UKTV Yesterday's new branding

With TV history programmes becoming ever more popular and mainstream in the UK particularly, long-established history channel Yesterday has just had a total rebrand, courtesy of DixonBaxi. Part of the UKTV package of channels, Yesterday has always featured a mix of programming, and the new brief was to bring its overall identity up-to-date – ironically, by imparting a timeless quality to it.

"Everything was up for grabs, so our approach was to reinvent the attitude and feel of the channel as well as the look," says the studio's co-founder Aporva Baxi. "The only element we retained was the green [colour scheme], although even this was altered to be more vibrant."

UKTV Yesterday 1

DixonBaxi's challenge when rebranding Yesterday was to transform viewers' perceptions of history into an immersive experience

Critically, the channel's 'Y' logo was redesigned to look as if it could have been made at any point throughout history. "UKTV were very keen to keep the logo at the centre of the look to help cement the brand in the viewer's mind," says Baxi. In fact, the studio worked with model-maker Einstein's Octopus to develop four different versions hewn from American oak, distressed copper, aged lacquer and concrete.

UKTV Yesterday 2

At the heart of the redesign is an iconic 'Y'-shaped logo, designed with a timeless feel

"We also developed a fresh, restrained on-screen presentation system, which is derived from the facets of the logo," Baxi continues. "These sweep anti-clockwise revealing slices of time and content. The typeface is called Replica and it has great legibility on air, with some beautiful detailing making it quite distinct.

"Overall we wanted to transform the feel of the channel completely, and deliver on the idea that history can be entertainment."

Watch this! The making of Yesterday's new ident:

This showcase was originally published in Computer Arts issue 205.

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