When on-air TV channel BBC Three was replaced by an online-only version in February 2016, the brand had to break out of the BBC’s usual style, which was frightening in some ways, but also gave it more freedom. Red Bee Media designed the identity, and we were brought in to implement it, tweaking it a little to do so.
The channel is no longer a permanent venue: it’s out ‘on the road’ and its content needs constant signposting. The audience is made up of 16 to 24 year olds across the UK. BBC Three is an important voice to them – it presents things as they are, making you think, rather than telling you what to think. This group is heavily engaged in social media, so the brand needs to live in social as well. It’s not just about promoting iPlayer content, there are weekly, daily and hourly posts being created for their own sake. The idea is that BBC Three sparks the conversation all the time, not just during particular transmission hours.
In terms of a creative strategy, that meant understanding how people use different social platforms and creating visual assets that would evolve there, rather than trying to fit rigid brand assets to each platform. We simplified how the updated BBC Three mark – the ‘tricon’ – would be used, so that it works within the BBC’s existing branding but also lives on social platforms in its own right. We also changed the channel’s secondary colour palette to work better with the BBC Three pink, enabling us create interesting new combinations. And FIN was introduced as a headline font, making it more expressive, yet anchored in the BBC’s overall typographic style.