier that year.
- Christmas 2008 - The ident from the previous year was used.
- Christmas 2011 - A new ident debuted, in four variations: Snowman, Inventor Lady, Moon/Sun and Turkey For example, in Moon/Sun a model moon appears with a sun emerging from it. In all versions, the camera moves down, revealing a village which, as the camera pans out reveals the village being a giant if slightly deformed 2. The logo appears at the end in a white box. There were four variations based on this theme which were used initially until Christmas 2014 before returning for Christmas 2017.
- Christmas 2012 - The idents from the previous year were used.
- Christmas 2010 - The ident from the previous year was used.
Some specific programme idents are shown below, some of which didnt have the logo in them:
- White Season - A black screen with white writing, scratches and other marks, pans out to form a 2.
- Winter Olympics 2014 - Similar to the Tents idents, this one opens up to a wintry background through the 2-shaped opening. First aired on 6 February 2014 just before the live coverage of the Opening ceremony and last aired just before the closing ceremony.
- Electric Proms 2008 - A 2 made out of bended neon style lines.
- The Restaurant - A white porcelain 2 on a sideboard which has food thrown at it.
- Heroes - A 2 with backlighting similar to the eclipse in the show.
- Electric Proms 2007 - A number of neon style lines at the bottom of the screen that bend to form a 2.
- Back to Nature - A 2 cut out of a log of wood is seen in a number of different scenes including a river, clearing and waterfall.
- Titanic - A man can be seen working on the Titanic, as the camera zooms out through a 2-shaped hole. This ident was only used in Northern Ireland and was used mostly for rugby matches. This ident was retired on 13 November 2014 due to the resurrection of the 1990s idents. The ident reused music from Copper Cutout ident from the 1990s, with the end of the ident being a nod to the aforementioned ident.
- 50 Years - A set of idents to commemorate the 50th birthday of BBC Two. In Cake, the 2 scrapes bits off a birthday cake off, and in Memories, to Spring from Vivaldis The Four Seasons, the 2, via a sneeze, blows a selection of photos from various shows throughout the channels history off the wall. Other idents show the 2 singing actually a rubber ducks squeak It Takes Two and I Will Survive. Various 2s from previous idents also appear. The channel logo presents itself as a 3D cube, one side having "50 YEARS" written on it. Various idents from the 1991–2001 set are also shown, updated to include the special cube logo.
- Torchwood - The ident begins with Zoetrope or Tent Arctic, but while it pans out, the screen loses signal, which is replaced with the Torchwood logo and scenes from the series.
- Thursdays Are Funny - A comedy strand involving a 2 made up of white and orange lines on a black background. There are a number of variants on the same theme.
There have been a few criticisms of the look. The tagging idents have been some of the most controversial in the channels history. The juddery camera work and shoddy appearance made it appear as though it was shot on a camcorder and done by an amateur. These idents were all dropped, except Football that remained in use until the 2013 refresh.
Another controversial issue is that of the 2009 redesigned endboards. Their basic design itself is not criticised, but the main cause of concern is the highly colourful appearance. The colours are highly fluorescent with few programmes using darker colours. The light colours are widely used, regardless of programme, which means promotions for Newsnight may be in bright yellow. This lack of concern for colour has caused outrage at the inappropriate nature of some of the colours.
- presentation used alongside the new idents History of BBC television idents Jason Deans 13 November 2006 ITV1 rolls out more idents The Guardian. ITV urged
- These set of idents would have ended in 1997 with BBC One s ident change but due to popularity the 1991 idents continued only with a new BBC logo and some
- programming. BBC portal List of television programmes broadcast by the BBC History of BBC television idents BBC television drama BBC Local Radio BBC World Service
- and Windows Phone systems have been provided since 2010. Many television and radio programmes are also available to view on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds
- generated idents on 19 November 2001. 19 November BBC Two introduces a new set of four computer generated idents at 7.00 am, replacing the previous set
- MC Lyte s Eyes on This album Cappuccino film a 1989 Australian comedy film Cappucinno, a TV ident for the BBC Two Window on the World series Cappuccino
- used in idents and graphics, most notably in a hole in the backdrop of the idents The set of idents were refreshed in 2000, as well as new idents from 4
- occasions. Summer idents have depicted Gibraltar beaches, the Sea and Gibraltar s summer lifestyle. Commemorative idents have depicted the Golden Jubilee
- Astro World Excalibur a 1985 episode of the cartoon G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Excalibur, a BBC Two television ident first aired in 2000 see BBC Two
- Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between 9 January 2006 and 10 April 2007. The series combines elements of speculative
- Idents About These Idents Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 April 2008. Fake celebrity wins Big Brother BBC News. BBC
- for one of the current BBC One Idents and was also featured in the last segment of the documentary series Three Men in More Than One Boat. The lighthouse
- impact in his new senior role at BBC One, however. He did commission a new range of idents for the channel, keeping the traditional globe theme used since
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