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The changing technological and commercial context of BBC graphic design.

Macdonald, Iain


Iain Macdonald


Over the last twenty years television graphic design has seen an unprecedented upheaval and transformation. Not only have there been a series of technological changes but also a paradigm shift in business models and the service offered to programme makers and broadcasters. Perhaps the most significant change has happened at the BBC where political and commercial influences have had a uniquely dramatic affect on the shape of television graphic design. How has the award-winning BBC Graphic Design Department at Television Centre changed? How have graphic designers learnt new technical and business skills? What are the pedagogies of Continuing Professional Development within creative industries like television graphic design?
Using first hand interviews with leading graphic designers, creative planners and heads of production from the BBC I propose to examine how a design service that was rooted in a Reithean ethos transformed itself into a commercial business with an annual turnover of £14 million. Can it continue to reinvent itself and adapt to a constantly changing commercial landscape that now extends far beyond London’s Shepherds Bush to all corners of the globe?
Raymond Williams (1981) theorises a framework to examine the conflict within an organisation between groups of different creative and technical skills and their changing work practices. He also offers a perspective on ‘transitional’ periods and how they can be innovative and creative.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Film and Media Conference
Start Date Jul 13, 2011
End Date Jul 14, 2011
Publication Date Jul 14, 2011
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2012
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2012
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Television; graphic design; digitisation; BBC; technological change;
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