BBC3 know their new logo looks like something out of W1A – but what is the logic behind it?

BBC Head of Marketing Nikki Carr says the broadcaster is "cursed" when it comes to marketing thanks to the BBC2 comedy, but is "not worried" about the divisive new BBC3 branding

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When BBC3’s new logo was rolled out online this morning, it didn’t take long for people to make a W1A joke.

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Yes, the Roman numerals / exclamation mark look like they were lifted straight from the BBC2 comedy playbook.

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Apparently, this was part of the plan all along.

“Thanks to W1A we’re cursed at the BBC when it comes to marketing,” admits the BBC’s Head of Marketing Nikki Carr – so much so that they created their own W1A parody to help launch the new design.

The graphic is part of plans for closing BBC3 as a TV channel and moving it online, which Carr confirms will take place on 16th February this year.

So, what is the new logo meant to represent?

“BBC3’s logo hasn’t changed in eight years so in an age of smartphones we needed a whole new system that fits the digital world, not something analogue just shoehorned into it,” says Carr. “We needed to develop something that worked on a TV screen and as an app icon. Look at Snapchat. They’re doing okay without having Snapchat in their logo.”

She adds that she is “not worried” that the new logo doesn’t actually say ‘BBC Three’: “Some people are resistant to change and we wanted to be bold and create something that looks forward and will be around for years to come.”

And yes, a BBC spokesperson added that they had “clocked” the Plan B reference too.

According to Carr, the exclamation mark is apparently meant to represent the third ‘pillar’ in BBC3’s brand values. We already know about ‘Make me think’ and ‘Make me laugh’, but the third piece of the puzzle is ‘Give me a voice’.

“The third, the exclamation mark, is ‘Give me a voice’, which is what we will do for young people,” says Carr.

“We will make young people part of what we do through shows like Is This Rape? but also make them part of decision making and include them as content creators,” she said. “In the next few weeks we will launch a collaboration with 50 young creatives who will be working with us to offer insight and make things with us.”

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Who knows, maybe they could pick up a ‘vintage’ mug design while they’re at it?