Hey everyone, Happy New Year!
it's been a while since my last extensive post about the discoveries I had made about the upcoming News rebrand such as fonts, identity and other tidbits, such as the new website design on the 'About' page. As we are now into 2017, I felt it would be a good time to get back to the topic, as we are only merely a few weeks away! And I see as I've been typing this since yesterday, I see people have already started talking about it again!
Going back to the topic of the upcoming rebrand, I think we can safely base some predictions on what we have seen so far. I'd also like to top on some predictions and hopeful expectations, and some questions I have. Sit back, this is going to be a bit of a long post (again).
To start off, Predictions, and first, On-Air Presentation.
Just like the current graphics package, I feel that photography will play a strong part, as highlighted by the latest overhaul of the ABC App, now showcasing the contemporary black and white theme and "classic" ABC logo we all know and love, which we know are key elements of the rebrand. However, like the contemporary black and white theme, photography may act in the same way, with the yellow to be used like defining colour that stands out, as the App banner appears to signify. If this does go this way, it'd be a interesting approach, but a good way to distinguish their News service to the others. To support this, as quoted by the ABC themselves about the black and white branding approach,
I think the yellow colour will be as prodomient as the black and white in the new graphics, judging from this new-look website banner. Perhaps we'll see a blend of dark grey, white and yellow for some graphics like the ticker on News 24, though I'm not sure how this will clash well, with "Breaking News" as it is also coloured yellow currently.
As this is the case with the entire package, I'd imagine this App banner is a taste of things to come.
Second, News/Breakfast Set.
As we've known for months now from what I know, both ABC News & ABC Breakfast production has been moved to temporary sets as the new ones were being created. As I said previously, since black and white is a acccuring theme, sets may probably be designed in the same way too, with large amounts of the colour duo, and possibly the yellow colour acting like an accent colour on various set fixtures, such as the desk, and other presenting areas. Since ABC Breakfast is more light-hearted in presentation, their new set may feature more yellow and white colours for a more cheerful tone, as that also makes sense for morning TV due to time of day. Just as another quick prediction, the new Breakfast logo will most likely use the new 'oneABC' font family, like the 'News' logo, as we've seen that's a pattern with new ABC content. I think the logo may be presented as "()()() Breakfast" and not in the bold uppercase look of the "News" logo.
Now, Hopeful Expectations. Return of a modernised 1985-2005 ABC News theme.
As Fairfax stated back in last August, the ABC was discussing the idea of using one theme across all their services, both TV and Radio, and one of the most mentioned candidates in the article, was a remixed modernised composition of the 1985-2005 theme. And this wasn't just a suggestion, as Peter Wall, one of the two composers next to the late Tony Ansell, had to look high and low for the original audio copy on a obsolete format to extract the recording, so that's a lot of effort for just for a candidate. It was then sent to Australian electronic group Bag Raiders, to be remixed, and Peter Wall was very impressed by the result of the remix, as quoted in the SMH article,
"I was blown away by the results," Wall said. "I don't think it's possible to do a better remix than they have done."
Very positive comments from one of the original composers. If you haven't heard any of the Bag Raiders music, I highly suggest you should look on YouTube, as they have a very interesting techno style in all the music. You may have already heard some of their music without even knowing it, as there was a meme going around using their song, Shooting Stars:
I think it's a good choice for The ABC to choose an Australian music group like the Bag Raiders to remix the composition, and a new modern techno twist should breathe some new light into the theme, that's if The ABC chooses to go this route, which I hope they do.
However with massive changes, come implications, and we've already started to see complaints with the changes of the ABC App and already, lots of people LOATHE the yellow colour scheme, with some people asking if they can change the colour, so not a good reception so far, but hey, most have no idea of the massive changes happening very soon, so if the major corporate rebrand will become more prominent later this year, I wonder how the ABC will promote/present it.
I have a few questions that I have on some other factors pre and post-relaunch.
When will the ABC start promoting the relaunch?
To quote the Fairfax article again regarding this,
"If the ABC decides to change broadcast themes or identity, we'll provide audiences with ample notice."
If we do expect them to roll out this relaunch this month like the Radio rebrand, it seems they'll only have a few weeks to do so! What was the case for the 2005 relaunch? Was there any announcement or fanfare to go along with it? Unlike the 2010 relaunch, there's no service to promote it with this time around.
How will The ABC respond to possible backlash?
Back in 2005 from what I have read, there was a bit of controversy with the new ABC News theme, and rumors of a Majestic Fanfare replacement that never developed. With rumblings now that Majestic Fanfare's days are numbered, and a new News theme planned to replace the current one that most have gotten used to since 2005-2010, for both of these things to change around the same time, may cause a bit of an uproar, especially from older radio listeners who grew up with Majestic Fanfare, as mentioned in the SMH article. We'll just have to wait a see.
When will ABC News relaunch?
I have a feeling the relaunch may occur between Mid to Late January, with February being the latest. As ABC Radio plans to relaunch in two weeks (delayed for Adelaide until they reach an agreement with Radio Adelaide) on Monday, January 9th, the flagship ABC News bulletin launching with a new presenting team on Monday, January 16th (can presenter shakeups coincide with relaunches?), and of course with Australia Day being a significant date, I think we could perhaps see the relaunch between that time-frame. I'm hoping for a Australia Day relaunch like the 2005 one. 🇦🇺
To finish: I feel photography in black and white will play a large part in the relaunch, with yellow being the defying colour and in graphics, black and white used prominently in set design with yellow being used as an accent colour (Breakfast opting for more lighter white and yellow colours), hopeful for a return and rebirth of a modernised 1985-2005 ABC News theme, and some personal thoughts and questions I have. I feel this will be the most major rebrand since the 2005 relaunch, and I think we're only weeks away!