BBC Entertainment’s Heavenly new identity

The London-based branding agency pulls out all the stops for BBC Entertainment’s visual identity

London-based branding agency Heavenly has delivered a dynamic new visual identity for BBC Entertainment – BBC Worldwide’s portfolio of international entertainment channels. As part of the extensive on and off-screen rebrand, Heavenly mixed a vivid colour palette with cutting-edge motion-capture digital animation techniques to produce five striking idents.

“The brief was to bring the channel positioning – ‘Serious About Entertainment’ – to life through its on-screen presentation and channel idents,” explains Paul Franklin, creative director at Heavenly. “The heart of the challenge was to create an on-screen identity that could express the varied world of entertainment in a distinctive and ownable form.”

BBC Entertainment Heavenly identity additional image

Vibrant colours explode from the screen in Heavenly's new identity work for BBC Entertainment

The BBC Entertainment identity needed a simple concept that would capture the attributes at the heart of all great entertainment – quality, energy, vitality, excitement and originality – and help it appeal across the globe.

‘Dance’ was chosen as the central theme, with each ident reflecting a different style. Movements by real dancers were captured before being integrated into the animation process.

“The idea of dance and movement allowed us to express the qualities of entertainment in an engaging yet unique way,” says Franklin.

Using 18 high-definition cameras and bespoke motion-capture technology, Heavenly recorded the performance of its dancers in skin-tight, flexible suits. Highly reflective ball markers were placed strategically on the actors – aligning with joints, such as knees and elbows, and extremities like the head – to collect positional data that formed the skeleton of each ident.

Any identity that needs to work globally is always difficult,” Franklin admits. “With such a complex brief and the numerous contributing factors, I think it’s a wonderful achievement to create something that’s genuinely original, exciting and fresh. The stunning execution of such a simple idea is testament to the skill and talent of director Jason Keely and animator Jonny Stopford.”