BBC Rio 2016 Olympics Branding

BBC Rio 2016 Olympics Branding

BBC Sports
Role: Designer, 3D Artist, Animator, and Editor
Client: BBC
Production Company: BBC Sports

This is a showreel I have put together to show all the content I worked on for the BBC Rio 2016 Olympics Branding.

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This is the biggest thing I’ve ever undertaken. After working with the BBC Sports graphics team since December 2015 I have formed a good relationship with them and they trusted me enough to work on the Olympics branding. It started with a few of us researching and coming up with ideas and then pitching them to the directors and producers. We ended up going with the approach I had designed up and then I was left to develop concept into a wider brand for broadcast. In this brand pack there would be many different elements and many different versions of those elements.


Broadcast elements created:

  • Footage / Replay Wipes
  • Venue Maps
  • Coming Up Sequences (What will be covered in the programme)
  • Headlines Sequences (The headlines stories from the day)
  • Round Up Sequences (As a alternative to the Headline Sequence)
  • Looping screens / backgrounds
  • Walk On Templates (To display information on athletes past achievements)
  • IPad Covers

I started by designing the mosaic pattern and coming up with the colour scheme all based on the Escadaria Selarón staircase that is in Copacabana.

From here I then went on to develop, storyboard and test out each individual element to get sign off along the way. By doing this it helped keep everyone in the loop and make sure no (or not as many) nasty surprises pop up later in the process. Also with the amount of versions that would have to be done for some elements (such as the 60 maps) it needed to be well thought out and planned.

A major part of the branding were the Coming Up sequences and Headline sequences which would be used in each show. We were wanting to produce day and night versions of each them as the games started early in the morning and continued well into the night. I storyboarded up an idea of using the staircase and produced a quick test before the pitch.

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Early Motion test

I think producing these before the pitch helped convince the directors and producers how it was going to work so I was then free develop the look, movement and composition along with the rest of the brand. After going through many iterations myself and Richard Thompson came to this layout of the staircase. We started by having the staircase in the rainforest to help tie the brand in with the beautiful work Passion Pictures did on the Rio Olympic Titles which would open each broadcast.

Whilst we thought they worked well, we didn’t want to focus too much on the jungle in the end. It made it seem like all we thought about Rio was that it was close to the rainforest which wasn’t the case. So we decided to recreate the stairs in a surrounding much like where they are located in Rio. These images show the renders of the jungle scene and then the Rio scene which would become final:

Once we had sign off on the staircase we created 17 Days (day and night versions) of the Coming Up sequence. We then changed the composition of the staircase to create the Headline and Round Up sequences that were used at the end of the programs. These were all pre-rendered and sent over to the Rio studio for the games starting along with the majority of the brand.

Along with the pre-made parts a Walk On template was made so anyone could pick it up, change the details and render it ready to be broadcasted live. These needed to be made so they could be quickly changed and modified on the day and rendered ready for broadcast.

I faced new challenges as I’ve not worked in live TV before but it was great way to learn what works and what doesn’t. I hope to work more in this field as the freedom to create a brand from scratch right through to the finished article is a great feeling. Something we didn’t anticipate with the brand was that it would then be used across the whole of the BBC’s Online, Breakfast and News teams too. You can see by these images below how it influenced the set design and schemes.

One of my early designs even became the backdrop of the Media City studio with the looping screens appearing all over the gallery floor. Paul Senior also used the brand to produce the studio floor. It was also in the Rio studio (Seen on-screen) as a VR screen broadcasting footage from the games and the skyline was used as a background wallpaper in the Media City Studio.

A special shout out needs to go to Paul Senior, Andrew Bowker and Richie Thompson for all of their hard work to help bring this work to life and get it finished so it could be used in Rio. And thanks to all the BBC Sports graphics team for being so accommodating and helpful while tackling this beast. I look forward to working with the whole team again soon as this project was truly a pleasure to be involved in and amazing to see it on the world stage.

The design and graphics were also used in the design of the DVD summary of the whole games. Also with the shifts I was working it was great to watch more of the olympics than I ever have before. I’m very proud to be have been a part of it and congratulations to Team GB for their best performance ever.

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