Drop in the motion

Published March 9, 2023

An illustration of an old style television with aerial sitting on a coffee table

I’m not sure where I first saw this to be able to assign proper credit, but I’m mildly obsessed with the BBC Motion Graphics Archive compiled by Ravensbourne university. The archive is a collection of graphics that aired on the BBC, including some of the iconic channel idents that you know and love, as well as opening credits from some of the biggest programmes across the years (Doctor Who, Top of the Pops and Blue Peter, for example).

The catalogue also includes interviews with some of the designers who were involved in these pieces of classic moving imagery, as well as bringing together the work belonging to various people under a ‘profiles’ section so you can see what one particular design has worked on over the years.

The archive covers a huge period of time and has gathered such valuable and interesting information, just as their blurb promises to do:

The Archive currently covers the period from the 1940s until the early 2000s and it can be researched in a variety of ways eg by programme title, channel, named designer, genre, decade. We have worked closely with around 150 BBC graphic designers who have shared invaluable knowledge of the techniques used to create the works over the years. The Archive is for anybody interested in design, motion graphics or cultural and television history.

I’m not sure if the aim is for someone to come along and just marvel in nostalgia as they peruse the clips, perhaps I’m not the specific target audience in mind, but I’m loving it all the same.

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