The Big Brother programme is one of the most watched in the UK. We have always enjoyed seeing the logo design evolve from season to season—it keeps its character while becoming new, fresh and relevant to the new reality. However, the new season of Big Brother will have a completely different logo design, signalling the end of an era. This is likely due to the programme changing from Channel 4 to Channel 5.
The new logo design is basically an eye, representing the constant surveillance in the Big Brother house, but it has been drawn to look like the shutter of a camera. The eye has unusual colouring, with black for the white of the eye a white iris surrounded by a ring of fuchsia. If you hate the design—and judging from the outcry, many people in the UK have strong negative feelings about it—you should try to get used to the image. You will be seeing a lot of this logo design, because it is going to be used in all media regarding the show, including print, social networking, the programme website and of course the programme itself.
The channel claims that the logo design will create instant recognition and also reflect the more mature image that the programme is trying to create. This will come along with a few changes to the format of the popular Big Brother franchise. One of the things that we like about the logo is that it blends the mechanical (the camera lens) and the human element in a way that is simple and compelling. However, we have to wonder if it would be more effective and a little less obvious without the black eye shape around the iris. Something about this feels overdone and under-designed. The colour choices, especially the pink ring, feel like they were chosen more for shock value than aesthetics.
This logo design is definitely a change from the techno feeling of the old one, but it just may alienate the audience instead of rallying them. However, the programme’s viewer base is likely strong enough to withstand even the most offensive logo design.
We think that a better solution would have been to continue evolving the old Big Brother identity and logo design. The programme has a huge number of fans who have enjoyed seeing the logo change throughout the seasons in ways that reflected the changes in the format of the show. This logo seems to suggest that the new Channel Five Big Brother will be barely recognizable to fans of the franchise. This is probably not the intended message.
Rebranding can be a scary process, whether you are running a UK small business or developing the design for a television programme. This logo is a good example of why rebranding is so precarious. You risk alienating your existing customer base in an attempt to gain a new one. This is why it is so important to work with a UK branding professional throughout the process.